Loneliness in Adults During a COVID-19 Lockdown

Loneliness in Adults During a COVID-19 Lockdown

Sonia S. Rehman*, Shantay Mines*, Samantha Poling*, Tiffany Field*’ **, Debra Bendell* & Connie. S. Veazey*

* Fielding Graduate University; ** University of Miami/Miller School of Medicine

Loneliness has been frequently reported in the COVID-19 literature but rarely in the context of potential comorbidities including depression, fatigue, and sleep problems. The present study assessed the relationships between self-reported loneliness, and the potential comorbidities based on an archival database called the COVID-19 Lockdown Activities Survey (N= 260 participants). Loneliness was endorsed by 67% of the participants. Greater loneliness was related to greater depression, fatigue, and sleep problems. A regression analysis revealed that depression contributed to 47.1% of the variance in loneliness. These results highlight the multidimensionality of loneliness. The generalizability of these results is limited by the homogeneity of the sample (predominantly non-Hispanic white females). Nonetheless, they highlight the importance of designing interventional protocols that address loneliness and the associated depression, fatigue, and sleep problems rather than loneliness alone.

Keywords: COVID-19 Lockdown, Loneliness, Depression, Fatigue, Sleep Problems

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
Sonia S. Rehman, Shantay Mines, Samantha Poling, Tiffany Field , Debra Bendell & Connie. S. Veazey.Loneliness in Adults During a COVID-19 Lockdown. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2021, 4:55. DOI: 10.28933/ijprr-2021-09-1805


1. Alimoradi, Z., Broström, A., Tsang, H. W., Griffiths, M. D., Haghayegh, S., Ohayon, M. M., Lin, C.-Y., & Pakpour, A. H. (2021). Sleep problems during covid-19 pandemic and its’ association to psychological distress: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine, 36, 100916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100916
2. Ameringer, S., Elswick, R. K., Menzies, V., Robins, J., Starkweather, A., Walter, J., Gentry, A., & Jallo, N. (2016). Psychometric evaluation of the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system fatigue-short form across diverse populations. Nursing Research, 65(4), 279–289. https://doi.org/10.1097/nnr.0000000000000162
3. Barreto, M., Victor, C., Hammond, C., Eccles, A., Richins, M. T., & Qualter, P. (2021). Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness. Personality and Individual Differences, 169, 110066. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110066
4. Bartoszek, A., Walkowiak, D., Bartoszek, A., & Kardas, G. (2020). Mental well-being (depression, loneliness, insomnia, daily life fatigue) during covid-19 related home-confinement—a study from poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(20), 7417. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207417
5. Batterham, P. J., Calear, A. L., McCallum, S. M., Morse, A. R., Banfield, M., Farrer, L. M., Gulliver, A., Cherbuin, N., Rodney Harris, R. M., Shou, Y., & Dawel, A. (2021). Trajectories of depression and anxiety symptoms during the covid‐19 pandemic in a representative australian adult cohort. Medical Journal of Australia, 214(10), 462–468. https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51043
6. Bueno-Notivol, J., Gracia-García, P., Olaya, B., Lasheras, I., López-Antón, R., & Santabárbara, J. (2021). Prevalence of depression during the covid-19 outbreak: A meta-analysis of community-based studies. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 21(1), 100196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2020.07.007
7. Cella, D., Riley, W., Stone, A., Rothrock, N., Reeve, B., Yount, S., Amtmann, D., Bode, R., Buysse, D., Choi, S., Cook, K., DeVellis, R., DeWalt, D., Fries, J. F., Gershon, R., Hahn, E. A., Lai, J.-S., Pilkonis, P., Revicki, D.,…Hays, R. (2010). The patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) developed and tested its first wave of adult self-reported health outcome item banks: 2005–2008. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 63(11), 1179–1194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.04.011
8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, April 30). Loneliness and social isolation linked to serious health conditions. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html
9. Clair, R., Gordon, M., Kroon, M., & Reilly, C. (2021). The effects of social isolation on well-being and life satisfaction during pandemic. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00710-3
10. Coppola, I., Rania, N., Parisi, R., & Lagomarsino, F. (2021). Spiritual well-being and mental health during the covid-19 pandemic in italy. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.626944
11. Field, T., Mines, S., Poling, S., Diago, M., Bendell, D., & Veazey, C. (2020, October 30). Young, alone, and young alone during a covid-19 lockdown. Journal of Mental Health and Clinical Psychology. https://www.mentalhealthjournal.org/articles/young-alone-and-young-alone-during-a-covid-19-lockdown.html
12. Field, T., Poling, S., Mines, S., Bendell, D., & Veazey, C. (2020). Touch deprivation and exercise during the covid-19 lockdown april 2020. Medical Research Archives, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v8i8.2204
13. Hossain, M., Rahman, M., Trisha, N., Tasnim, S., Nuzhath, T., Hasan, N., Clark, H., Das, A., McKyer, E. J., Ahmed, H., & Ma, P. (2021). Prevalence of anxiety and depression in south asia during covid-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Heliyon, 7(4), e06677. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06677
14. Jahrami, H., BaHammam, A. S., Bragazzi, N., Saif, Z., Faris, M., & Vitiello, M. V. (2021). Sleep problems during the covid-19 pandemic by population: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 17(2), 299–313. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.8930
15. Lewinsky, M. (2020, October 1). The forgotten f-word in the pandemic. Vanity Fair. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/09/monica-lewinsky-on-covid-mental-health-czar
16. Liu, N., Zhang, F., Wei, C., Jia, Y., Shang, Z., Sun, L., Wu, L., Sun, Z., Zhou, Y., Wang, Y., & Liu, W. (2020). Prevalence and predictors of ptss during covid-19 outbreak in china hardest-hit areas: Gender differences matter. Psychiatry Research, 287, 112921. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112921
17. Luo, M., Guo, L., Yu, M., Jiang, W., & Wang, H. (2020). The psychological and mental impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) on medical staff and general public – a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 291, 113190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113190
18. Mahase, E. (2021). Delta variant: What is happening with transmission, hospital admissions, and restrictions? BMJ, n1513. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1513
19. Novotney, A. (2019, May). The risks of social isolation [APA Monitor]. https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation
20. Partinen, M. (2021). Sleep research in 2020: Covid-19-related sleep disorders. The Lancet Neurology, 20(1), 15–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1474-4422(20)30456-7
21. Rokach, A. (2019). Loneliness, illness, and death: Universal experiences we dread. In The psychological journey to and from loneliness (pp. 21–44). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-815618-6.00002-3
22. Rosenberg, M., Luetke, M., Hensel, D., Kianersi, S., Fu, T., & Herbenick, D. (2021). Depression and loneliness during april 2020 covid-19 restrictions in the united states, and their associations with frequency of social and sexual connections. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-02002-8
23. Rudroff, T., Fietsam, A. C., Deters, J. R., Bryant, A. D., & Kamholz, J. (2020). Post-covid-19 fatigue: Potential contributing factors. Brain Sciences, 10(12), 1012. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10121012
24. Sapolsky, H. M., Crane, R. J., Neuman, W. R., & Moan, E. M. (Eds.). (2020). The telecommunications revolution: Past, present and future (routledge library editions: The economics and business of technology) (1st ed.). Routledge.
25. Sasangohar, F., Jones, S. L., Masud, F. N., Vahidy, F. S., & Kash, B. A. (2020). Provider burnout and fatigue during the covid-19 pandemic: Lessons learned from a high-volume intensive care unit. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 131(1), 106–111. https://doi.org/10.1213/ane.0000000000004866
26. Stengel, A., Malek, N., Zipfel, S., & Goepel, S. (2021). Long haulers—what is the evidence for post-covid fatigue? Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.677934
27. Stephenson, J. (2021). CDC study finds worsening anxiety and depression, especially in young adults, during covid-19 pandemic. JAMA Health Forum, 2(4), e210724. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.0724
28. Sweet, J. (2020, December 7). The loneliness pandemic. Harvard Magazine. https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2021/01/feature-the-loneliness-pandemic
29. Teresi, J. A., Ocepek-Welikson, K., Kleinman, M., Ramirez, M., & Kim, G. (2016). Psychometric properties and performance of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System ® (PROMIS ®) depression short forms in ethnically diverse groups. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 58(1), 141–181. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28553573/
30. World Health Organization. (2020). Pandemic fatigue: Reinvigorating the public to prevent COVID-19 [PDF]. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/335820/WHO-EURO-2020-1160-40906-55390-eng.pdf
31. Yeh, C. S. (2017, January 13). The power and prevalence of loneliness – harvard health blog – harvard health publishing. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-power-and-prevalence-of-loneliness-2017011310977
32. Yu, L., Buysse, D. J., Germain, A., Moul, D. E., Stover, A., Dodds, N. E., Johnston, K. L., & Pilkonis, P. A. (2012). Development of short forms from the promis™ sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment item banks. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 10(1), 6–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/15402002.2012.636266
33. Zhang, D., Lee, E. P., Mak, E. W., Ho, C. Y., & Wong, S. S. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions: An overall review. British Medical Bulletin, 138(1), 41–57. https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldab005

Terms of Use/Privacy Policy/ Disclaimer/ Other Policies:
You agree that by using our site, you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by all of our terms of use/privacy policy/ disclaimer/ other policies (click here for details)

CC BY 4.0
This work and its PDF file(s) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.