AGE, CULTURE, AND THE ANTECEDENTS OF LONELINESS

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Abstract:

Loneliness is a pervasive experience which everyone has experienced. It is a subjective experience, which is influenced by one's personality and situational variables. This study examined the influence of age and culture on the perceived causes of loneliness. One thousand, three hundred and forty-seven Canadian and Portuguese participants from all walks of life volunteered to answer an 82-item yes/no questionnaire reflecting on the causes of their loneliness. The questionnaire used in this study is composed of the factors that describe causes of loneliness: Personal inadequacies, Developmental deficits, Unfulfilling intimate relationships, Relocation/significant separations, and Social marginality. Gender differences between and within the groups were also examined. Four age groups were compared: youth (13–18 years old), young adults (19–30), adults (31–58) and the elderly (60 and older). Within and between culture and age comparisons were also done. Results indicated that the causes of loneliness are perceived differently depending on one's age and culture.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.5.477

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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