Solitude and Loneliness Profiles in Early Adolescents: A Person-Centred Approach

  • Paola CorsanoEmail author
  • Valentina Grazia
  • Luisa Molinari
Original Paper



In early adolescence, developmental tasks lead boys and girls to oscillate between the search for and the fear of solitude, between feelings of loneliness and the need for peer contact. Adopting a multidimensional and person-centred approach, the aim of the present study was to distinguish different clusters related to profiles of solitude attitudes and loneliness and to evaluate the role of relational and socio-demographic variables as predictors of cluster belonging.


Measures of loneliness, attitudes towards aloneness, friendship quality, self-esteem and rejection sensitivity were collected in a population of 656 Italian native and immigrant early adolescents.


Three clusters emerged, differently predicted by relational and socio-demographic variables. An adaptive and normative profile was found for the Aversion to aloneness and the constructive solitude clusters, while a more maladaptive profile emerged for the non-constructive solitude cluster.


The results are discussed in the light of the developmental challenges that early adolescents face.


Solitude Loneliness Friendship quality Rejection sensitivity Self-esteem Early adolescence 


Author Contributions

PC collaborated to the design of the study, assisted with data analyses, wrote the introduction and the discussion of the paper and edited the final manuscript. VG collaborated to the design of the study, collected and analysed the data and wrote the results section. LM collaborated to the design of the study, assisted with the data analyses and contributed to writing the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics Statement

The study follows the ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of the human subjects of research. The University of Parma (Italy) guarantees the respect of the principles of research ethics by researchers who work there.

Informed Consent

Each participant, or both parents in the case of individuals under 18 years, have given voluntary informed consent.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural IndustriesUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly

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