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Adolescent loneliness and dimensions of self concept Harward, Kathy Nancy


The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of loneliness and identify factors that were correlated with the degree of loneliness that an adolescent experiences. Areas investigated were the extent of loneliness prevalent in the sample, and the relationships between loneliness and facets of self concept, friendship and background information. This survey study involved 166 adolescents. Subjects were grade 10 students attending secondary schools in Surrey School District, Surrey, British Columbia. The survey was conducted in class units during regularly scheduled school hours. The instruments employed in this study were the Revised U.C.L.A. Loneliness Scale measuring the degree of loneliness experienced; a modified version of the Self Description Questionaire III measuring 12 facets of self concept; a sociogram questionnaire examining friendships in the surveyed class; and a subject information sheet gathering data on age, gender, language, number of parents, and parents' occupational prestige. The analysis of data included descriptive statistics of each variable, and inferential statistics of independent variables to the dependent variable loneliness. Following this was a factor analysis of the preliminary self concept variables resulting in four factor socres. Finally four regression models of the loneliness scores were run. Each model was loaded with different combinations of predictor variables of self concept and background information. There were five key findings of this study. One, seventeen percent of the sample reported feeling "sometimes" to "often" lonely. Two, negative social self concept was a significant predictor of loneliness, while academic self concept was not. Three, male and female subjects scored virtually the same on loneliness, however when self concept scores were controlled, males were lonelier than females given a similar family structure. Four, subjects living in single parent households were significantly lonelier than their peers living in two parent households. Five, though not statistically significant, there was a strong trend for subjects for whom English was a second language to report substantially greater loneliness than their peers for whom English was a first language.

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