Loneliness is a serious issue that can lead to many complicated mental issues. A major social health issue, loneliness is found to be highest among people in their 20s and lowest in the 60s.
A group of researchers of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has come up with the new revelation that loneliness affects the younger generation more. The researchers came to the conclusion after analysis the results of a web based survey held among 2,843 people. The participants in the United States were aged 20 to 69.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry published the results online last week. Though they found that loneliness was lowest in the 60s, it almost peaked during the 40s also.
Senior author Dilip V Jeste said that they came across many loneliness predictors across lifespan. He is senior associate dean for Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the San Diego School of Medicine, UC.
The survey found lower levels of empathy and compassion, not having a spouse/partner, smaller social networks and sleep disturbances as leading to loneliness across all age groups. The study also noted a lower level of decisiveness that led to loneliness in the people who were 50 years old.
The researchers pointed out that compassion reduces the level of loneliness in every at all ages. They said that this quality enables people to perceive and interpret others’ emotions along with helpful behavior toward others. This could increase their social self-efficacy and social networks, they added.
The people in their 20s were stressed as they were pressurised to trying to have a career and also a life partner. Another author Tanya Nguyen stated that the people in 20s were also concerned about the social media. They were worried about how many likes and followers they have in social media platforms.
Nguyen is assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Nguyen pointed out that a person who gets lower likes and appreciation in the social media is quite affected.
In the 40s, the people are much concerned about health issues and physical challenges. The people might lose their loved ones and children might be living away and becoming independent. All these cold have negative impact in the 40s.
The researchers stressed that loneliness increases with physical distancing, which was quite evident at the time of Covid 19. They opined that strategies should be evolved for reducing these impacts.