Exploring blog narratives of parental loneliness: A thematic network analysis

Nowland, Rebecca orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4326-2425, Thomson, Gill orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3392-8182, Cross, Lucy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7272-9445, Whittaker, Karen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3493-9396, Gregory, P., Charles, J.M. and Day, C. (2023) Exploring blog narratives of parental loneliness: A thematic network analysis. Current Research in Behavioral Sciences, 5 .

[thumbnail of VOR]
PDF (VOR) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crbeha.2023.100137


UK-based national surveys and international longitudinal studies have shown that around a third of parents experience chronic or persistent loneliness. There is limited research about the experience of loneliness in parenthood, however blogs authored by parents, sharing their personal experiences about loneliness offer a potential rich data source. The purpose of this study was to identify and analyse blog narratives written by parents who had experienced loneliness to increase understanding of their experiences. One hundred and ninety-six relevant blog posts were identified, of which 157 had contact details to request permission to use the blog post in the study. Twenty-two parent bloggers gave their permission. Thematic network analysis was used to open code the blogs and 4 organising themes and subthemes emerged, which centred on a global theme of disconnection. Disconnection underpinned themes relating to a sense that being a parent was overwhelming, changes in identity linked to becoming a parent, difficulties in sharing feelings of loneliness with others, and a need for social connection. Findings point to parents being unprepared for the transition to parenthood, with implications for perinatal education and support, including further opportunities for parents to connect to reduce social isolation.

Repository Staff Only: item control page