Undergraduate College Students And Perceived Loneliness

1416 words - 6 pages

Undergraduate College Students and Perceived LonelinessUndergraduate College Students and Perceived LonelinessCollege life can be filled with excitement and new experiences, as well as solicitude. Students have to withstand many obstacles ranging from academic achievement and developing social relationships to preparation for careers and becoming self-sufficient adults. College pressures can become overwhelming for students and lead to emotional and mental health problems. Away from family and friends, possibly for the first time, students may feel detached and lonely in an unfamiliar environment. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between undergraduate college students' living situation and perceived loneliness. College students' living situation is defined as living in campus-sponsored housing or in off-campus housing. Loneliness will be assessed using the UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, 1996).Review of LiteratureMultiple factors impact college students and their willingness to share emotions and intimate details about their lives with family and friends. These factors compound and exacerbate the feelings of isolation and loneliness that are commonly experienced during the undergraduate college years. Factors that may impede the individual's comfort with sharing his or her most intimate details may include failure to live up to expectations, lack of intimate relationships, history of alienation from one's peer group, communication difficulties such as stuttering and lisping, and introversion. These impediments to disclosure are barriers that increase the likelihood that individuals will experience loneliness. Wei, Russell, and Zakalik (2005) found that, when college students are comfortable disclosing their emotions and distress to others, an opportunity to decrease feelings of loneliness and subsequent depression becomes possible. Additionally, the relationships that college students cultivate with their parents are another significant indicator of reported loneliness. Many college students remain close to their families and friends by speaking with them regularly via telephone or the Internet. Furthermore, they visit during holidays and are generally kept abreast of the events occurring at home while they are away at college. These individuals are more likely than not to report that they are not lonely at college. Gentzler, Oberhauser, Westerman and Nadorff (2011) found that college students who reported more supportive, satisfying, and emotionally intimate parental relationships talked to their parents on the phone more often. While using technology to communicate with family members is prevalent, it is clear that the most meaningful communication methods involve either face-to-face interactions or, at least, discussions that involve using the voice....

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