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The role of child abuse and gender on loneliness among university students

Başoğlu, Emre
The main aim of the present study was to examine how well child abuse and gender could predict the loneliness of university students. There were 549 university students (189 male and 360 female) from Atatürk University who voluntarily participated in the research. The participants were selected through convenience sampling method. UCLA Loneliness Scale and The Scale of Child Abuse in the Family and demographic information form were utilized in paper-pencil format to the participants. A multiple linear regression was applied to test the research question. The results suggested that there was a significant relationship between loneliness, child abuse, and gender. Besides, a statistically significant difference among male and female participants was found for loneliness after an independent samples t-test analysis. In addition, male students (M = 38.74), comparing to the female students (M = 35.38), were found to be exposed to loneliness more (t547 = -3.54, p < .001). Also, results indicated a statistically significant difference between males (M = 63.80) and females (M = 56.39) for child abuse (t547 = -5.59, p < .001). Moreover, regression analysis pointed out the predictive relationship between loneliness, child abuse, and gender. A statistically significant regression equation was found that explained 28 % of the variance F (2,546) = 109.464, p< .001 with an R2 of .286. The results suggested that early exposure to abuse predicted loneliness. The prediction was stronger for abused male students.