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The aim of this study was to examine the associations between loneliness/social dissatisfaction and teacher-identified behavioural risk during late childhood. A broad range of behaviour problems, as well as academic adjustment, are assessed, in order to specify in which types of behaviour and academic problems loneliness/social dissatisfaction is most likely to occur. Forty-six fifth and sixth graders who were in the borderline or clinical spectrum on the basis of their total Teacher's Report Form score completed the Children's Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale, and were compared with 50 students who did not have behaviour problems. Overall, the behaviourally at-risk group experienced more loneliness/social dissatisfaction than the comparison group. Loneliness was a more strong correlate of the variables studied than social dissatisfaction. For the behaviourally at-risk students, the strongest positive associations were found between loneliness and social problems, withdrawn/depressed behaviour and inattention; a trend for a negative association between loneliness and hyperactivity/impulsivity, as well as rule-breaking behaviour was also found. Children having both internalizing and externalizing problems experienced more loneliness than children with either internalizing or externalizing problems. Academic adjustment (i.e. academic performance, how much a student is learning and how happy he/she is) had negative links with loneliness. Several hypothetical explanations are offered and suggestions for research and action are made.
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School Psychology International
DOI: 10.1177/0143034308090061
2008; 29; 214 School Psychology International
Evangelia P. Galanaki, Stavroula A. Polychronopoulou and Thomas K. Babalis
Children
Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Among Behaviourally At-Risk
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Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Among
Behaviourally At-Risk Children
EVANGELIA P. GALANAKI, STAVROULA A.
POLYCHRONOPOULOU and THOMAS K. BABALIS
Department of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of
Primary Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to examine the associations
between loneliness/social dissatisfaction and teacher-identified behav-
ioural risk during late childhood. A broad range of behaviour problems,
as well as academic adjustment, are assessed, in order to specify in
which types of behaviour and academic problems loneliness/social dis-
satisfaction is most likely to occur. Forty-six fifth and sixth graders
who were in the borderline or clinical spectrum on the basis of their
total Teacher’s Report Form score completed the Children’s Loneliness
and Social Dissatisfaction Scale, and were compared with 50 students
who did not have behaviour problems. Overall, the behaviourally at-
risk group experienced more loneliness/social dissatisfaction than the
comparison group. Loneliness was a more strong correlate of the vari-
ables studied than social dissatisfaction. For the behaviourally at-risk
students, the strongest positive associations were found between
loneliness and social problems, withdrawn/depressed behaviour and
inattention; a trend for a negative association between loneliness and
hyperactivity/impulsivity, as well as rule-breaking behaviour was also
found. Children having both internalizing and externalizing problems
experienced more loneliness than children with either internalizing or
externalizing problems. Academic adjustment (i.e. academic perform-
ance, how much a student is learning and how happy he/she is) had
negative links with loneliness. Several hypothetical explanations are
offered and suggestions for research and action are made.
KEY WORDS: behaviour problems; childhood; loneliness; social
dissatisfaction
Introduction
Although loneliness – the painful experience of being alone and of not
fulfilling basic interpersonal and social needs (e.g. intimacy, belonging)
214
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Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore), Vol. 29(2): 214–229.
DOI: 10.1177/0143034308090061
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– is a universal human experience, it has been found that, when chronic
and intense, is likely to go hand in hand with maladjustment during
childhood and adolescence (for reviews see Heinrich and Gullone, 2006;
Rotenberg and Hymel, 1999). However, the associations between the
inner subjective experience of loneliness and the observed behaviour
problems during childhood have not received attention analogous to the
negative impact these problems have on the individual’s well-being.
Following is a review of the existing research literature on the links
between loneliness and adjustment problems, mainly in childhood.
Loneliness/social dissatisfaction and behaviour problems
Loneliness and social dissatisfaction have been found in some research
studies to be associated with externalizing problems, such as aggres-
sive behaviour (Cassidy and Asher, 1992; Crick and Grotpeter, 1995;
Fine et al., 2003; Stormshak and Webster-Stratton, 1999). Possible
explanations are that aggression causes or aggravates the child’s dis-
tress, because it harms peer relationships, or that this inner tension
makes the child exhibit aggressive behaviour in an attempt to retaliate
for his or her negative feelings or to exercise control over the social
situation. Some other studies have shown that aggressive children
did not differ from average children as far as loneliness is concerned
(Renshaw and Brown, 1993; Rubin et al., 1993). Possible explanations
for this finding are that aggressive children have deficits in social
information processing or tend to present a distorted, positive image of
themselves in an attempt to counteract feelings of loneliness or as a
defense against them. A clear picture about the aggression-loneliness
association is not drawn from the above research data.
The finding that loneliness is a frequent experience among children
with internalizing problems has emerged from several investigations
(Cassidy and Asher, 1992 only for peer-assessed and not for teacher-
assessed internalizing problems; Crick and Ladd, 1993; Fine et al.,
2003; Hymel et al., 1990; Renshaw and Brown, 1993; Rubin and Mills,
1988; Rubin et al., 1993 only for boys; Rubin et al., 1989). During early
and middle childhood, loneliness is more likely among children exhibit-
ing high social withdrawal (i.e. social isolation, shyness, sensitivity) in
the school and peer context. In fact, in many cases loneliness seems to
be a part of an internalizing behavioural profile, although the associa-
tions of loneliness with other internalizing problems are far from
perfect.
Peer rejection seems to mediate the association between behaviour
and loneliness. Withdrawn-rejected children were found to experience
intense loneliness feelings, while aggressive-rejected children are less
lonely, sometimes as lonely as average children. Also, withdrawn-
rejected children feel depressed and are characterized by peers as sad
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more often than average children (Boivin et al., 1989, 1990, 1994;
Hymel et al., 1993; Parkhurst and Asher, 1992). Furthermore, rejec-
tion and victimization mediate the withdrawal-loneliness/depression
association both concurrently and longitudinally (Boivin and Hymel,
1997; Boivin et al., 1995). Withdrawn-rejected children have been
found to be more lonely than aggressive-rejected children (Williams
and Asher, 1987) and submissive-rejected children were more lonely
than all other children (Parkhurst and Asher, 1992). Possible explana-
tions for these findings are that aggressive-rejected children are
unaware of their social status; they exhibit a self-serving bias in order
to protect their self-esteem and they may interact with peers, have
some friends and not feel excluded by the peer group (Asher et al.,
1990).
As far as age-related patterns are concerned, research data indicate
that the association between internalizing problems and loneliness
changes from early to middle childhood. For the 5–7-year-old group, it
has been found that withdrawn children (as well as rejected children)
are as lonely as average children (Ladd and Burgess, 1999); in another
investigation in the same age group, teacher-assessed behaviour and
self-perceived loneliness were found to be unrelated (Youngblade et al.,
1999). Nevertheless, peer-assessed social withdrawal and teacher-
assessed internalizing problems (i.e. anxiety, fear and solitary play) at
age 7 predicted high loneliness levels and low social self-perceptions
three years later (Hymel et al., 1990).
The worst developmental outcome is evident among children exhibit-
ing a comorbid behavioural profile, that is, aggressive-withdrawn
behaviour. These children experience intense loneliness and social dis-
satisfaction, do not have friends and are more likely to be victimized
and to have a poor relationship with their teachers, in the beginning of
childhood (Ladd and Burgess, 1999). In addition, loneliness has been
found to be highest among young children exhibiting not only shyness
and withdrawal, but also disruptive-aggressive and less prosocial
behaviour, as assessed by their teachers (Cassidy and Asher, 1992).
During middle childhood, comorbidity is more frequent among children
who experience loneliness and depression, and who are characterized
by their peers as usually sad and easily hurt (Boivin et al., 1994). A
possible explanation of this finding is that aggressive behaviour is
negatively viewed by peers during this age period, and social with-
drawal reduces the child’s opportunities for interaction; both behaviour
patterns impede the child’s relationships and may lead to feelings of
loneliness.
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Loneliness/social dissatisfaction and academic adjustment
Loneliness and social dissatisfaction have been found to be negatively
associated with children’s academic adjustment. More specifically,
loneliness has been found to be inversely related to reading ability
(Quay, 1992), academic readiness (Ladd et al., 1996, 1997), grade point
average (Dobson et al., 1987) and academic achievement (Asher et al.,
1984; Galanaki and Kalantzi-Azizi, 1999; Kochenderfer and Ladd,
1996a, 1996b; Juvonen et al., 2000; Koenig and Abrams, 1999; Larson,
1999; Levitt et al., 1994). Loneliness and social dissatisfaction is likely
to affect children’s perceptions of academic competence and these, in
turn, predict changes in academic achievement over a three-year
school period (Guay et al., 1999).
In addition, a systematic finding from the literature is that loneli-
ness bears a negative association with young children’s classroom
involvement and school liking, and a positive association with school
avoidance (Kochenderfer and Ladd, 1996a, 1996b; Ladd et al., 1996,
1997). For adolescents, a statistically significant, although low, corre-
lation was found between ‘problems at school’ as assessed by the
students themselves, and a positive attitude towards being alone
(Marcoen et al., 1987). It seems, then, that various indices of academic
adjustment can reliably predict loneliness in children and adolescents,
although this association is low to moderate.
Aim and hypotheses
The aim of this study was to examine the associations between loneli-
ness/social dissatisfaction and teacher-identified behavioural risk
during late childhood. A broad range of behaviour problems – and not
only internalizing and externalizing problems – as well as various
facets of academic adjustment, are assessed, in order to specify in
which types of behaviour and academic problems loneliness/social
dissatisfaction is most likely to occur. A group of children who are not
identified by their teachers as having behaviour problems are com-
pared with behaviourally at-risk children as far as self-reported
loneliness/social dissatisfaction is concerned.
It is hypothesized that loneliness and social dissatisfaction will be
higher among behaviourally at-risk children than among children
not identified by their teachers as having behaviour problems. More
specifically, it is expected that those students having social problems,
internalizing problems (i.e. social withdrawal, depression, anxiety),
and both internalizing and externalizing problems will experience
more loneliness and social dissatisfaction than those in the compari-
son group and those having externalizing problems. No specific predic-
tions are made for the level of loneliness and social dissatisfaction
among children with other syndromes (e.g. inattention, hyperactivity/
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impulsivity, thought problems, somatic complaints, etc.), as there are
no existing data from the literature on these associations. Finally, it is
predicted that academic performance and teacher-assessed adaptive
functioning in the school will be inversely related to children’s loneli-
ness and social dissatisfaction.
Methods
Participants
The initial sample consisted of 221 fifth and sixth grade students from
randomnly selected schools in Athens, the capital of Greece. Fifty-one
of them were identified by their teachers as having serious adjustment
difficulties or behaviour problems and for these students teachers
completed the Teacher’s Report Form (TRF; Achenbach and Rescorla,
2001). Among these behaviourally at-risk students, 38 (74.5 percent)
were males and 13 (25.5 percent) were females; 24 (47.1 percent) were
fifth graders and 27 (52.9 percent) were sixth graders. However, the
final behaviourally at-risk group consisted of 46 students, only those
who were in the borderline or clinical spectrum on the basis of their
total TRF score. Among them 36 (78.3 percent) were males and 10 (21.7
percent) were females; 21 (45.7 percent) were fifth graders and 25 (54.3
percent) were sixth graders. From the remaining sample of 170 partici-
pants, 50 students were randomnly selected to form the comparison
group. For the selection, stratified random sampling method was used
in order to create the comparison group, using gender as a criterion
variable. Specifically, the sample of 170 students was divided into
males and females, before random selection of the sample. The cri-
terion of gender was applied in order to have in the comparison group
the same proportion (males/females) as in the behaviourally at-risk
group. The comparison group consisted of 37 (74 percent) males and 13
(26 percent) females. Twenty-five of them (50 percent) were fifth
graders and 25 (50 percent) were sixth graders. Eleven of the 46 at-risk
students were of non Greek descent. The 26 teachers of these students
(13 males and 13 females) participated in the study.
Measures
Identification of behaviourally at-risk students. Students who were a
matter of concern for their teachers due to their behaviour were identi-
fied. Teachers were individually and orally asked the following
question: ‘According to your opinion, which of your students – one or
more of them – have serious adjustment difficulties or behaviour
problems in school (except learning difficulties, unless these and a
behaviour problem co-occur)?’.
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Teacher’s Report Form (TRF; Achenbach and Rescorla, 2001).
Teachers completed the TRF for those students whom they identified as
behaviourally at-risk. The Greek standardization of this instrument
was used (Roussos et al., 1999). The TRF consists of 113 problem items,
rated on a three-point scale [0 = not true (as far as you know); 1 = some-
what or sometimes true; 2 = very true or often true]. The items belong
to the following syndromes: anxious/depressed, withdrawn/depressed,
somatic complaints (all these are internalizing problems), rule-
breaking behaviour, aggressive behaviour (these are the externalizing
problems), social problems, thought problems, attention problems
(i.e. inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity) and other problems.
Children’s academic performance and total adaptive functioning (i.e.
how hard they are working, how appropriately they are behaving, how
much they are learning and how happy they are) are also assessed. The
reliability and validity of the TRF have been widely documented
(Achenbach and Rescorla, 2001).
Children’s Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale (Asher et al.,
1984; Asher and Wheeler, 1985; Asher et al., 1990). This is a 24-item
questionnaire assessing children’s loneliness and social dissatisfaction
in the school context. The 16 primary items assess: (a) feelings of
loneliness (e.g. ‘I’m lonely at school’); (b) children’s appraisals of their
current peer relationships (e.g. ‘I don’t have any friends in class’);
(c) children’s perceptions of the degree to which important relationship
provisions are being met (e.g. ‘There’s no other kids I can go to when I
need help in school’) and (d) children’s perceptions of their social com-
petence (e.g. ‘I’m good at working with other children in my class’).
There are also eight filler items focusing on hobbies and preferred
activities (e.g. ‘I like music’), in order to help children feel more open
and relaxed when answering the questions. Children responded on a
five-point scale, ranging from 1 (‘that’s always true about me’) to
5 (‘that’s not true at all about me’). Scores ranged from 16–80, with
higher scores indicating higher loneliness and social dissatisfaction.
According to Cassidy and Asher’s (1992) suggestions, three items –
that is, ‘I feel alone at school’, ‘I feel left out of things at school’ and ‘I’m
lonely at school’ – assess feelings of loneliness per se, whereas the
remaining 13 items assess social dissatisfaction.
This scale was translated into Greek and then translated back to
English, and minor corrections were made in order to achieve the best
adaptation of the original instrument.
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Results
Reliability of measurement
Table 1 presents the reliability coefficients (Cronbach alphas) of the
scales. As can be seen, these coefficients are satisfactory, with the
exception of the syndromes somatic complaints and other problems,
which, due perhaps to their somewhat heterogeneous content, exhibit
rather low internal consistency.
Loneliness/social dissatisfaction and behavioural risk
Univariate and multivariate distributions analyses were performed
prior to data analyses for data screening. Skewness and kurtosis indi-
cated low values in the examined variables. Mahalanobis distance
values examination indicated no multivariate outliers (p< 0.001)
among the independent variables. The equality of covariances matrices
was acceptable at the univariate level (Levene’s test, Fmax ratio values).
However, the homogeneity of variance-covariance was violated at the
multivariate level (Box’s Mtest). Therefore, Pillai’s trace was chosen as
the appropriate multivariate test statistic due to its robustness over
test violations (Field, 2000; Olson, 1979; Tabachnick and Fidell, 1996).
No missing data were indicated in the sample.
Multivariate analysis of variance indicated statistically significant
differences between the behaviourally at-risk and the comparison
groups: Pillai’s= 0.178, F(2, 93) = 10.040, p< 0.001. Follow-up
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220
Table 1 Reliability coefficients (Cronbach alphas) of the scales and
their dimensions for the behaviourally at-risk group (TRF) and the
behaviourally at-risk and comparison group combined (CLSDS)
Scales Cronbach alpha
Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) 0.93
Anxious/depressed 0.80
Withdrawn/depressed 0.88
Somatic complaints 0.42
Social problems 0.64
Thought problems 0.67
Inattention 0.88
Hyperactivity/impulsivity 0.92
Rule-breaking behaviour 0.85
Aggressive behaviour 0.95
Other problems 0.49
Children’s Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale (CLSDS) 0.78
Loneliness 0.70
Social dissatisfaction 0.73
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ANOVAs on each dependent factor applying Bonferroni adjustment
indicated statistically significant differences. Specifically, significant
differences emerged for loneliness: F(1, 94) = 15.281, p0.001, h2=
0.972 and for social dissatisfaction: F(1, 94) = 16.889, p< 0.001, h2=
0.982. As shown in Table 2, the behaviourally at-risk group has signifi-
cantly higher scores both on loneliness and social dissatisfaction than
the comparison group.
Next, Pearson rcorrelation coefficients were computed among the
Teacher’s Report Form syndromes and loneliness/social dissatisfaction
for the behaviourally at-risk group. Table 3 shows that loneliness is a
stronger correlate of behavioural risk than social dissatisfaction. Lone-
liness feelings per se are more likely among students assessed by their
Galanaki et al.: Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction
221
Table 2 Means and SD in loneliness/social dissatisfaction between
the behaviourally at-risk group and the comparison group
Behaviourally Comparison
at-risk group group
Children’s Loneliness and (n= 46) (n= 50)
Social Dissatisfaction Scale M SD M SD
Loneliness and social dissatisfaction 37.46 10.07 29.56 7.28
Loneliness 6.72 3.19 4.70 1.69
Social dissatisfaction 30.74 7.88 24.86 6.09
Table 3 Pearson rcorrelation coefficients among the TRF syndromes
and loneliness/social dissatisfaction for the behaviourally at-risk
group (n= 46)
Children’s Loneliness and Social
Dissatisfaction Scale
Loneliness
Teacher’s Report and social Social
Form Syndromes dissatisfaction Loneliness dissatisfaction
Anxious/depressed 0.09 0.12 0.07
Withdrawn/depressed 0.28 0.29* 0.24
Somatic complaints –0.07 –0.01 –0.09
Social problems 0.30* 0.49*** 0.18
Thought problems 0.07 0.06 0.07
Inattention 0.21 0.36* 0.12
Hyperactivity/impulsivity –0.22 –0.22 –0.19
Rule-breaking behaviour –0.17 –0.14 –0.16
Aggressive behaviour –0.09 –0.04 –0.10
Other problems 0.05 0.16 0.00
*p< 0.05; **p< 0.01; ***p< 0.001.
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teachers as having social problems, inattention and a withdrawn/
depressed behavioural profile. Unexpectedly, low-to-moderate nega-
tive links were found between loneliness/social dissatisfaction and
teacher-assessed hyperactivity/impulsivity, as well as rather low but
consistently negative correlations between loneliness/social dissatis-
faction and rule-breaking behaviour, although these correlations did
not reach statistical significance. Other teacher-assessed syndromes,
such as anxious/depressed, somatic complaints, thought problems,
aggressive behaviour and other problems, appeared to be unrelated to
loneliness/social dissatisfaction.
To examine the association between a comorbid behavioural profile
and loneliness/social dissatisfaction, a series of comparisons were
made between the comorbid behavioural group (n= 21) and the
remaining behaviourally at-risk sample (n= 25). The comorbid group
consisted of those students being in the borderline or clinical spectrum
in both the internalizing syndromes (i.e. anxious/depressed, with-
drawn/depressed and somatic complaints) and the externalizing
syndromes (i.e. rule-breaking behaviour and aggressive behaviour).
Multivariate analysis of variance indicated statistically significant
differences between the Internalizing and Externalizing subgroup and
the Internalizing or Externalizing subgroup: Pillai’s = 0.149, F(2,
43) = 3.761, p< 0.05. Follow-up ANOVAs on each dependent factor
applying Bonferroni adjustment indicated statistically significant
differences. Specifically, significant differences emerged for loneliness:
F(1, 44) = 7.695, p< 0.01, h2= 0.774; but not for social dissatisfaction:
F(1, 44) = 2.264, p> 0.05, h2= 0.313. As shown in Table 4, the Inter-
nalizing and Externalizing subgroup had higher scores on loneliness
than the Internalizing or Externalizing subgroup (also, there is a
nonsignificant trend for the comorbid subgroup to have higher social
dissatisfaction scores than the Internalizing or Externalizing sub-
group).
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222
Table 4 Means and SD in loneliness/social dissatisfaction between
the internalizing and externalizing subgroup and the internalizing or
externalizing subgroup
Internalizing Internalizing or
and externalizing externalizing
subgroup subgroup
Children’s Loneliness and (n= 21) (n= 25)
Social Dissatisfaction Scale M SD M SD
Loneliness and social dissatisfaction 40.67 10.12 34.76 9.40
Loneliness 8.05 2.85 5.60 3.08
Social dissatisfaction 32.62 7.99 29.16 7.58
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Loneliness/social dissatisfaction and academic adjustment
As shown in Table 5, loneliness/social dissatisfaction has the expected
statistically significant moderate negative correlation with academic
performance, as well as with teachers’ ratings of how much their stu-
dents are learning. Again, these correlations are stronger for loneliness
feelings per se than for social dissatisfaction. Finally, there is an
expected low-to-moderate negative correlation of loneliness per se with
teachers’ ratings of how happy a student is but this correlation does not
reach statistical significance.
Discussion
The hypotheses of this study were partially confirmed. In general, lone-
liness and social dissatisfaction are higher among children having
behaviour problems than among those who do not have behaviour
problems. More specifically, loneliness and social dissatisfaction are
more frequent among children with internalizing than with externaliz-
ing problems, and among those with a comorbid behavioural profile. In
addition, poor academic adjustment and loneliness/social dissatisfac-
tion are likely to co-occur.
More specifically, as was expected, the strongest positive associa-
tions were found between social problems and loneliness. Social
problems, as a syndrome, contains complaints about loneliness, as well
as behaviours indicative of low peer acceptance, even peer rejection
(e.g. ‘not liked by other pupils’, ‘gets teased a lot’). The correlation of
nearly 0.50 between children’s admittance of loneliness feelings and
teachers’ appraisals of these feelings indicates that teachers have a
Galanaki et al.: Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction
223
Table 5 Pearson rcorrelation coefficients among academic
performance, adaptive functioning and loneliness/social
dissatisfaction for the behaviourally at-risk group (n= 46)
Children’s Loneliness and Social
Dissatisfaction Scale
Loneliness
and social Social
dissatisfaction Loneliness dissatisfaction
Academic performance –0.28* –0.32* –0.23
Working hard 0.02 –0.08 0.05
Appropriate behaviour –0.02 –0.04 –0.01
Learning –0.24 –0.41** –0.14
Happy –0.16 –0.23 –0.11
Total adaptive functioning –0.17 –0.31* –0.10
*p< 0.05; **p< 0.01.
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rather adequate ability to identify lonely students. However, the
teachers’ ability to accurately predict their students’ global internal
emotional state (i.e. how happy the latter are) – and not only loneliness
feelings – is found to be low; there is a nonsignificant, though negative,
association between the two variables.
The hypothesis that children with withdrawn/depressed behaviour
are likely to feel lonely was confirmed. Depressed mood, social with-
drawal and loneliness have been found in several studies to co-exist
(Cassidy and Asher, 1992; Crick and Ladd, 1993; Fine et al., 2003;
Hymel et al., 1990; Renshaw and Brown, 1993; Rubin and Mills, 1988;
Rubin et al., 1989, 1993).
In order to understand the positive links between inattention and
loneliness, one should take into account that inattention is measured
through several items indicative of poor academic performance (e.g.
‘has difficulty learning’, ‘poor school work’, ‘underachieving, not work-
ing up to potential’, ‘fails to finish things he/she starts’, ‘fails to carry
out assigned tasks’), which, in this study, is also found to be more
likely among lonely children. Low academic performance is a good pre-
dictor of loneliness in the school, but the direction of this relationship
can not be inferred from the correlational analyses.
Some unexpected negative correlations were found between loneli-
ness and hyperactivity/impulsivity (low-to-moderate ones), as well as
rule-breaking behaviour (rather low ones). With a larger sample these
correlations could have been statistically significant. Hyperactivity/
impulsivity was measured by items assessing children’s negative inter-
actions with others (e.g. ‘disturbs other pupils’, ‘talks out of turn’, ‘talks
too much’). It may be hypothesized that children with high scores on
hyperactivity/impulsivity interact with other children frequently, and
these interactions, even having a more or less negative character, may
act as buffers against feelings of loneliness. This explanation is further
supported by the finding that loneliness is frequent among children
with a withdrawn/depressed behavioural profile, who, by definition,
exhibit low frequency of interactions.
Similarly, rule-breaking does not necessarily mean that children are
socially isolated; on the contrary, at least some of these children may
frequently interact with their classmates. Another hypothetical expla-
nation for the unexpected negative correlation may be that teachers are
sensitive to children’s high levels of activity because these do
not facilitate the teachers’ work in the classroom and consequently
teachers may exaggerate in the assessment of hyperactivity/impulsiv-
ity and rule-breaking behaviour. However, this hypothesis needs
further investigation.
Our initial hypothesis that children exhibiting both internalizing
and externalizing behaviour problems experience intense loneliness
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feelings was confirmed. Comorbidity is more strongly associated with
loneliness than with social dissatisfaction. The not so easily visible,
subjective experience of loneliness is a more frequent characteristic of
children who are at great behavioural risk than is the more objective
feeling of social dissatisfaction. The comorbidity-loneliness link is
documented during early childhood (5–7 years; Cassidy and Asher,
1992; Ladd and Burgess, 1999) and middle childhood (fourth grade;
Boivin et al., 1994), and the present study confirms this link during
late childhood or pre-adolescence too (fifth and sixth grade). The combi-
nation of aggression and withdrawal is negatively viewed by the peer
group during late childhood, and puts children at great risk for intense
loneliness feelings. In addition, it may be hypothesized that a low-
quality teacher–student relationship lies behind a teacher-assessed
comorbid behavioural profile, and such a relationship is expected to
intensify loneliness in the student. Aggressive-withdrawn behaviour,
loneliness and a poor relationship with the teacher were found to co-
exist in early childhood (Ladd and Burgess, 1999), but this hypothesis
also needs investigation for late childhood too.
Loneliness is a common, universal human experience. As previous
research has indicated (e.g. Rotenberg and Hymel, 1999), the majority
of children and adolescents have experienced it. However, the results of
this study support the view that children with at least some specific
types of behaviour problems and academic difficulties tend to admit
intense loneliness feelings in the school. Due to the correlational
nature of the data, one cannot discern cause-effect relationships, but
only tendencies for some negative states to co-occur.
More specifically, it is assumed that in some cases loneliness is part
of the whole behaviour syndrome. For example, this may be the case
with social problems and social withdrawal. In most recent research on
internalizing problems (i.e. anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, social
withdrawal) loneliness is usually included in the assessment as a form
of internalizing problem. However, this study showed a positive associ-
ation of loneliness only with withdrawn/depressed behaviour and not
with anxious/depressed behaviour or somatic complaints, which are all
part of an internalizing behavioural profile. Also, there was a positive
association with inattention, which may mean that in some other cases
loneliness may be a secondary outcome of the behaviour problem.
Moreover, the unexpected negative links between loneliness and some
other behaviour problems, such as hyperactivity/impulsivity and rule-
breaking behaviour, may mean that these children tend to deny their
loneliness feelings or adopt a defensive attitude towards them, through
excessive activity and acting-out behaviour. The absence of association
between loneliness/social dissatisfaction and aggressive behaviour is in
line with the previous finding, as well as with other research showing
Galanaki et al.: Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction
225
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at University of Athens on April 30, 2008 http://spi.sagepub.comDownloaded from
that aggressive children do not differ from average children in this
experience (Renshaw and Brown, 1993; Rubin et al., 1993). For a more
detailed examination of the complex links emerging between children’s
inner experience of loneliness and the evident behaviour patterns a
longitudinal research design is required.
This study provided rough evidence for the associations between
specific behaviour problems and loneliness and social dissatisfaction. A
limitation of this study is the rather small sample size, which did not
permit more detailed comparisons. For example, in this study the
majority of teacher-identified behaviourally at-risk children were
males (the tendency of Greek teachers to report more behaviour prob-
lems for boys than for girls was found in other studies too, e.g.
Motti-Stefanidi et al., 1996; Roussos et al., 1999); future research
should examine possible gender differences in the associations studied.
Also, a larger sample size will permit comparisons, as far as loneliness
and social dissatisfaction are concerned, among the three groups –
normal, borderline and clinical – in each behaviour problem. And,
finally, the possible mediational role of social context variables – such
as social status, teacher–student relationship or classroom environ-
ment – in the relationship between each behaviour syndrome and
loneliness and social dissatisfaction could be examined.
Teachers and school psychologists should be aware that loneliness is
a sensitive indicator of children’s academic and behavioural adjustment.
It is a really impressing finding that such a subjective inner experience
as loneliness is more strongly associated with academic and behavioural
problems than social dissatisfaction, which is a more objective estima-
tion of social relations. However, due to its subjective nature, children’s
loneliness may frequently escape adults’ attention. As shown by the
results of the present study, a teacher may believe that a child is ‘happy’
while this child admits intense loneliness feelings. Moreover, a previous
investigation (Galanaki, 2004) has shown that school-age children are
able to perceive and articulate a large variety of strategies that teachers
should use to alleviate children’s loneliness, such as manifesting inter-
est and care, intervening in the peer group, encouraging students to
approach peers and make friends, consulting them for personal im-
provement and working with parents (problem-focused strategies), as
well as encouraging students to regulate their emotions and to engage
in activities (emotion-focused strategies). Therefore, taking into account
that chronic and intense loneliness poses serious threats to well-being,
teachers and school psychologists should address preventive and inter-
ventive action to those children who exhibit the highest risk for loneli-
ness: children who do not learn due to inattention problems, children
who encounter problems in their social relations in the school context,
and children with both internalizing and externalizing problems.
School Psychology International (2008), Vol. 29(2)
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Evangelia P. Galanaki is an Assistant Professor in the Department
of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary Education,
University of Athens. Her research interests include social and emo-
tional development in childhood and adolescence, school adjustment
and behaviour problems. Address: Developmental Psychology,
Department of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary
Education, University of Athens, G. Kolokotroni 33, 11741 Athens,
Greece. Email: egalanaki@primedu.uoa.gr
Stavroula A. Polychronopoulou is a Professor in the Department of
Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary Education, Uni-
versity of Athens. His research interests include behavioural,
emotional and social difficulties and inclusion. Address: Department
of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary Education,
University of Athens, Navarinou 13A, 10680 Athens, Greece. Email:
stavroula_poly@yahoo.com
Thomas K. Babalis is a Lecturer in the Department of Educational
Sciences, Faculty of Primary Education, University of Athens. His
research interests include psychosociology of the school classroom,
school pedagogy, single parent families and school. Address: Depart-
ment of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary
Education, University of Athens, Navarinou 13A, 10680 Athens,
Greece. Email: tbabalis@primedu.uoa.gr
Galanaki et al.: Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction
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... Về nguyên nhân, tổng hợp các theo nghiên cứu trước đây cho thấy cảm xúc tiêu cực của sinh viên bắt nguồn từ: Sự chưa ổn định về tâm lý, chất lượng cơ sở vật chất của cơ sở đào tạo, chất lượng đội ngũ giảng viên, chương trình đào tạo, áp lực thành tích học tập từ bản thân/gia đình/nhà trường. Ở mức độ nặng, cảm xúc tiêu cực thường gây ra các phản ứng cực đoan như: lo lắng [7]; cô đơn [8]; tuyệt vọng [9]; trầm cảm [10]; thậm chí có thể dẫn đến ý định tự tử [11]. ...
... Đơn cử, sinh viên sẽ sử dụng chiến lược tập trung vào vấn đề (ví dụ: Than phiền) khi xác định người chịu trách nhiệm là các bên thứ ba (giảng viên, chuyên viên giải quyết các thủ tục hành chính) [7]. Trái ngược với cách đối phó tập trung vào vấn đề, chiến lược đối phó tập trung vào tình cảm (như chia sẻ trải nghiệm buồn) thường đổ lỗi cho chính bản thân mình, và do đó sinh viên sẽ chia sẻ trải nghiệm thất vọng này với gia đình, bạn bè hay người quen biết để xua tan cảm giác bực mình hay chán nản [8]. Cuối cùng, đối với cách đối phó tập trung vào việc né tránh, tức là sinh viên có thể lựa chọn im lặng rút lui và hình thành ý định chuyển sang một cơ sở học tập khác do cho rằng việc cố gắng giải quyết tình huống sẽ chỉ làm họ tốn kém thời gian và nỗ lực [4]. ...
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Negative emotions are the result of unpleasant experiences when using a product or service. In education, the low-level of negative emotions are "early warning signals" about student confidence in a diminished university. At a higher level, negative emotions can lead to a variety of coping behaviors such as complaints, sharing a negative word of mount, and switching intention. The study employed the Partial Least Square - Structural Equation Modeling to analyze the relationship between negative emotions and switching decisions in a sample of 374 students who are studying at the University of Labour and Social Affairs, Ho Chi Minh campus (ULSA2). The empirical revealed that there is a positive impact of anger, frustration on the complaint, and negative word of mount. Result of the research are references to university managers in policy planning.
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Background Loneliness in children has been a major topic of interest in both clinical and developmental psychology. Further studies to investigate predictors of loneliness are needed for educational practices. Methods A total of 1088 late elementary school-aged children (48.81% boys, Mage = 10.35) participated in a 1-year longitudinal survey. We used hierarchical linear modeling and mover-stayer latent transition analysis. Discussion Findings from the variable- and person- centered approaches suggested that less positive peer relations, higher victimization, and higher relational aggression are predictors of higher future loneliness. Meanwhile, both approaches did not reach an agreement concerning predictors to reduce loneliness. This result highlighted a utility of a combined approach and sounded an alarm for overreliance on the variable-centered approach dominating child research. Conclusion To protect young children from loneliness, it will be more beneficial to prevent the development of loneliness rather than to apply interventions to reduce loneliness once established. Preventive practices need to be implemented to protect children from loneliness.
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Η ψυχική ανθεκτικότητα (ΨΑ) ορίζεται ως διαδικασία θετικής προσαρμογής του ατόμου στις αντιξοότητες. Παράγοντα κινδύνου για την ΨΑ των μαθητών ενδέχεται να αποτελέσουν οι μαθησιακές δυσκολίες, διότι οι εν λόγω μαθητές μπορεί να βιώνουν μοναξιά και κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια ως αποτέλεσμα της απόρριψης/περιθωριοποίησης από τους συμμαθητές τους. Σκοπός της εργασίας ήταν η διερεύνηση της ΨΑ των εφήβων μαθητών με και χωρίς μαθησιακές δυσκολίες (ΜΔ) και η σχέση της με το αίσθημα της μοναξιάς και κοινωνικής δυσαρέσκειας και με τις κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις με τους συμμαθητές τους. Επιμέρους στόχοι ήταν να εξεταστούν η μοναξιά, η κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια και οι κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις ως προγνωστικοί παράγοντες της ΨΑ και η επίδραση των κοινωνικοδημογραφικών χαρακτηριστικών (φύλο, σχολική επίδοση, θέση απασχόλησης των γονέων) σε σχέση με τις υπό εξέταση μεταβλητές. Τα εργαλεία συλλογής δεδομένων ήταν η «Κλίμακα Ψυχικής Ανθεκτικότητας», η «Κλίμακα Μοναξιάς και Κοινωνικής Δυσαρέσκειας» και η «Κλίμακα των Θετικών Αλληλεπιδράσεων». Το δείγμα περιελάμβανε 540 μαθητές τυπικής ανάπτυξης και 180 με ΜΔ από τον νομό Αττικής. Τα αποτελέσματα έδειξαν ότι οι μαθητές με ΜΔ ήταν λιγότερο ψυχικά ανθεκτικοί και απολάμβαναν λιγότερες κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις, ενώ βίωναν περισσότερη μοναξιά και κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια από τους τυπικά αναπτυσσόμενους συμμαθητές τους. Επίσης, οι ψυχικά ανθεκτικοί μαθητές παρουσίασαν υψηλότερη σχολική επίδοση, περισσότερες κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις και βίωναν λιγότερη μοναξιά και κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια. Ακόμη, το φύλο και η θέση απασχόλησης των μητέρων επηρέασαν τις κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις με τους συμμαθητές, ενώ η θέση απασχόλησης των πατέρων τη μοναξιά των μαθητών. Τέλος, οι θετικές αλληλεπιδράσεις με τους συμμαθητές αποτελούν προγνωστικό παράγοντα της ΨΑ των μαθητών με και χωρίς ΜΔ, ενώ η κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια αποτελεί προγνωστικό παράγοντα μόνο για τους μαθητές τυπικής ανάπτυξης. Τα αποτελέσματα της έρευνας συζητήθηκαν σε σχέση με την υλοποίηση των αναγκαίων προγραμμάτων συμβουλευτικής και άλλων υποστηρικτικών δομών για την προαγωγή της ΨΑ των εφήβων. Λέξεις- κλειδιά: ψυχική ανθεκτικότητα, μαθησιακές δυσκολίες, μοναξιά & κοινωνική δυσαρέσκεια, κοινωνικές αλληλεπιδράσεις, εφηβεία
... Loneliness is a universal human experience with its emotional, cognitive, motivational and behavioral dimensions (Galanaki, Polychronopoulou, & Babalis, 2008). Nevertheless, loneliness seen in childhood is evaluated as loneliness, anxiety or discontent due to lack of social contact rather than emotional loneliness (Qualter et. ...
Chapter
The social experience environment of children after family is peers. Peer relationships are vital in the healthy development of an individual from childhood through adolescence. From the moment children begin to interact with their peers, they display a wide variety of behaviors. There is continuity in the behaviors exhibited with peers and over time these behaviors turn into permanent behaviors. They are essential clues for educators and for those that working with children. These behaviors can differ from child to child, from interaction to interaction, and from context to context. Satisfaction with peer interaction is a positive factor in shaping children’s social-emotional behaviors, while dissatisfaction arising from quantitative or qualitative deficiencies in peers’ social interaction can be a negative factor. It is shown in multiple studies that peer interaction problems increase social dissatisfaction, and social dissatisfaction increases social loneliness in early childhood. Understanding peer relationships in early childhood is the key to understand the complexity of human relationships and their impact on children’s development. For this reason, in this study, the effects of peer relationships on children in early childhood are taken into the subject with the emphasis on social loneliness
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Bu araştırmanın amacı çocuklarda okul temelli yalnızlık ve yaşam doyumu arasında algılanan stresin aracı rolünün incelenmesidir. Bu doğrultuda Kocaeli ili’nde yaşları 9-11 arasında değişen 199’u (%50,5) kız, 193’ü (%49) erkek toplam 394 4.sınıf öğrencisi katılmıştır. Veriler Çocuklarda Okul Temelli Yalnızlık Ölçeği, Çocuklar İçin Yaşam Doyumu Ölçeği, Algılanan Stres Ölçeği ve Kişisel Bilgi Formu kullanılarak elde edilmiştir. Verilerin analizinde Pearson analizi, Bağımsız Gruplar T testi,Aracı değişken analizleri ve Bootstrap Analizi kullanılmıştır. Elde edilen bulgulara göre yaşam doyumu ile algılanan stres arasında negatif yönde ; okul temelli yalnızlık ile yaşam doyumu puanları arasında negatif yönde ve algılanan stres ile okul temelli yalnızlık arasında pozitif yönde manidar bir ilişki bulunmuştur .Araştırma sonuçlarına göre okul temelli yalnızlık ile yaşam doyumu arasında algılan stresin kısmi aracılık rolünün istatistiksel olarak anlamlı olduğu görülmektedir. Bundan sonra yapılacak araştırmalarda farklı değişkenler, farklı yaş gruplarında ele alınabilir. Öğrencilerin okul temelli yalnızlık ve olası stres kaynakları araştırılarak psikoeğitim programları geliştirilebilir.
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This study aimed to understand and interpret the impact of negative emotions on student education. The study was administered through an online questionnaire prepared after deliberation with professors and was directed towards students of age 18 and above. The students were of different age groups, natives, and fields of study. All the students responded with their consent and gave anonymous data. There was a total of one hundred and thirty responses. The results were tabulated and indexed to a percentage score.
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We examined the relation of children's loneliness and social dissatisfaction in school to self-efficacy for peer interaction in the same context. Two hundred thirty-eight fourth- and sixth-grade Greek children completed Asher, Hymel, and Renshaw's (1984) Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Questionnaire-Greek version, and Wheeler and Ladd's (1982) Children's Self-Efficacy for Peer Interaction Scale-Greek version. The instruments showed adequate reliability and validity. Results indicated a modest but significant negative correlation between the variables studied. The correlation was stronger for social dissatisfaction than for loneliness; also, loneliness and social dissatisfaction were higher for the nonconflict than for the conflict peer interactions, and this finding was consistent across grade and sex. Sixth graders had marginally significantly higher loneliness scores than fourth graders, and girls had marginally significantly higher loneliness scores than boys. School achievement was negatively related to social dissatisfaction. Results are discussed in terms of the existing literature on children's loneliness and self-efficacy.
Chapter
Loneliness is experienced by children, adolescents and adults across varied cultures. In the early 1960s and 1970s, some authorities in the field of psychology did not believe that children experienced loneliness. This book ushers in a new wave of theory and research examining the phenomena of loneliness during childhood and adolescence. The book represents a thorough examination of the topic: the chapters range from the role of attachment in children's loneliness, differences between being alone and loneliness, the significance of divided self and identity achievement in adolescents' loneliness, and the link between loneliness and maladjustment during adolescence. This volume should stimulate research into loneliness during childhood and adolescence for many years to come.
Chapter
Loneliness is experienced by children, adolescents and adults across varied cultures. In the early 1960s and 1970s, some authorities in the field of psychology did not believe that children experienced loneliness. This book ushers in a new wave of theory and research examining the phenomena of loneliness during childhood and adolescence. The book represents a thorough examination of the topic: the chapters range from the role of attachment in children's loneliness, differences between being alone and loneliness, the significance of divided self and identity achievement in adolescents' loneliness, and the link between loneliness and maladjustment during adolescence. This volume should stimulate research into loneliness during childhood and adolescence for many years to come.
Chapter
Loneliness is experienced by children, adolescents and adults across varied cultures. In the early 1960s and 1970s, some authorities in the field of psychology did not believe that children experienced loneliness. This book ushers in a new wave of theory and research examining the phenomena of loneliness during childhood and adolescence. The book represents a thorough examination of the topic: the chapters range from the role of attachment in children's loneliness, differences between being alone and loneliness, the significance of divided self and identity achievement in adolescents' loneliness, and the link between loneliness and maladjustment during adolescence. This volume should stimulate research into loneliness during childhood and adolescence for many years to come.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the dimensions that characterize children's individual competence in the school context. Fifty eight elementary school teachers were first asked to freely describe a boy and a girl whom they considered to be competent and well adjusted, and second to give the profile of such a child using the California Child Q-set (CCQ). Third, they were asked to nominate children in their classroom who would best fit their criteria of competence and children who least fit these criteria, and to fill out Achenbach's Teacher's Report Form (TRF) for 108 of these children. These children's sociometric status was also assessed. Teachers' CCQ profile revealed that they consider those behaviours most positively defining of the competent child that reflect the extent to which the child can become actively involved in the work of the classroom, and most negatively defining those behaviours that are indicative of emotional and behavioural problems. The most frequently used categories in the teachers' free descriptions were extraversion, agreeableness, school performance, attitudes and conscientiousness. The comparison with the TRF of the two groups of children indicated that the competent group had significantly higher scores on academic performance, and lower scores on the attention and social problems syndromes. Competent children had a significantly higher sociometric status. Results are discussed in light of a definition of competence as a pattern of effective performance in the environment, evaluated from the perspective of development in ecological and cultural context.
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