Canadian adolescents’ solitude experiences, self-perceptions, and well-being

(1) * Sandra Bosacki Mail (Faculty of Education, Brock University, Canada)
*corresponding author


This paper explores adolescents’ solitude activities, their reasons for choosing to be alone, and how they think and feel when they are away from others. Gender and age differences were also explored.


We looked at the links between solitary activities and emotional well-being and personal happiness. Sixty-one adolescents (68% female, Mage = 16.14 ± .50) completed self-report on-line measures assessing time alone, solitary activities, and indices of adjustment.


Majority of participants reported that they were alone by choice, and that they were more often with others than alone. Age and gender differences emerged in time alone, feelings of self-worth, and emotional well-being.

Research Limitations

            The demographics of participants was limited to English-speakers in Eastern Canada, and data collection was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical Implications

            School programs could be developed to better equip adolescents with the skills necessary to be productive in, and feel positive about, time spent alone.



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