Loneliness is all about feeling isolated, but it’s actually quite common, a new study shows.

An Australian study of 1,200 adults published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing this month found that nearly a third of respondents reported being lonely.

Among the findings:

–Thirty-five percent reported being lonely.

–Men were more likely than women to report being lonely.

–People who said they had “strong religious beliefs” were less likely to report being lonely. [interesting]

–People with higher incomes reported less loneliness. [not very surprising]

Does age make a difference in loneliness? Lauder’s survey didn’t prove that.

The survey showed that loneliness was lowest for 18- to 19-year-olds and highest for people in their 40s, with the elderly falling somewhere in between. However, researchers said those results could have been due to chance, and that the study did not prove that age was a factor in loneliness. So, don’t fear that your 40s will be a particularly lonely decade.

In addition, retirees reported less loneliness than unemployed people.

Length of time living in the area didn’t matter. Neither did the number of a person’s social ties.[I found this really surprising, but then you think about why it may be, it’s not really all that surprising.]

“Loneliness has less to do with the quantity of social relationships than with the quality” of those relationships, the researchers write.

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