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

Abstract

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.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sofie Danneel.

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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.

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Appendix

Appendix

Échelle de Solitude de Louvain pour Enfants et Adolescents LLCA-FR

Moi et les autres

Sur les pages suivantes, vous trouverez un nombre de déclarations. Veuillez indiquer dans quelle mesure ces déclarations s’appliquent à vous (jamais, rarement, parfois ou souvent) en encerclant le numéro correspondant.

  1. 1

    Jamais

  2. 2

    Rarement

  3. 3

    Parfois

  4. 4

    Souvent

1. Je me sens très à lié(e) à mes parents. (R)
1 2 3 4  
2. Je me retire pour faire des choses qui ne peuvent être faites quand on est nombreux.
1 2 3 4  
3. Mes parents prennent le temps de s’occuper de moi. (R)
1 2 3 4  
4. Je pense que j’ai moins d’ami(e)s que les autres.
1 2 3 4  
5. Je me sens isolé(e) des autres.
1 2 3 4  
6. Je veux être seul(e).
1 2 3 4  
7. Je me sens exclu(e) par mes camarades de classe.
1 2 3 4  
8. Quand je suis tout(e) seul(e), je m’ennuie.
1 2 3 4  
9. Je veux être davantage intégré(e) à ma classe.
1 2 3 4  
10. Quand je suis seul(e), je me sens mal.
1 2 3 4  
11. Je me sens mis(e) de côté par mes parents.
1 2 3 4  
12. Quand je me sens seul(e), je vais voir mes ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
13. Je cherche un moment pour être seul(e) pour réfléchir.
1 2 3 4  
14. Quand je m’ennuie, je suis malheureux(se).
1 2 3 4  
15. J’ai du mal à me faire des ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
16. Je trouve du réconfort auprès de mes parents. (R)
1 2 3 4  
17. J’ai peur que les autres ne me laissent pas m’intégrer.
1 2 3 4  
18. Je trouve qu’il est difficile de parler avec mes parents.
1 2 3 4  
19. Quand je me sens isolé(e), je veux être seul(e) pour y réfléchir.
1 2 3 4  
20. Quand je me sens seul(e), je ne sais pas quoi faire.
1 2 3 4  
21. Quand j’ai une dispute avec quelqu’un, je veux être seul(e) pour y réfléchir.
1 2 3 4  
22. Pour m’amuser réellement j’ai besoin d’être avec mes ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
23. Je me sens seul(e) à l’école.
1 2 3 4  
24. Quand je suis seul(e), le temps dure une éternité et aucune activité ne m’attire.
1 2 3 4  
25. Je peux bien m’entendre avec mes parents. (R)
1 2 3 4  
26. Quand je suis seul(e), je me calme.
1 2 3 4  
27. Je pense que je n’ai aucun(e) ami(e) à qui je peux tout raconter.
1 2 3 4  
28. Pour penser à quelque chose sans être dérangé(e), j’ai besoin d’être seul(e).
1 2 3 4  
29. Quand je suis seul(e), j’aimerais avoir d’autres personnes autour de moi.
1 2 3 4  
30. Mes parents sont prêts à m’écouter et à m’aider. (R)
1 2 3 4  
31. Je suis content(e) quand je suis seul(e) à la maison parce que ça me donne l’occasion de réfléchir calmement.
1 2 3 4  
32. Quand je m’ennuie, je vais voir un(e) ami(e).
1 2 3 4  
33. Je me sens abandonnée par mes ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
34. Je me sens malheureux(se) quand je dois faire les choses seul(e).
1 2 3 4  
35. Je me sens laissé(e) de côté par mes ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
36. Je veux être seul(e) pour faire certaines choses.
1 2 3 4  
37. J’ai le sentiment d’avoir ma place auprès de mes parents. (R)
1 2 3 4  
38. Mes parents partagent mes centres d’intérêt. (R)
1 2 3 4  
39. Quand je me sens seul(e), je vais voir d’autres personnes.
1 2 3 4  
40. Je reste à l’écart des autres parce qu’ils me dérangent avec leurs bruits.
1 2 3 4  
41. Je me sens triste parce que personne ne veut se joindre à moi.
1 2 3 4  
42. Quand je m’ennuie, je me sens seul(e).
1 2 3 4  
43. Mes parents me montrent beaucoup d’intérêt. (R)
1 2 3 4  
44. Être seul(e) me permet de reprendre courage.
1 2 3 4  
45. J’ai l’impression que mes parents ne m’aiment pas vraiment.
1 2 3 4  
46. À la maison, je cherche des moments pour être seule pour faire des choses tout(e) seul(e).
1 2 3 4  
47. Je suis triste parce que je n’ai pas d’ami(e)s.
1 2 3 4  
48. À la maison, je me sens à l’aise. (R)
1 2 3 4  
  1. Note. R indique que le score doit être inversé

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Danneel, S., Maes, M., Bijttebier, P. et al. Loneliness and Attitudes toward Aloneness in Belgian Adolescents: Measurement Invariance across Language, Age, and Gender Groups. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 40, 678–690 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-018-9671-9

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Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Attitudes toward aloneness
  • Measurement invariance
  • Regional differences
  • Belgium