The role of school connectedness and friend contact in adolescent loneliness, and implications for physical health

Zheng, Y., Panayiotou, M., Currie, D., Yang, K., Bagnall, C., Qualter, P. and Inchley, J. (2022) The role of school connectedness and friend contact in adolescent loneliness, and implications for physical health. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, (doi: 10.1007/s10578-022-01449-x) (PMID:36260256) (Early Online Publication)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: JI was supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00022/1) and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU16). The HBSC 2013/14 study in Scotland was funded by NHS Health Scotland (now Public Health Scotland).
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Inchley, Dr Joanna
Authors: Zheng, Y., Panayiotou, M., Currie, D., Yang, K., Bagnall, C., Qualter, P., and Inchley, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Child Psychiatry and Human Development
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0009-398X
ISSN (Online):1573-3327
Published Online:19 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2022
First Published:First published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3048231Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)SPHSU16HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit