Type

Journal Article

Authors

Joanna E. McHugh Power
Robert Fox
Gráinne McGinty
Frédérique Vallières
Thanos Karatzias
Marylène Cloitre
Mark Shevlin
Philip Hyland

Subjects

Psychiatry

Topics
health status self report latent class analysis psychology public health mental health social class population mental health

Quality not quantity: loneliness subtypes, psychological trauma, and mental health in the US adult population (2018)

Abstract Purpose Loneliness is a recognised public-health concern that is traditionally regarded as a unidimensional construct. Theories of loneliness predict the existence of subtypes of loneliness. In this study, latent class analysis (LCA) was used to test for the presence of loneliness subtypes and to examine their association with multiple mental health variables. Methods A nationally representative sample of US adults (N = 1839) completed the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, along with self-report measures of childhood and adulthood trauma, psychological wellbeing, major depression, and generalized anxiety. Results When treated as a unidimensional construct, 17.1% of US adults aged 18–70 were classified as lonely. However, the LCA results identified four loneliness classes which varied quantitatively and qualitatively: ‘low’ (52.8%), ‘social’ (8.2%), ‘emotional’ (26.6%), and ‘social and emotional’ (12.4%) loneliness. The ‘social and emotional’ class were characterised by the highest levels of psychological distress, followed by the ‘emotional’ class. The ‘social’ loneliness class had similar mental health scores as the ‘low’ loneliness class. Childhood and adulthood trauma were independently related to the most distressed loneliness classes. Conclusions Current findings provide support for the presence of subtypes of loneliness and show that they have unique associations with mental health status. Recognition of these subtypes of loneliness revealed that the number of US adults aged 18–70 experiencing loneliness was twice as high as what was estimated when loneliness was conceptualized as a unidimensional construct. The perceived quality, not the quantity, of interpersonal connections was associated with poor mental health.
Collections Ireland -> National College Ireland -> Subject = B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Ireland -> National College Ireland -> Type = Article
Ireland -> National College Ireland -> Subject = B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Psychology
Ireland -> National College Ireland -> Status = In Press

Full list of authors on original publication

Joanna E. McHugh Power, Robert Fox, Gráinne McGinty, Frédérique Vallières, Thanos Karatzias, Marylène Cloitre, Mark Shevlin, Philip Hyland

Experts in our system

1
Joanna E. McHugh Power
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 32
 
2
Robert Fox
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 5
 
3
Gráinne McGinty
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 4
 
4
Frédérique Vallières
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 46
 
5
Thanos Karatzias
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 32
 
6
Marylène Cloitre
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 38
 
7
Mark Shevlin
National College of Ireland
Total Publications: 125
 
8
Philip Hyland
National College of Ireland
Total Publications: 231