Loneliness in the lives of Danish adolescents: Associations with health and sleep

Eccles, Alice M. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1618-4436, Qualer, Pamela, Madsen, Katrine R. and Holstein, Bjørn E. (2020) Loneliness in the lives of Danish adolescents: Associations with health and sleep. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 48 (8). pp. 877-887. ISSN 1403-4948

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1403494819865429


Aim. We examined the relationship between loneliness and health among young adolescents. We also investigated the validity of a single item measure of loneliness by comparing this to a composite score. Methods. The current data comes from a nationally representative sample of 11-15 year old adolescents (N = 3305; F = 52%) from Denmark collected in 2014 as part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) collaborative cross-national survey. Results. A series of binary logistic regressions showed that higher loneliness among adolescents, whether measured using the single- or multi-item measurement, was associated with poorer self-rated health, higher frequency of headache, stomach-ache, back-ache, difficulties sleeping, greater sleep disturbance, and more instances of feeling tired in the morning. Those associations were relatively consistent across gender and age groups. Conclusions. Loneliness is associated with poorer self-reported health and sleep problems among young adolescents. Those findings are similar across two measures of loneliness, suggesting robust findings. The development of interventions and health education efforts to fight loneliness in adolescence is important.

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