Loneliness in middle childhood: Concurrent and longitudinal predictors
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The role of behavioral, sociometric, and attributional indices of social functioning in the development of peer-related loneliness was investigated in a short-term longitudinal study. Data were collected across a 1-year time span on 3 occasions from 128 third- through sixth-graders. Results were consistent with an additive model of loneliness. Withdrawn social behavior, lower peer acceptance, few or no friendships, and an internal-stable attributional style predicted higher levels of concurrent and future loneliness. Children who declined in peer acceptance, lost friends, and gained in internal-stable attributions showed gains in loneliness. Subgroup analyses indicated that children with no friends reported more loneliness than children with 1 or more friends; low-status friendless children reported more loneliness than low-status children with one or more friends; and low-status friendless children reported more loneliness than average- and high-status friendless children. Taken together, the findings suggest that loneliness in middle childhood is a stable phenomenon located in a complex web of interrelated aspects of social functioning.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Education|
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