A study finds that Young Americans are Lonely
The young American population is very lonely, a study finds. Douglas Nemecek, M.D., the chief medical officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna, told CBS News, “Loneliness is defined as a feeling of being alone or lacking social connectedness.”
Only about 50% of Americans seem to have meaningful social interactions on a daily basis, like meeting and conversing with a friend or spending time with family members. A study at Cigna found that 46% American adults report about feeling lonely sometimes or always and 47% report about feeling left out.
The study was conducted with 20,000 American ages 18 and older. Loneliness was measured using the UCLA Loneliness Scale which entailed a 20-item questionnaire to assess subjective feelings of loneliness and social isolation. The loneliness score scale ranged between 20 and 80.
The reasons for loneliness were traced to diabetes, heart disease, and depression. It can harm a person and reduce the quality of life or even lead to early death in some cases.
Interestingly, the study showed that younger Americans were more lonely than the older generation. Youngsters between ages 18 to 22 were found to be the loneliest generation, with a “loneliness score” of 48.3 and the average was 44. People from ages 23 to 37 were close behind with a score of 45.3, followed by people from ages 38 to 51 with a loneliness score of 45.1. The oldest generation with ages 72 or over, scored 38.6 and were ranked as the least lonely.
Researchers also found out that social media didn’t really play a part in determining a person’s loneliness as it all depended on building in-depth and meaningful relationships rather than having many friends who were more like strangers.
It was also found that Americans living by themselves were more lonely than the ones who lived with others.
Nemecek said, “All of us can make an effort to meet with somebody, have a cup of coffee and have a meaningful in-person conversation,” as he felt that would be a great first step to combat loneliness.
Credit Source – CBS Chicago