Loneliness and depressive symptoms among Australian female boarding school students

Michelle Rudrum, Stephen Houghton, Ken Glasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Loneliness in adolescence is a risk factor for the development and maintenance of a myriad of mental health conditions, especially among females. Adolescent females in boarding schools spend prolonged periods away from family and may therefore be more prone to experiencing loneliness and depression. Research into this significant issue is limited, however. The present study compared the levels of loneliness and depressive symptoms of 403, 13–17 year old adolescent females from a range of boarding and non-boarding secondary schools. Confirmatory Factor Analyses established the fit of the loneliness and depressive symptom measures. Multivariate Analysis of Variance revealed boarding school students scored significantly higher than non- boarding school students on levels of depressive symptoms and having a positive attitude to being alone. These differences remained significant when age was covaried. There were no differences in quality of friendships, feelings of isolation, and having a negative attitude to being alone. The implications of these findings for boarding schools are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-515
Number of pages20
JournalSchool Psychology International
Volume43
Issue number5
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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