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The role of peers and families in predicting the loneliness level of adolescents

The authors investigated the relative contribution of peer relations, family structure, and demographic variables in predicting loneliness in adolescents. Ninth-grade high school students (N = 756) from 8 different schools representing various socioeconomic status in Ankara, Turkey, completed the UCLA Loneliness Scale (D. Russell, L. A. Peplau, & M. L. Ferguson, 1978), the Family Structure Assessing Instrument (A. Gulerce, 1996), and an author-constructed questionnaire involving demographic information and variables on peer relations. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that all three sets of variables accounted for 41% of the variance in loneliness scores. Additionally, peer relations contributed 34% of the variance, family structure 14%, and demographic variables 3%. Within the limits of the study, peer relations appear to be the best predictors of adolescent loneliness.