School loneliness increased 2012–2018 in 36 out of 37 countries. Worldwide, nearly twice as many adolescents in 2018 (vs. 2012) had elevated levels of school loneliness. Increases in loneliness were larger among girls than among boys and in countries with full measurement invariance.


The psychological well-being of adolescents around the world began to decline after 2012, in conjunction with the rise of smartphone access and increased internet use, though causation cannot be proven and more years of data will provide a more complete picture.

Jean m. Twenge et al.

Twenge, J. M., Haidt, J., Blake, A. B., McAllister, C., Lemon, H., & Le Roy, A. (2021). Worldwide increases in adolescent loneliness. Journal of AdolescenceJuly.