Open Science Research Excellence
%0 Journal Article
%A Vanda Lucia Zammuner
%D 2008 
%J  International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering
%B World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
%I International Science Index 16, 2008
%T Italians- Social and Emotional Loneliness: The Results of Five Studies
%V 16
%X Subjective loneliness describes people who feel a
disagreeable or unacceptable lack of meaningful social relationships,
both at the quantitative and qualitative level. The studies to be
presented tested an Italian 18-items self-report loneliness measure,
that included items adapted from scales previously developed,
namely a short version of the UCLA (Russell, Peplau and Cutrona,
1980), and the 11-items Loneliness scale by De Jong-Gierveld &
Kamphuis (JGLS; 1985). The studies aimed at testing the developed
scale and at verifying whether loneliness is better conceptualized as a
unidimensional (so-called 'general loneliness') or a bidimensional
construct, namely comprising the distinct facets of social and
emotional loneliness. The loneliness questionnaire included 2 singleitem
criterion measures of sad mood, and social contact, and asked
participants to supply information on a number of socio-demographic
variables. Factorial analyses of responses obtained in two
preliminary studies, with 59 and 143 Italian participants respectively,
showed good factor loadings and subscale reliability and confirmed
that perceived loneliness has clearly two components, a social and an
emotional one, the latter measured by two subscales, a 7-item
'general' loneliness subscale derived from UCLA, and a 6–item
'emotional' scale included in the JGLS. Results further showed that
type and amount of loneliness are related, negatively, to frequency of
social contacts, and, positively, to sad mood. In a third study data
were obtained from a nation-wide sample of 9.097 Italian subjects,
12 to about 70 year-olds, who filled the test on-line, on the Italian
web site of a large-audience magazine, Focus. The results again
confirmed the reliability of the component subscales, namely social,
emotional, and 'general' loneliness, and showed that they were
highly correlated with each other, especially the latter two.
Loneliness scores were significantly predicted by sex, age, education
level, sad mood and social contact, and, less so, by other variables –
e.g., geographical area and profession. The scale validity was
confirmed by the results of a fourth study, with elderly men and
women (N 105) living at home or in residential care units. The three
subscales were significantly related, among others, to depression, and
to various measures of the extension of, and satisfaction with, social
contacts with relatives and friends. Finally, a fifth study with 315
career-starters showed that social and emotional loneliness correlate
with life satisfaction, and with measures of emotional intelligence.
Altogether the results showed a good validity and reliability in the
tested samples of the entire scale, and of its components.
%P 416 - 428