Associated factors of loneliness among primary school students

Wenyue Wang, Jiawen Liang, Dexing Zhang, Zijun Xu, Dicken C.C. Chan, Grace Yaojie Xie, Yang Gao, Lu Niu, Elsa Lau, Samuel Y.S. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Loneliness is associated with various negative mental and physical health outcomes. Studies on factors associated with loneliness can inform its early screening and prevention. However, little is known about what factors are associated with loneliness among Chinese young children. The present study aimed to identify the various loneliness-associated factors (demographic, personal, school-related, and family-related) among primary school students in Hong Kong. A total of 258 students and their parents from six primary schools in Hong Kong completed an online anonymous survey from June to October 2020. Loneliness (i.e., UCLA Loneliness Scale 3 total score ≥ 3) was reported by 14% of the students. Multivariable mixed effects logistic regression suggested loneliness was positively associated with a lower happiness level at school, poorer independence skills, a lower level of satisfaction with parents, and lower child-rearing expenditure. There was no clustering effect of school on the associations. The current study found important demographic, personal, school-related, and family-related factors of loneliness among school-age children, with caution suggested in their interpretation considering the cross-sectional nature of this study. Future studies with a larger sample, preferably longitudinal ones, are needed to substantiate these associations and uncover their underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Child health
  • childhood
  • family factor
  • mental health
  • school closure
  • school environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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