Loneliness is one of the leading causes of depression and isn't just restricted to a single demographic. Regardless of age, and gender, loneliness could affect anyone. In fact contrary to popular belief that it is more synonymous with the elderly, a recent study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences as compiled by Indian Express, suggests otherwise.
According to the study 'Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness', recent years have seen loneliness negatively impacting people’s mental health and the economy.
The study contained information from nearly 55,000 people aged between 16 and 99 from 237 countries, islands and union territories. According to Professor Manuela Barreto of the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, and first author of the study, “Contrary to what people may expect, loneliness is not a predicament unique to older people. In fact, younger people report greater feelings of loneliness."
Berreto added that the sensation of loneliness is linked to one's set of expectations."Since loneliness stems from the sense that one’s social connections are not as good as desired, this might be due to the different expectations younger and older people hold. The age pattern we discovered seems to hold across many countries and cultures.”
Other interesting findings of the study showed that men reported more loneliness than women and people living in individualistic societies as opposed to those in collective ones, were more susceptible.
The research study comprised of various questions around companionship, isolation, understanding self-worth, feelings and the participants answered from the scale of one to five.
“Individualistic cultures place a high value on self-reliance and are associated with loose social networks, primarily dominated by chosen relationships; collectivist cultures encourage interdependence and are patterned by tighter social networks, dominated by family and other ingroup members."
"While both types of culture involve risks to sociality, those tend to be linked to high social needs in collectivist societies and to low social contact in individualistic ones, both of which affect the match between ideal and actual relationships,” read the study."
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