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Major Life Events as Predictors of Loneliness in Adolescence

Abstract

The present study investigates the validity of early major life events as predictors of loneliness among 978 high-school students. A cross-sectional research design was utilized to examine the relationship between latent classes of six major life events and feelings of family-related and peer-related loneliness. Latent class analysis revealed three distinct event typologies: a normative group, a mover and divorce group, and a loss and illness group. Subsequent logistic regression revealed that membership of the movers and divorce group was associated with family-related loneliness, but not with peer-related loneliness. Membership of the loss and illness group was not associated with family-related or peer-related loneliness. The study lends some support to theoretical approaches that associate loneliness with major life events. However, the mixed study results underscore the relevance of investigating a spectrum of life events and distinguishing between different sources of loneliness.

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Correspondence to Mathias Lasgaard.

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Lasgaard, M., Armour, C., Bramsen, R.H. et al. Major Life Events as Predictors of Loneliness in Adolescence. J Child Fam Stud 25, 631–637 (2016) doi:10.1007/s10826-015-0243-2

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Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Life events
  • Adolescence
  • Latent class analysis
  • Family