ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2013, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (2): 179-192.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00179

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  1. (1上海师范大学心理学系, 上海 200234) (2中国浦东干部学院教研部, 上海 201204)
  • 收稿日期:2012-04-16 出版日期:2013-02-28 发布日期:2013-02-28
  • 通讯作者: 李丹
  • 基金资助:


Developmental Trajectories of Loneliness During Middle and Late Childhood: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis

LIU Junsheng;ZHOU Ying;LI Dan   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China) (2 Department of Educational Research, China Executive Leadership Academy. Pudong, Shanghai 201204, China)
  • Received:2012-04-16 Online:2013-02-28 Published:2013-02-28
  • Contact: LI Dan

摘要: 使用问卷法和同伴提名法对884名小学二年级学生进行历时三年的四次追踪测试, 采用潜变量增长模型建模, 检验小学2~5年级学生孤独感的变化趋势, 并考察不同性别儿童孤独感变化的差异性以及同伴接纳对孤独感变化的影响。结果发现:(1) 2~5年级小学生孤独感呈曲线递减趋势, 递减速度逐渐减缓, 起始水平及发展速度均存在显著的个体差异; (2)女孩起始的孤独感水平显著低于男孩, 而发展速度、加速度则不存在显著的性别差异; (3)较高的同伴接纳对当时儿童孤独感的降低具有显著的促进作用。研究采用孤独感发展的情境观, 并结合儿童认知、自我发展的特点对结果进行了分析。

关键词: 孤独感, 发展轨迹, 潜变量增长模型, 性别差异, 同伴接纳

Abstract: Loneliness is typically defined as the subjective experience of dissatisfaction with one’s social and relational life. Children as young as preschool-age can reliability report feelings of loneliness. The experience of loneliness is associated with a wide range of socio-emotional difficulties from early childhood to adolescence. Most previous research has focused on contributing factors and mechanisms that may underlie the development of loneliness. However, much less is known about the developmental trajectories of loneliness, particularly during middle childhood. It has been postulated that loneliness arises as a result of unmet social needs (Social needs theory). From a cognitive perspective, loneliness is thought to be influenced primarily by subjective perceptions of one’s personal relationships. However, children’s social needs and cognitive capabilities do not remain static across development. Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to examine the developmental trajectories of loneliness across middle childhood. Participants were 884 primary school students, who were followed up for three years from grade two to grade five. Assessments of children’s loneliness and peer acceptance were obtained from both self-reports and peer assessments at four time points. Latent growth modeling was used to examine: (1) initial levels and change in loneliness over time; and (2) the prediction of both initial levels and growth in loneliness from child gender and peer acceptance. Among the results, children’s loneliness decreased in a non-linear trajectory from grade 2 (Mean age = 8.5years, SD=3.06 months) to grade 5. As well, although boys had higher initial levels of loneliness than girls, there was no gender difference in the change of loneliness over time. Finally, results from latent growth curve modeling indicated that peer acceptance as a time-variant variable influenced children’s feeling of loneliness. Peer acceptance at given testing point could reduce children’s feeling of loneliness at that time. Our findings suggest that developmental trajectories of loneliness are influenced by changes in the forms and functions of social contacts, activities, and relationships at different developmental stages. A better understanding of the causes and consequences of change in loneliness across the critical age period of middle childhood can help to ameliorate intervention programs designed to assist lonely children.

Key words: loneliness, developmental trajectories, latent growth modeling, gender difference, peer acceptance