Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Differential Loneliness Scale

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_23-1




The term “loneliness” refers to the negative feelings that emerge when people experience their social relationships as deficient (Perlman and Peplau 1981). The Differential Loneliness Scale (DLS; Schmidt and Sermat 1983), which is only used as a research instrument, comprises 60 items, which are answered “true” or “false.” The scale measures loneliness in four kinds of relationships, that is, friendships, relationships with family members, romantic-sexual relationships, and relationships with larger groups or the community.

Theoretical Background

There are two approaches to the study of loneliness, the unidimensional one and the multidimensional one. The unidimensional view implies that loneliness can best be captured by a single score that reflects the degree of loneliness that a person experiences in his or her network of social relationships as a whole. The multidimensional view implies that loneliness can be experienced to a different degree in different...


Convergent Validity Significant Negative Association Loneliness Scale Adult Version Perceive Family Support 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of School Psychology and Development in ContextKU Leuven – University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brendan Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Wichita State UniversityWichitaUSA