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Declining Loneliness Over Time: Evidence From American Colleges and High Schools

Published on Jan 1, 2015in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin2.60
· DOI :10.1177/0146167214557007
D. Matthew T. Clark3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Natalie J. Loxton19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Stephanie J. Tobin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UQ: University of Queensland)
Cite
Abstract
We examined changes in loneliness over time. Study 1 was a cross-temporal meta-analysis of 48 samples of American college students who completed the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale (total N = 13,041). In Study 1, loneliness declined from 1978 to 2009 (d = −0.26). Study 2 used a representative sample of high school students from the Monitoring the Future project (total N = 385,153). In Study 2, loneliness declined from 1991 to 2012. Declines were similar among White students (d = −0.14), Black students (d = −0.17), male students (d = −0.11), and female students (d = −0.11). Different loneliness factors showed diverging trends. Subjective isolation declined (d = −0.20), whereas social network isolation increased (d = 0.06). We discuss the declines in loneliness within the context of other cultural changes, including changes to group membership and personality.
  • References (43)
  • Citations (10)
Cite
References43
Newest
Published on Jan 2, 2015in Social Influence0.94
Stephanie J. Tobin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Eric J. Vanman17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UQ: University of Queensland)
+ 1 AuthorsAlexander K. Saeri5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UQ: University of Queensland)
We examined two threats to belonging and related needs on Facebook: lurking (Study 1) and ostracism (Study 2). In Study 1, participants were either allowed or not allowed to share information on Facebook for 48 hours. Those who were not allowed to share information had lower levels of belonging and meaningful existence. In Study 2, participants engaged in a laboratory-based Facebook activity. Half of the profiles were set up so that participants would not receive any feedback on their status upd...
Published on Nov 1, 2014in Personality and Social Psychology Review9.90
Sara H. Konrath19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UM: University of Michigan),
William J. Chopik14
Estimated H-index: 14
(UM: University of Michigan)
+ 1 AuthorsEd O'Brien10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UM: University of Michigan)
The current article examines changes over time in a commonly used measure of adult attachment style. A cross-temporal meta-analysis was conducted on 94 samples of American college students (total N = 25,243, between 1988 and 2011) who chose the most representative description of four possible attachment styles (Secure, Dismissing, Preoccupied, and Fearful) on the Relationship Questionnaire. The percentage of students with Secure attachment styles has decreased in recent years (1988: 48.98%; 2011...
Published on Sep 1, 2013in Social Psychological and Personality Science3.60
Fenne große Deters4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Matthias R. Mehl32
Estimated H-index: 32
(UA: University of Arizona)
Online social networking is a pervasive but empirically understudied phenomenon. Strong public opinions on its consequences exist but are backed up by little empirical evidence and almost no causally conclusive, experimental research. The current study tested the psychological effects of posting status updates on Facebook using an experimental design. For 1 week, participants in the experimental condition were asked to post more than they usually do, whereas participants in the control condition...
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin2.60
Jean M. Twenge42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SDSU: San Diego State University),
Tim Kasser47
Estimated H-index: 47
(Knox College)
We examined whether culture-level indices of threat, instability, and materialistic modeling were linked to the materialistic values of American 12th graders between 1976 and 2007 (N = 355,296). Youth materialism (such as the importance of money and of owning expensive material items) increased over the generations, peaking in the late 1980s to early 1990s with Generation X and then staying at historically high levels for Millennials (GenMe). Societal instability and disconnection (e.g., unemplo...
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Maureen Garvey Peter Hare1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Nov 1, 2012in Psychoneuroendocrinology4.01
Ruth A. Hackett9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UCL: University College London),
Mark Hamer68
Estimated H-index: 68
(UCL: University College London)
+ 2 AuthorsAndrew Steptoe111
Estimated H-index: 111
(UCL: University College London)
Summary Loneliness is a predictor of mortality and increased cardiovascular morbidity. Inflammation is a potential pathway through which loneliness might impact health. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between loneliness and inflammatory interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) responses to standardized mental stress. A secondary purpose was to evaluate whether individual variations in cortisol responses i...
Published on Oct 1, 2012in Current Biology9.19
Ryota Kanai42
Estimated H-index: 42
,
Bahador Bahrami30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging)
+ 3 AuthorsGeraint Rees72
Estimated H-index: 72
(Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging)
Loneliness is the distressing feeling associated with the perceived absence of satisfying social relationships. Loneliness is increasingly prevalent in modern societies and has detrimental effects on health and happiness. Although situational threats to social relationships can transiently induce the emotion of loneliness, susceptibility to loneliness is a stable trait that varies across individuals [6-8] and is to some extent heritable. However, little is known about the neural processes associ...
Published on Jul 10, 2012in PLOS ONE2.78
Jean M. Twenge42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SDSU: San Diego State University),
W. Keith Campbell64
Estimated H-index: 64
(UGA: University of Georgia),
Brittany Gentile18
Estimated H-index: 18
(UGA: University of Georgia)
Cultural products such as song lyrics, television shows, and books reveal cultural differences, including cultural change over time. Two studies examine changes in the use of individualistic words (Study 1) and phrases (Study 2) in the Google Books Ngram corpus of millions of books in American English. Current samples from the general population generated and rated lists of individualistic words and phrases (e.g., “unique,” “personalize,” “self,” “all about me,” “I am special,” “I’m the best”). ...
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Psychological Science4.90
Amanda L. Forest8
Estimated H-index: 8
,
Joanne V. Wood21
Estimated H-index: 21
The popular media have publicized the idea that social networking Web sites (e.g., Facebook) may enrich the interpersonal lives of people who struggle to make social connections. The opportunity that such sites provide for self-disclosure—a necessary component in the development of intimacy—could be especially beneficial for people with low self-esteem, who are normally hesitant to self-disclose and who have difficulty maintaining satisfying relationships. We suspected that posting on Facebook w...
Published on Feb 1, 2012in Personality and Social Psychology Review9.90
Takeshi Hamamura14
Estimated H-index: 14
(CUHK: The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Individualism–collectivism is one of the best researched dimensions of culture in psychology. One frequently asked but underexamined question regards its cross-temporal changes: Are cultures becoming individualistic? One influential theory of cultural change, modernization theory, predicts the rise of individualism as a consequence of economic growth. Findings from past research are generally consistent with this theory, but there is also a body of evidence suggesting its limitations. To examine...
Cited By10
Newest
Published on Jun 10, 2019in Personality and Social Psychology Review9.90
Marcus Mund6
Estimated H-index: 6
(FSU: University of Jena),
Maren M. Freuding (FSU: University of Jena)+ 2 AuthorsFranz J. Neyer22
Estimated H-index: 22
(FSU: University of Jena)
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships1.68
Jean M. Twenge42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SDSU: San Diego State University),
Brian H. Spitzberg38
Estimated H-index: 38
(SDSU: San Diego State University),
W. Keith Campbell64
Estimated H-index: 64
(UGA: University of Georgia)
In nationally representative samples of U.S. adolescents (age: 13–18) and entering college students, 1976–2017 (N = 8.2 million), iGen adolescents in the 2010s (vs. previous generations) spent less time on in-person (face-to-face) social interaction with peers, including getting together or socializing with friends, going to parties, going out, dating, going to movies, and riding in cars for fun. College-bound high school seniors in 2016 (vs. the late 1980s) spent an hour less a day engaging in ...
Published on Jul 24, 2018in Journal of Public Health1.65
Katrine Rich Madsen6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Southern Denmark),
Bjørn Evald Holstein4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Southern Denmark)
+ 3 AuthorsPernille Due44
Estimated H-index: 44
(University of Southern Denmark)
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Heliyon
Yehuda Peled7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Western Galilee College)
Abstract This study investigated the influence of cyberbullying on the academic, social, and emotional development of undergraduate students. It's objective is to provides additional data and understanding of the influence of cyberbullying on various variables affecting undergraduate students. The survey sample consisted of 638 Israeli undergraduate students. The data were collected using the Revised Cyber Bullying Survey, which evaluates the frequency and media used to perpetrate cyberbullying,...
Published on Jul 1, 2018in Journal of college counseling
Moriah A. Kearney1
Estimated H-index: 1
(GSU: Georgia State University),
Melissa Zeligman2
Estimated H-index: 2
(GSU: Georgia State University)
+ 1 AuthorsEllyce Payne (GSU: Georgia State University)
Published on Mar 1, 2018
Robert R. Wright7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Brigham Young University–Idaho),
Kolby Hardy (Brigham Young University–Idaho)+ 3 AuthorsScott Martin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Brigham Young University–Idaho)
As a potent psychosocial stressor, loneliness is associated with numerous mental and physical health complaints. The recent rise in social media use has presented opportunity for more frequent social interactions to occur with larger social networks than ever before. Somewhat paradoxically, many studies have found that increased use of social media is associated with and, may lead to, increases in loneliness and associated deleterious outcomes. However, much less is known about this relationship...
Published on Oct 18, 2016in Frontiers in Psychology2.13
Tanja Gabriele Baudson6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Duisburg-Essen),
Kira Elena Weber1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Lüneburg University),
Philipp Alexander Freund12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Lüneburg University)
One important goal of education is to develop students' self-esteem which, in turn, hinges on their self-concept in the academic, physical, and social domains. Prior studies have shown that physical self-concept accounts for most of the variation in self-esteem, with academic and social self-concepts playing a much lesser role. As pressure towards perfection seems to be increasing in education, appearance, and social relationships (three aspects that relate to crucial developmental tasks of adol...
Sufei Xin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(BNU: Beijing Normal University),
Ziqiang Xin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CUFE: Central University of Finance and Economics)
With the dramatic recent changes in Chinese society, Chinese college students’ average levels of loneliness and social support might also have changed across their birth cohorts. The present cross-temporal meta-analysis of 56 studies (N = 21,541) found that Chinese college students’ scores on the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3) increased gradually from 2002 to 2011. The increasing trend in loneliness occurred among both men and women. Another similar meta-analysis of 110 studies (N = 57,420) s...
Published on Mar 1, 2016in Social Psychological and Personality Science3.60
Jean M. Twenge42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SDSU: San Diego State University),
Ryne A. Sherman17
Estimated H-index: 17
(FAU: Florida Atlantic University),
Sonja Lyubomirsky46
Estimated H-index: 46
(UCR: University of California, Riverside)
Are Americans happier, or less happy, than they used to be? The answer may depend on life stage. We examined indicators of subjective well-being (SWB) in four nationally representative samples of U.S. adolescents (aged 13–18 years, n = 1.27 million) and adults (aged 18–96 years, n = 54,172). Recent adolescents reported greater happiness and life satisfaction than their predecessors, and adults over age 30 were less happy in recent years. Among adults, the previously established positive correlat...
Published on Jul 20, 2015in Social media and society
Matthew Pittman5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UO: University of Oregon)
This study explores the relationship between social media attitudes and behaviors and loneliness among college students. The study looks at the interaction of loneliness with three popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), as well as how often those students create and/or consume content within each platform. A survey administered to 432 undergraduates at two universities in the Pacific Northwest identified a significant relationship between social media attitudes and be...
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