Al Omari O, Al Sabei S, Al Rawajfah O, Abu Sharour L, Al-Hashmi I, Al Qadire M, Khalaf A
J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc - (-) 10783903211017640 [2021-05-28; online 2021-05-28]
Given the restrictions associated with COVID-19, feelings of loneliness among youth may increase. 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. 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. 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. 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.