GEMS (Gender, Education, Music, And Society)
Volume 6, Number 3, November 2013
A Qualitative Data Analysis: The Effects Of Loneliness On Social Interactions Among Middle School Students
Dr. Rick Parker
Abstract: This article attempts to identify and describe core characteristics of lonely middle school students, regarding how these students socially interact around their peers in classes. Findings reveal that lonely students often keep to themselves. Often, they distance themselves and select another activity, such as walking or reading. In some circumstances, they will not even speak a word unless someone asks them a question. Lonely students will choose to remain alone for various reasons: 1) They lack interest in the activity 2) They fear ridicule by their classmates and/or 3) They perceive that their peer do not want them to participate. If lonely students are forced to participate, they often remain on the outskirts of the activity; in essence, they will participate as little as possible. In summary, lonely students report that they choose to remain alone and distance themselves from their classmates. Strategies that can be implemented to encourage participation include creating small groups that are less competitive, incorporating peer assistance with activity skills, and/or encouraging lonely students to attend other activities after school that appeal to their interests.