Loneliness and its effect on schooling and school achievement

Debby Susanna Norman, Tennessee State University


This study examined the identification and perception of 170 middle school children in the seventh grade in a public school in Tennessee to determine the extent and direction of the relationships among children's loneliness scores as measured by the Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Questionnaire and yearly attendance, Grade Point Average (GPA), and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores in Reading. Correlations were also calculated with regard to gender, family conditions, and peer relationships. The review of literature included the theoretical framework for and possible implications of the effects of loneliness. Spearman rank order correlations were used to investigate the relationship among loneliness and other study variables (GPA, attendance, TCAP scores). The results indicated that there is no statistically significant relationship between students' loneliness scores and school performance. Qualitative results revealed recurring themes of “being left alone at home” and “having no one to talk to at school” as two of the most significant circumstances related to loneliness and social isolation. Recommendations are presented to educators for planning loneliness interventions in schools. The responses of lonely children seeking help are analyzed and evaluated.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Social psychology|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Debby Susanna Norman, "Loneliness and its effect on schooling and school achievement" (2003). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3107462.