The Role of School Connectedness and Friend Contact in Adolescent Loneliness, and Implications for Physical Health.

Yixuan Zheng, Margarita Panayiotou, Dorothy Currie, Keming Yang, Charlotte Bagnall, Pamela Qualter, Joanna Inchley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study investigated how adolescents’ loneliness relates to school connectedness, classmate support, teacher support, and offline and online communication with friends. We also examined the association between loneliness, physical health, and sleep. Data came from the Scottish Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC). The total sample was 2983 adolescents (F = 1479 [49.6%]) aged 14–17 years (M = 15.66, SD = 0.39) from 117 secondary schools in Scotland. Results showed that (1) higher teacher support, classmate support, and offline contact with friends predicted lower levels of loneliness, (2) online friendship engagement predicted higher levels of loneliness, and (3) poor health and sleep were positively associated with loneliness. The study offers new findings, highlighting the role played by classmates/peers and teachers in reducing loneliness. Supporting previous research, we also found associations between loneliness, poor sleep, and worse physical health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Friendship
  • Loneliness
  • Peer contact
  • Physical health
  • School connectedness

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