Teachers and children’s loneliness: A review of the literature and educational implications

  • Evangelia P. Galanaki
  • Helen D. Vassilopoulou


The present study is a critical review of the research literature concerning the links between the teacher and children’s loneliness. More specifically, the issue of children’s loneliness in the school is summarized. Research data documenting that loneliness is a risk factor in children’s development are briefly reviewed. Next, hypotheses and research data are reviewed on the following aspects: (I) the association between children’s loneliness and the quality of the teacher-child relationship from the viewpoint of attachment theory; (II) the teacher’s attitude toward children’s loneliness and his or her perceptions of his or her effectiveness in dealing with it; (III) the teacher’s ability to identify lonely children; and (IV) the children’s perceptions of the role of the teacher in the emergence and alleviation of their loneliness. Finally, on the basis of the existing data, critical questions are formulated, suggestions for future research are made, and educational implications for teacher training and school-based interventions are discussed.

Key words

Children Education Loneliness Review Teachers 


Cette étude est une contribution qui présente un état des lieux des relations entre les enseignants et la solitude des enfants. Plus en détails le thème de la solitude des élèves à l’école est abordé aussi bien que les recherches qui documentent que la solitude est un facteur de risque dans le développement des enfants. Les contenus suivants sont discutés par rapport aux hypothèse et aux résultats de recherche: (1) association entre solitude des enfants et qualité des relations enseignants-élèves du point de vue de la théorie de l’attachement; (2) attitudes des enseignants envers la solitude des élèves et perceptions des enseignants de leur efficacité; (3) habilité des enseignants d’identifier les élèves seuls; (4) perceptions des élèves du rôle des enseignants dans des situations d’urgence et dans le traitement de leur solitude. Sur la base des résultats sont présentées des questions et des suggestions pour des recherches futures, aussi bien que des implications éducatives pour la formation des enseignants et pour des interventions efficaces dans les écoles.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangelia P. Galanaki
    • 1
  • Helen D. Vassilopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary EducationUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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