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Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1829–1837 | Cite as

Factor Structure and Measurement Invariance of a Multidimensional Loneliness Scale: Comparisons Across Gender and Age

  • Marlies Maes
  • Theo Klimstra
  • Wim Van den Noortgate
  • Luc Goossens
Original Paper

Abstract

This study focuses on the factor structure of a multidimensional loneliness measure, that is, the Loneliness and Aloneness Scale for Children and Adolescents (LACA). Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on a large sample of children and adolescents (N = 9,676) in Belgium. Results indicated that the supposed four-factor structure of the instrument showed a superior fit when compared to alternative, more parsimonious models. Measurement invariance was established across gender and across all age groups in the intended age range (i.e., elementary school to freshman year in college). Age comparisons indicated that parent-related loneliness and positive attitudes to aloneness increased throughout adolescence. In sum, the present study offers strong support based on strict tests for the factor structure of a particular multidimensional loneliness measure (LACA). Future research should extend such analyses to other multidimensional measures of loneliness.

Keywords

Loneliness Aloneness Adolescence Confirmatory factor analysis Measurement invariance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlies Maes
    • 1
  • Theo Klimstra
    • 2
  • Wim Van den Noortgate
    • 3
  • Luc Goossens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of School Psychology and Child and Adolescent DevelopmentKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Developmental PsychologyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Research Group of Methodology of Educational SciencesKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium

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