Loneliness and Attitudes toward Aloneness in Belgian Adolescents: Measurement Invariance across Language, Age, and Gender Groups

  • Sofie DanneelEmail author
  • Marlies Maes
  • Patricia Bijttebier
  • Marianne Rotsaert
  • Marie Delhaye
  • Tara Berenbaum
  • Luc Goossens


In this study, the factor structure and psychometric properties of a French adaptation of the well-established Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA) was investigated in a French-speaking sample of Belgian adolescents (N = 641; Mage = 14.35, SD = 2.03; 53.4% girls). In addition, measurement invariance analyses across the two main language groups in Belgium (i.e., Dutch-speaking and French-speaking) and across age and gender were conducted on a combined sample of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking Belgian adolescents (N = 1282; Mage = 14.36 years, SD = 2.03; 53.6% female). Subsequently, group mean differences across language, age, and gender groups were investigated. Convincing support was found for the expected four-factor structure of the French adaptation of the LACA and the measure showed good reliability. Results further indicated that Belgian adolescents from the two principal language groups and from different age and gender groups interpreted the items of the LACA similarly. Therefore, analyses of group mean differences could be compared. Given the small effect sizes that accompanied the obtained effects, replication research is needed to further investigate these group mean differences.


Loneliness Attitudes toward aloneness Measurement invariance Regional differences Belgium 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Sofie Danneel, Marlies Maes, Patricia Bijttebier, Marianne Rotsaert, Marie Delhaye, Tara Berenbaum, Luc Goossens declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Experiment Participants

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofie Danneel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marlies Maes
    • 1
  • Patricia Bijttebier
    • 1
  • Marianne Rotsaert
    • 2
  • Marie Delhaye
    • 2
  • Tara Berenbaum
    • 2
  • Luc Goossens
    • 1
  1. 1.School Psychology and Development in Context Research GroupKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Psychiatric Research, Hospital ErasmusUniversité Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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