From: The New York Times

Are Teenagers Getting Less Lonely?

The New York Times:

At a time when many say loneliness is increasing in America, a new study offers what seems like hopeful news: Teenagers, at least, may be less lonely than they used to be. But some think the findings may reflect a change in how teenagers see their social worlds — one that may not be particularly positive.

For research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, D. Matthew T. Clark, Natalie J. Loxton and Stephanie J. Tobin looked at a survey given to high school students from 1991 to 2012. The survey asked them how much they agreed with statements like “A lot of the times I feel lonely” and “I usually have a few friends around I can get together with.”

The researchers found that teenagers actually got less lonely, at least as measured by their self-reports, between 1991 and 2012. They write:

“This decline contrasts with the idea that society is becoming increasingly lonely, an idea present in both popular media and research. The contrast may be due to negativity bias, a bias that causes negative events to appear more negative the closer events are to the present. People may imagine examples of isolation in the present easily but forget examples from the past.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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