University Of Tasmania

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Conceptualising loneliness in adolescents: development and validation of a self-report instrument

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:54 authored by Houghton, S, Hattie, J, Wood, L, Carroll, A, Karen MartinKaren Martin, Tan, C
This paper reports the development and psychometric evaluations of a multidimensional model of loneliness in Australian adolescents. In the first study a new instrument was designed and administered to 1,074 adolescents (ages 10-18 years, M = 13.01). An exploratory factor analysis from data supplied by 694 of these participants yielded a 4-factor structure (friendship, isolation, negative attitude to solitude, and positive attitude to solitude). Competing measurement models were then evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis with data from the remaining 380 participants; strong support was demonstrated for the conceptual model. Significant main effects were evident for geographical location (rural remote/urban), age and sex. In a second study, involving 235 Australian adolescents (ages 10.0-16 years, M = 13.8) the superiority of the first-order model represented by four correlated factors was confirmed. The findings have clinical and practical implications for professional groups represented by child and adolescent psychiatry, pediatric and clinical psychology services, researchers, and educators. Specifically, the new self-report instrument identifies adolescents who are at risk of loneliness and its associated adverse outcomes and in doing has the potential to offer new insights into prevention and intervention.


Publication title

Child Psychiatry & Human Development








Faculty of Education


Springer New York LLC

Place of publication

233 Spring St, New York, USA, Ny, 10013-1578

Rights statement

Copyright © 2013, Springer Science Business Media New York

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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in education; Expanding knowledge in psychology