The UCLA Loneliness Scale was developed to assess subjective feelings
of loneliness or social isolation. Items for the original version
of the scale were based on statements used by lonely individuals to describe
feelings of loneliness (Russell, Peplau, & Ferguson, 1978). The
questions were all worded in a negative or “lonely” direction, with individuals
indicating how often they felt the way described on a four point scale
that ranged from “never’ to “often.” Due to concerns about how the
negative wording of the items may have affected scores (i.e., response
sets), a revised version of the scale was developed and published in 1980
that included 10 items worded in a negative or lonely direction and 10
items worded in a positive or non-lonely direction (Russell, Peplau, &
Cutrona, 1980). Recently, Version 3 of the UCLA Loneliness Scale
has been published
(Russell, 1996). In this most recent version of the scale, the wording of the items and the response format has been simplified to facilitate administration of the measure to less educated populations, such as the elderly.
The UCLA Loneliness Scale has clearly become the most widely used measure of loneliness, with over 500 citations in the Social Science Citation Index of the 1980 publication on the measure. Scores on the loneliness scale have been found to predict a wide variety of mental (i.e., depression) and physical (i.e., immuncompetence, nursing home admission, mortality) health outcomes in our research and the research of others.
A copy of the most recent version of the scale can be obtained in the article by Russell (1996). That paper also presents extensive psychometric information on the scale (including item-total correlations for a number of different samples) and analyses of the factor structure of the measure. Reprints of that paper or any other papers by our research group can be obtained sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your mailing address along with an indication of the materials you would like to receive. We do request that, if you use the measure in your research, you send us a summary of your findings once you have completed your work.
Russell, D. W., Cutrona, C. E., de la Mora, A., & Wallace, R. B. (1997). Loneliness and nursing home admission among the rural elderly. Psychology and Aging, 12, 574-589.
Russell, D. (1996). The UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 20-40.
Johnson, R.A., Rose, J.A., & Russell, D. (1992). Loneliness and interpersonal relationships across the school years. In F. P. Medway & T. P. Cafferty (Eds.), School psychology: A social psychological perspective (pp. 377-396). Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.
Jones, W.H., Rose, J.A., & Russell, D. (1990). Loneliness and social anxiety. In H. Leitenberg (Ed.), Handbook of social and evaluation anxiety (pp. 247-266). New York: Plenum.
Russell, D., Cutrona, C.E., Rose, J., & Yurko, K. (1984). Social and emotional loneliness: An examination of Weiss's typology of loneliness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1313-1321.
Cutrona, C. E. (1982). Transition to college: Loneliness and the process of social adjustment. In L. A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research, and therapy (pp. 291-309). New York: Wiley Interscience.
Cutrona, C.E., & Russell, D. (1982). Sources of loneliness and implications for interventions. In L.A. Peplau & S.E. Goldstein (Eds.), Preventing the harmful consequences of severe and persistent loneliness (pp. 88-89). Washington, DC: National Institute of Mental Health.
Russell, D. (1982). The measurement of loneliness. In L.A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research, and therapy (pp. 81-104). New York: Wiley Interscience.
Russell, D., Peplau, L.A., & Cutrona, C.E. (1980). The revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: Concurrent and discriminant validity evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 472-480.
Peplau, L.A., Russell, D. & Heim, M. (1979). The experience of loneliness. In I. Frieze, D.Bar-Tal, & J.S. Carroll (Eds.), New approaches to social problems: Applications of attribution theory (pp. 53-78). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Peplau, L.A., Russell, D., & Heim, M. (1978). Loneliness: A bibliography of research and theory. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 8, 38. (Ms. 1682)
Russell, D., Peplau, L.A., & Ferguson, M.L. (1978). Developing
a measure of loneliness. Journal of Personality Assessment, 42, 290-294.