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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1973. Department of Human Development and the Family.


Copyright 1973, the author. Used by permission.


This research project was designed to investigate loneliness and adolescents who were in either the freshman or senior class at selected public high schools. The sample was selected from four towns, 1,500 to 2,500 in population, within an approximate 5-mile radius of Lincoln, Nebraska. The schools selected were in four towns of the eight previously selected for loneliness research with the elderly population (H. Woodward, 1971): David City, Geneva, Tecumseh, and Wilber. All the Questionnaires were administered during the month of April, 1973. Data collection for this research project was implemented by usage of a three-part questionnaire.

Data analysis revealed the following significant findings with respect to both classes:

(1) There was a significant difference in loneliness scores among male and female students. Girls received significantly higher loneliness scores than did boys. Senior females were found to have the highest mean loneliness scores of the four subgroups.

(2) There was a significant relationship between the mean loneliness scores and the mean self-esteem scores. It was found that as mean loneliness scores increased, the mean self-esteem score decreased.

Variables found significant only for the freshman class were:

(1) Ease in making friends.

(2) Availability of transportation.

In addition to the variables of sex and self-esteem, the only other factor found to be significant for the senior class was participation in extracurricular activities. Seniors who were involved in three to five activities had significantly higher mean loneliness scores than did those who were involved in only one activity.

High school freshmen were found to have relatively high mean loneliness scores when compared to the housewife, divorced, never-married, or elderly populations studied. The high school seniors were found to be more lonely than the college freshman sample studied by Seevers (1972).

Advisor: John C. Woodward.