Associations of loneliness and social isolation with physical and mental health among adolescents and young adults

J. Christiansen*, P. Qualter, K. Friis, S. S. Pedersen, R. Lund, C. M. Andersen, M. Bekker-Jeppesen, M. Lasgaard

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Abstrakt

Aims: The present study investigates whether loneliness and social isolation are associated with poor physical and mental health among adolescents and young adults, and whether age and gender play a role in the associations of loneliness and social isolation with mental and physical health. Methods: This study used cross-sectional self-report data from the 2017 Danish Health and Morbidity Surveys titled ‘How are you?’ (N = 19,890, M = 22.6 years). Results: Logistic regression analyses showed that loneliness and social isolation were independently associated with poor physical and mental health. Loneliness was associated with increased odds of asthma, migraine, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, slipped disc/back pain, tinnitus, long-term mental illness, depressive symptomatology, anxiety symptomatology and alcohol problems. Social isolation was associated with decreased odds of having migraine, osteoarthritis and alcohol problems, and an increased risk of long-term mental illness and depressive symptomatology. Small age and gender differences were detected. Conclusions: In adolescents and young adults, loneliness and social isolation were associated with poor mental health and loneliness with poor physical health. These findings highlight the need for targeted prevention and intervention initiatives to alleviate loneliness and social isolation.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPerspectives in Public Health
Vol/bind141
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)226-236
ISSN1757-9139
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Mary Foundation and Aase and Ejner Danielsen Foundation (grant number: 10-001821). The North Denmark Region Health Survey was conducted and funded by the North Denmark Region. The Danish Capital Region Health Survey was conducted and funded by the Capital Region. The Central Denmark Region Health Survey was conducted and funded by the Central Denmark Region. The Region Zealand Health Survey was conducted and funded by the Region Zealand.

Publisher Copyright:
© Royal Society for Public Health 2021.

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