Special Issue "Loneliness: An Issue for Personal Well-Being and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marlies Maes
Guest Editor
School of Psychology and Development in Context, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), 1000 Brussels, Belgium; Youth Studies, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, the Netherlands
Interests: loneliness; adolescence, peer relationships, meta-analysis
Prof. Dr. Pamela Qualter
Guest Editor
Manchester Institute of Education, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Interests: loneliness; social relationships; children and adolescence; emotion understanding; interventions
Dr. Marcus Mund
Guest Editor
Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany
Interests: loneliness; personality development; social relationships; personality-relationship transactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit a contribution to a Special Issue on Loneliness in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed open access journal (IF = 2.849, see for detailed information https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph).

Across the lifespan, people may experience loneliness. Especially when prolonged, loneliness can have a long-lasting impact on both one’s mental and physical health and well-being. Consequences of loneliness have frequently been reported, but longitudinal designs remain relatively rare. Moreover, we know little about whether particular contexts would lead to different outcomes (e.g., depending on the age of the participants or the type of loneliness experienced).

In addition to research on the consequences of loneliness, it is of utmost importance to gain better insights into the factors that put people at risk for experiencing loneliness. A wide range of factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of loneliness have been reported, but, again, longitudinal studies remain relatively rare. We also know surprisingly little about why most people recover from temporary feelings of loneliness, while others continue to feel lonely for longer periods of time, and when and to what extent loneliness is contagious. Moreover, factors that contribute to the development of loneliness have been found at the individual level (e.g., genetic, personality, and cognitive factors), but also at the community level (e.g., in relationships with peers, family, and romantic partners) and the societal level (e.g., one’s socioeconomic background, and the neighborhood or country one lives in). However, even though those contributing factors do not operate in isolation, there is a lack of (interdisciplinary) research examining factors from those different levels simultaneously and in interaction.

This Special Issue is open to original research articles and reviews from all over the world that improve our understanding of predictors, consequences, and the prevention of loneliness. We are particularly interested in studies with longitudinal designs and/or that take an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition, as the way we measure loneliness may influence all of the above, we also warmly welcome studies concerning the measurement of loneliness.

If you are interested in contributing to this Special Issue, we ask you to submit the topic of your contribution together with a potential title before 31 January 2021 to [email protected].

Dr. Marlies Maes
Prof. Dr. Pamela Qualter
Dr. Marcus Mund
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • loneliness
  • loneliness types
  • loneliness contagion
  • measurement of loneliness
  • risk factors
  • consequences
  • physical and mental well-being
  • public health
  • longitudinal research
  • interdisciplinary perspective

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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