Prevalence and Predictors of Loneliness Among Youth During the Time of COVID-19: A Multinational Study

Omar Al Omari, Sulaiman Al Sabei, Omar Al Rawajfah, Loai Abu Sharour, Iman Al-Hashmi, Mohammad Al Qadire, Atika Khalaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Given the restrictions associated with COVID-19, feelings of loneliness among youth may increase. AIMS: The aims of the current study were to assess the prevalence of loneliness among young people at the time of COVID-19 and to identify whether selected variables related to the pandemic predicted the level of loneliness. METHOD: A cross-sectional study using WhatsApp and Facebook social media platforms was conducted to survey 1,057 young people aged 15 to 24 years from six Middle Eastern countries. Participants completed survey items including demographic and COVID-19-related questions; the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS); the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS); and the UCLA Loneliness Scale. RESULTS: The prevalence of experienced loneliness was 1 (0.1%), 625 (59.1%), 429 (40.6%), and 2 (0.2%), reflecting low, moderate, moderately high, and high experiences for loneliness, respectively. History of depression or anxiety, being dissatisfied with life, and having depression at the time of COVID-19 were significant predictors of loneliness among youth. The model was significant (F = 44.95, p <.05) and accounted for 29.8% of the variance in UCLA Loneliness Scale scores. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the high prevalence rate of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic was correlated with depression and impaired life satisfaction among Middle Eastern youth. Thus, special attention and interventional action plans need to be developed taking into consideration the youths’ special situation during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10783903211017640
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Early online dateMay 28 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2021


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • loneliness
  • satisfaction with life
  • stress
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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