Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Loneliness and Its Associated Factors Nine Months After the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-National Study

Version 1 : Received: 16 February 2021 / Approved: 18 February 2021 / Online: 18 February 2021 (11:02:48 CET)

How to cite: Bonsaksen, T.; Schoultz, M.; Thygesen, H.; Ruffolo, M.; Price, D.; Leung, J.; Geirdal, A.Ø. Loneliness and Its Associated Factors Nine Months After the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-National Study. Preprints 2021, 2021020411 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0411.v1). Bonsaksen, T.; Schoultz, M.; Thygesen, H.; Ruffolo, M.; Price, D.; Leung, J.; Geirdal, A.Ø. Loneliness and Its Associated Factors Nine Months After the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-National Study. Preprints 2021, 2021020411 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0411.v1).

Abstract

COVID-19 has been a global healthcare concern impacting multiple aspects of individual and community wellness. As one moves forward with different methods to reduce the infection and mortality rates, it is critical to continue to study the impact that national and local ‘social distancing’ policies have on the daily lives of individuals. The aim of this study was to examine loneliness in relation to risk assessment, measures taken against risks, concerns, and social media use, while adjusting for sociodemographic variables. The cross-sectional study collected data from 3469 individuals from USA, UK, Norway, and Australia. Loneliness was measured with the de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Multiple linear regression was used in the analysis of associations between variables. The results showed that concerns about finances were more strongly associated with social loneliness, while concerns about the future was more strongly associated with emotional loneliness. Longer daily time spent on social media was associated with higher emotional loneliness. In conclusion, pandemic-related concerns seem to affect their perceptions of loneliness. While social media can be used productively to maintain relationships, and thereby prevent loneliness, excessive use may be counterproductive.

Subject Areas

concerns; coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; social distancing; social media

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