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    Conceptualizing Loneliness in Health Research: Philosophical and Psychological Ways Forward

    McHugh Power, Joanna and Dolezal, Luna and Kee, Frank and Lawlor, Brian A. (2018) Conceptualizing Loneliness in Health Research: Philosophical and Psychological Ways Forward. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 38 (4). pp. 219-234. ISSN 1068-8471

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    Increasing attention is being paid to loneliness, and to its impact on the health of older people, across numerous disciplines including psychology, public health, social policy, and psychiatry. In tandem, there has been increasing interest in the impact of social factors on health. However, definitions of loneliness are disparate, and a consensus on its meaning is arguably lacking. Often, loneliness is conflated with similar but distinct concepts such as social isolation, absence of social support, or a lack of social connectedness. We submit that the concept of loneliness requires clarification, especially in the extant health literature. We attempt to synthesize theories of loneliness provide a framework for future interventions. We further argue that the necessary clarification can be achieved using both empirical and nonempirical methodologies, under a transdisciplinary effort. We describe the potential for psychology, public health, and philosophy to come together to achieve this conceptual clarity around loneliness and to develop effective interventions on this problematic experience as a result.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: loneliness; older adults; public health; transdisciplinarity; existential phenomenology;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 13179
    Identification Number: 219
    Depositing User: Joanna McHugh Power
    Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2020 20:08
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
    Publisher: American Psychological Association
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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