Association between perceived loneliness and Internet use among homeless people

Gabriel Valerio-Ureña Dagoberto Herrera-Murillo María del Carmen Rodríguez-Martínez About the authors

Abstract

This study aimed to identify the association between the level of perceived loneliness and Internet use among homeless people. The sample consisted of 129 homeless people who were assisted at a shelter in Monterrey (Mexico). To measure the variables of the study, a survey with three main sections was conducted: demographic data, use of Internet and information technologies, and perceived levels of emotional and social loneliness. The results showed: (1) their levels of loneliness were above the average reported in studies with other vulnerable populations; (2) 51.9% of participants have used the Internet at some point in time and use it mainly to contact family and friends; (3) there is a nominal difference, although not statistically significant, between the levels of loneliness of those who use the Internet and those who do not. These results suggest that providing Internet access in shelters may positively influence the quality of life of its beneficiaries.

Keywords:
Homeless; Shelters; Loneliness; Internet

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