Spotting loneliness at school: Associations between self-reports and teacher and peer nominations
Number of pages
SourceInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 3, (2021), article 971
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
In two independent studies, we aimed to examine the extent to which teacher and peer nominations of loneliness are associated with children's and adolescents' self-reported loneliness, respectively. Additionally, we examined whether loneliness nominations from teachers and peers were informative above and beyond peer status and social behaviors associated with loneliness. In Study 1 (N = 1594, Mage = 9.43 years), teacher nominations of loneliness showed a small to moderate correlation with children's self-reported loneliness as assessed using the Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Questionnaire (LSDQ). The results of a hierarchical regression analysis showed that teacher nominations of loneliness predicted children's self-reported loneliness above and beyond teacher nominations of peer status and social behaviors. In Study 2 (N = 350, Mage = 13.81 years), peer nominations of loneliness showed a small to moderate correlation with adolescents' self-reported loneliness as assessed using the peer-related loneliness subscale of the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA). The results of a hierarchical regression analysis showed that peer nominations of loneliness predicted adolescents' self-reported loneliness above and beyond peer nominations of peer status and social behaviors. We conclude that loneliness nominations are valuable, but caution is needed when they are used exclusively to identify lonely children and adolescents.
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