Pamela Qualter

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Personal profile


Pamela Qualter is the UK’s leading scientific expert on child and adolescent loneliness.  She works with the UK Government’s Tackling Loneliness Team, recently being commissioned by them to write an evidence gap report on loneliness. Previously, Pamela led the BBC Loneliness Experiment, then the world’s largest study of loneliness. Pamela has received extensive funding from several sources to examine loneliness, and is currently working on a Medical Research Council funded grant focused on the development of a new measure of loneliness for youth, and a randomized control evaluation of an intervention designed for primary school aged children in the UK funded by the Kavli Trust. She is also working on a project, funded by the UKRI, that includes the development of a social media measure that offers better exploration of the role of social media in the emotional and social lives of young people. Pamela has a consistent track record with publications exploring the phenomenon of loneliness among youth, and more recently has explored the role of place in the experience of loneliness among youth, using the socio-ecological framework. Pamela sits on several advisory and steering groups, including the WHO Scientific Advisory Group, mapping the evidence for interventions to mitigate social isolation and loneliness, the UK’s Emerging Minds UKRI Network, and the Mary Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011-current). She is also a member of the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection, advising on youth loneliness. Pamela’s expertise involves large longitudinal studies, where she has explored the causes and consequences of loneliness, and the individual differences in the prospective profile of loneliness across the life-course. Pamela has also used experimental and observational methods to examine key aspects of loneliness, including impacts on health, aiming to understand what keeps people stuck in loneliness.


Pamela is part of the Education and Psychology Research Group at Manchester Institute of Education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • LB2361 Curriculum
  • Social and Emotional Learning


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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