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Science and Practice

Edited by Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., Tanya T. Nguyen, Ph.D., and Nancy J. Donovan, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-423-6
  • Item #37423

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The internet, social media platforms, and digital technology all seem to point to a world of greater interconnectivity and social connection. Yet even against this background of global social networks, loneliness remains a major issue for millions of individuals, and one with tangible consequences: studies have demonstrated that loneliness correlates with to an increased risk of mental illnesses, as well as a 45% increased risk of death.

In Loneliness: Science and Practice, experts from the United States and Europe seek to construct a translational framework for recognizing and addressing loneliness in the clinical context. Based on the latest literature on the topic, the book tackles

  • The theoretical foundations of loneliness and other dimensions of social connection. Readers will benefit from validated rating scales to measure loneliness that account for the varied experiences of, and factors that contribute to, loneliness.
  • The incidence and presentation of loneliness throughout the life cycle
  • Loneliness among marginalized communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, and individuals with mental illnesses
  • The neurobiological and systemic neuroendocrine and inflammatory mechanisms of loneliness
  • Interventions for loneliness, from research-based interventions for both younger and older age groups to community-based interventions

Throughout this guide, clinical vignettes help ground the theoretical information in real-world applicability. Key points help readers reference each chapter's most salient points quickly, and lists of suggested readings open the door to further exploration.

By examining the psychosocial and biological mechanisms of loneliness, as well as the unique social and cultural contexts in which it can occur, Loneliness: Science and Practice offers readers a holistic understanding of loneliness and a framework for addressing it in the distinct communities they serve.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Loneliness, Social Connection, and Their Measurement
  • Chapter 2. Across the Life Span
  • Chapter 3. People Living With Mental Health Disorders
  • Chapter 4. Marginalized Communities
  • Chapter 5. Neurobiology
  • Chapter 6. Systemic Neuroendocrine and Inflammatory Mechanisms
  • Chapter 7. Interventions for Younger People
  • Chapter 8. Research-Based Interventions for Older Adults
  • Chapter 9. Community-Based Interventions


    Manuela Barreto, Ph.D.
    Phaedra Bell, Ph.D.
    Susanne Buecker, Ph.D.
    Judith E. Carroll, Ph.D.
    Steve W. Cole, Ph.D.
    Yeates Conwell, M.D.
    Nancy J. Donovan, M.D.
    Alice Eccles, Ph.D.
    Miya M. Gentry, M.A.
    Louise Hawkley, Ph.D.
    Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D.
    Dilip V. Jeste, M.D.
    Dylan J. Jester, Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Jeffrey A. Lam, B.A.
    Brian Lawlor, M.D.
    Ellen E. Lee, M.D.
    Maike Luhmann, Ph.D.
    Jurgen Margraf, Ph.D.
    Rio McLellan
    Tanya T. Nguyen, Ph.D.
    Barton W. Palmer, Ph.D.
    Pamela Qualter, Ph.D.
    Kelly E. Rentscher, Ph.D.
    Lize Tibirica, Psy.D.
    Kimberly A. Van Orden, Ph.D.
    Tilmann von Soest, Ph.D.

About the Authors

Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., is Former Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California, and Past President of the American Psychiatric Association.

Tanya T. Nguyen, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California.

Nancy J. Donovan, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital, an Associate Researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Loneliness: Science and Practice provides a wise and truly state-of-the-art-and-science account of a malignant behavioral pandemic. Because it is eminently readable and engaging, I cannot recommend this book too highly to diverse audiences of clinicians, scientists, students of social, liberal arts, and health sciences, policy makers, payors, and indeed persons suffering with loneliness.—Charles F. Reynolds III, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and UPMC Endowed Professor in Geriatric Psychiatry, emeritus, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public HealthEditor-in-Chief, American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

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