Loneliness, reputational orientations and positive mental well-being during adolescence

A. Carroll, Stephen Houghton, A. Bourgeois, J. Hattie, C. Tan, Aysegul Ozsoy

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Abstract

Adolescence is the peak period for social development,
identity formation and heightened vulnerability for
loneliness. This study examined multidimensional
loneliness, reputational orientations, and positive mental
well-being among 546 Western Australian adolescents aged
12 to 16 years. Findings revealed main effects of age and
gender for loneliness, with gender effects for positive
mental well-being and reputational orientations. A
regression analysis confirmed these gender effects and
revealed that positive mental well-being had the highest
individual contribution to the variances in reputational
orientation scores. Findings suggest the need to assist
adolescents to learn to use their time positively to enhance
positive mental well-being. This might be achieved through
the development of social identities and the enhancement of
social relationships, which in turn may promote an
integrated and coherent sense of self in adolescents and in
doing so alleviate different forms of loneliness. Schools are
ideally placed to promote healthy relationships and positive
well-being, particularly through the development of schoolbased
loneliness programmes with a focus on peer
reputations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
JournalInternational Journal of Child and Adolescent Health
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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