Despite being constantly surrounded by others, the majority of youth reports feelings of loneliness. Some of them are even chronically lonely. What do we know about loneliness among young people?
Students are in contact with their fellow students at the university, peers in student associations, and with hundreds of others via social media. This, however, is no protection against loneliness.
But what is loneliness exactly, and how can it be measured? Can loneliness be functional? What are the main reasons for loneliness in youth, and what role do social media play in enlarging or reducing loneliness?
Dr. Marlies Maes (KU Leuven) starts by digging into those basic questions, and will also look at the consequences of loneliness. They turn out to be quite negative, so fighting loneliness is surely worthwhile. But what works against loneliness? What can we do to make a difference?
About Marlies Maes
Marlies Maes obtained a PhD from the KU Leuven (Belgium) with research on loneliness in adolescence, for which she received the Young Scholar Award of the European Association for Research on Adolescence. Marlies focuses on the conceptualization and measurement of loneliness and has a special interest in different meta-analytic techniques. She was awarded a postdoctoral grant from Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) to examine loneliness across the lifespan and to develop a new, comprehensive measure of loneliness.