Gender Romantic Relationships Internet Use Perceived Social Support And Social Skills As The Predictors Of Loneliness


ELDELEKLİOĞLU J.

Eurasian Journal ofEducational Research, vol.33, pp.127-140, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Title of Journal : Eurasian Journal ofEducational Research
  • Page Numbers: pp.127-140

Abstract

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 negative implications. 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 feel lonely.