An empirical study of selected demographic variables on loneliness among youths in Malaysian university
Youths, especially late adolescents, encounter issues concerning social interaction and establishing satisfying relationships with others. The purpose of this study was to investigate levels of loneliness and their differences/relationships with demographic characteristics of university students. A sample 366 students from one public university were enlisted in the study through multi-stage cluster sampling. The average age was 21.4 (SD = 1.51) with range from 19 to 24. They comprised science, social science and technical students who were in their first, second, third and fourth year of study. The UCLA Loneliness Scale (version 3, Russell 1996) was employed to collect the loneliness response. The findings indicated that the majority of students experienced moderate to high levels of loneliness. Results also pointed out that there were significant differences of loneliness in terms of gender and field of study. Also, results showed no significant difference of loneliness among first, second, third and fourth year students and no significant relationship between household income and loneliness. The study is useful for providing factual information in terms of loneliness and its differences/relationships with demographic characteristics among Malaysian undergraduares.