Original Research

‘n Kruiskulturele ondersoek na eensaamheid onder studente van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat

A. Le Roux
Curationis | Vol 27, No 2 | a963 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v27i2.963 | © 2004 A. Le Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2004 | Published: 28 September 2004

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A. Le Roux, Departement Sielkunde, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, South Africa

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Abstract

Many young people today are lonely and hopeless, and feel that life has no meaning. The existing literature indicates that this phenomenon is taking on near-epidemic proportions in industrialised Western countries. A considerable amount of cross-cultural investigations have already been conducted overseas between different population groups, in order to determine what the causes of this phenomenon are and whether culture plays an important role in the development of loneliness. As far as this type of research is concerned South Africa is currently far behind the rest of the world. Serious efforts shall have to be made to determine whether loneliness is taking on the same proportions locally and if certain population groups are more vulnerable than others, because it could have far-reaching consequences on their physical as well as psychological health. South Africa has a rich population variety which could enable researchers to investigate emotional constructs like loneliness that could contribute to the unravelling of this multifaceted phenomenon. The purpose of this investigation was therefore to determine whether students from different cultural backgrounds at the University of the Free State differ from each other, as far as their experience of loneliness is concerned. Questionnaires were distributed among students and 270 respondents, of which 122 were white and 148 black, took part in this study. A factorial analysis of variance was applied on the data, with loneliness as dependent variable, and cultural background, gender and age as independent variables. The results firstly show that cultural background is a very important variable as far as loneliness is concerned. Black students are significantly more lonely than white students while no gender and age differences between the groups were found.

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