How to Scientifically Measure Loneliness

WebInvestigator.KK.org - by F. Kaskais

Chronic loneliness is linked to suicide, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Isn’t it about time you figured out whether your kid is lonely?

By Joshua A. Krisch

Loneliness is tricky to define, but impossible to miss. You know when you’re lonely and, if you’re feeling lonely right now, there’s some poetry to the fact that you’re not alone. Scientists estimate that 60 million Americans routinely feel lonely (20 percent of the U.S. population). Baseline loneliness feels rotten, but it’s also the sort of thing that worries us when our friends are going through divorces or having trouble conceiving. It keeps us up at night, wondering whether our only children are lonely without siblings.

Fortunately, social scientists have developed ways to measure loneliness. One such tool is the UCLA Loneliness Scale, and its most simple form consists of a ten-question assessment that you can complete on your own or administer to…

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