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ERIC Number: EJ816347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0165-0254
Are Children Able to Distinguish among the Concepts of Aloneness, Loneliness, and Solitude?
Galanaki, Evangelia
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v28 n5 p435-443 2004
School-age children's ability to distinguish among the concepts of aloneness, loneliness, and solitude was the focus of this study. This ability has been largely neglected by researchers. Also, the relation of this ability with self-reported loneliness was examined. Individual interviews were conducted with 180 second, fourth, and sixth graders from Athens, Greece. Their responses were qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. Results showed that school-age children were able to perceive the differences between aloneness and loneliness, although they frequently associated being alone with feeling lonely. Nearly half of them perceived the motivational dimension, which distinguishes voluntary from involuntary aloneness. The ability to recognise the existence of beneficial aloneness, that is, solitude, was extremely limited among second graders, but increased dramatically up to the beginning of adolescence. About two thirds of the total sample acknowledged the human desire to be alone. Girls were significantly more able than boys to perceive the differences between aloneness and loneliness, the motivational dimension, and the desire to be alone. More than two-thirds of the total sample had experienced loneliness, but this experience appeared to be unrelated to their understanding of the various aloneness concepts. Age and gender differences, as well as children's various justifications of their responses, are discussed in the framework of the existing theoretical and research literature on children's aloneness, loneliness, and solitude. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 4; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece