Loneliness

Scale: Loneliness Questionnaire — Short Version (LQ-Short)

What it measures:

  • A youth’s level of loneliness.

Intended age range: 8- to 18-year-olds.

Brief description: This measure consists of 9 items. Sample items include: “I have nobody to talk to” and “I’m lonely.” Each item is rated on a 5-point scale: Not true at all, Hardly ever true, True sometimes, True most of the time, or Always true. The LQ-Short was modified from the original Loneliness Questionnaire (LQ) by removing reverse-coded items (items worded positively), 8 filler items, and one item (I feel lonely) that overlapped with another item (I’m lonely).

Rationale: The LQ-Short was selected because of its brevity, evidence of reliability and validity, and direct assessment of loneliness without reverse-coded items.

Cautions: The reliability and validity of the LQ-Short has only been assessed in a single study. Results from this study are consistent, however, with validation for the original version of the LQ.

Special administration information: None.

How to score: Each item is scored on a 5-point scale from 1 (Not true at all) to 5 (Always true). The total score is computed by averaging across all items.

How to interpret findings: Higher scores on the LQ-Short reflect a greater reported sense of loneliness.

Access and permissions: Both the LQ-Short and full LQ measures are available for non-commercial use with no charge. The manuscript describing the LQ-Short measure and items can be found here. The manuscript listing the full set of LQ items is available here.

Alternatives: The Roberts Revision of the UCLA Loneliness Scale (RULS-8) is a good alternative for those interested in measuring loneliness in adolescence. This 8-item measure has demonstrated reliability and validity in middle school and high school samples and has been used to assess loneliness in Mexican American youth. A list of items and a description of the measure can be found in the original publication, which is available here.


Citations: Ebesutani, C., Drescher, C. F., Reise, S., Heiden, L., Hight, T. L., Damon, J., & Young, J. (2012). The Loneliness Questionnaire--short version: An evaluation of reverse-worded and non-reverse worded items via item response theory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94, 427–437. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2012.662188

Asher, S. R., Hymel, S., & Renshaw, P. D. (1984). Loneliness in children. Child Development, 55, 1456–1464. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1130015

 

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