Loneliness as experienced by adolescents and young adults: an explorative qualitative study

Jessica Hemberg*, Lillemor Östman, Yulia Korzhina, Henrik Groundstroem, Pia Nyman-Kurkiala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Mental health problems among adolescents and young adults are increasing worldwide together with loneliness, which is considered a global public health problem. The aim of this study was to explore loneliness through adolescents’ and young adults’ own descriptions and experiences. The research questions were: (1) How do adolescents and young adults describe and experience loneliness?, (2) What types of loneliness do adolescents and young adults describe? Data were collected through interviews with fifteen Swedish-speaking Finns aged 17–30. Content analysis was used for data analysis. Loneliness was linked to earlier negative experiences, mental illness or physical disorders, self-centred society, social norms and social media. Three different types of loneliness were identified: social loneliness, emotional loneliness and existential loneliness. It is important that adults and professionals are able to identify, interpret and understand signs that adolescents and young adults are experiencing negative feelings, which may indicate underlying loneliness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Volume27
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • adolescents
  • experiences
  • qualitative interviews

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