Eurasian Journal ofEducational Research, vol.33, pp.127-140, 2008 (SSCI)
Background/Problem Statement: Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling
accompanied with distress, anxiety and desperation. Several authors have
expressed that the feeling of loneliness is heightened in adolescence. It
poses a risk to psychological and physical health, which makes it an issue
dealt with at length. Loneliness in adolescence is related to such variables
as gender, depression, shyness, self-respect, social support, social anxiety,
and social skills. The problem is whether loneliness is predicted by the
variables thought to be related to loneliness.
Purpose of the Study: This study aims to identify if the university students’
feelings of loneliness can be predicted significantly by the variables of
gender, romantic relationships, internet use, social skills, and perceived
social support from family and friends.
Methods : The study was conducted with 329 students between the ages of
18 and 23 studying at Uludag University. 61% were females and 39% were
males (M age, 20.41). The data was collected using the Personal Information
Form, UCLA Loneliness scale, Perceived Social Support Scale, and Social
Skills Inventory respectively and analyzed with the regression technique.
Findings and Results: The regression analysis suggests that gender does not
significantly predict loneliness scores, nor do the variables of romantic
relationships and social support from family. Perceived social support
from friends and social skills predict loneliness scores significantly with
According to the findings, perceived social support from friends
significantly predicts loneliness, but social support from family does not.
Considering these results, relationships with friends are perceived as more
important by Turkish adolescents than relationships with family among older adolescents. Another finding is that social skills predict loneliness
negatively. Social skills explain almost one-third of loneliness, which is a
very noteworthy rate. The importance of social skills training would be
better appreciated in light of the fact that social skills play an essential role
in establishing and maintaining relationships with friends. Two
unexpected results of the study are that neither romantic relationships nor
internet usage have a significant effect on loneliness.
Recommendations: The results of the study suggest that loneliness in
adolescence is mitigated by perceived social support from friends and
social skills, and social support from family is not adequate. These findings
are noteworthy in terms of guidance services. Social skills training
programs can help adolescents to have effective relationships with their
friends and family members, which would alleviate their loneliness and
enable them to benefit more from social support sources. Additionally, it
would be appropriate to form social support groups for adolescents who