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Researchers Examine Adolescent Loneliness in Latin America and the Caribbean

Sydney Sauter, Loan Kim, and Naomie Louie at American Public Health Association ConferenceSeaver College undergraduate student Sydney Sauter and associate professor of nutrition Loan Kim published their study “Loneliness and friendlessness among adolescents in 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean” in Child and Adolescent Mental Health with public health colleague Kathryn Jacobsen from George Mason University in Virginia.

Sauter and her mentors Kim and Jacobsen analyzed data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey to increase understanding of the prevalence of loneliness in adolescents. Adolescent loneliness’s effect on overall health and its link to adverse health conditions in adulthood have posed critical public health issues, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. After a year of analyzing responses from over 76,000 students, they found that 1 in 6 students in Latin America and the Caribbean reported being lonely and/or having no close friends. Their study recommends that loneliness be addressed through community health plans to reduce the burden of social isolation on public health.

To read their work, visit the Child and Adolescent Mental Health digital edition.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes high-quality research for mental health academics and clinicians.