School of Population and Global Health

Loneliness in Children: Building a Model for Mental Health Promotion

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Loneliness is universal and is experienced to differing extents by everyone at some stage in their life. During adolescence loneliness is, to some extent, expected because at this time changes occur in social expectations, roles and relationships.


It comes as no surprise that adolescence has been identified as the peak period of risk as some young people who experience loneliness may consider it to be persistent and painful. Loneliness is a barrier to social development and consequently can have an impact on mental and therefore physical health.

This research project aims to examine the contribution of loneliness to child and adolescent mental health and to prevent loneliness through the development of a school based mental health program.

The project aims:

· develop a conceptual model of loneliness in childhood and adolescence which can inform prevention and early intervention;

· develop and validate a measurement scale to differentiate between states of loneliness;

· determine the strengths and nature of social networks and relationships between children characterised by states of loneliness, their peers and adults;

· develop and evaluate a school-based interactive multimedia mental health promotion program for children.

This is a three year project, due to commence in 2011. It includes researchers from the UWA Centre for Child and Adolescent Related Disorders, The University of Queensland and The University of Auckland.



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Last updated:
Thursday, 27 February, 2014 12:21 PM