Exploring Associations between Family Building Behaviors and Loneliness in Early Adulthood
Data from the longitudinal panel surveys of Taiwan Youth Project (2000-2014, n=2,726, aged 27-32) are used to assess a series of categories of entry into marriage, entry into cohabitation, and stay single as well as having a child on loneliness among Taiwanese young men and women. Loneliness was assessed by six questions of the De Jong-Gierveld short scale with two distinct dimensions: social and emotional loneliness. Among the participants, more than half remained single and not in romantic relationship (51%); 8% cohabitated; and, one-fifth married. Among these married 72% had a child. Preliminary results from multivariate regression models indicate young adults who remain single without a romantic relationship had a significant lower level of emotional loneliness, compared to other marital categories for both genders. A similar association is also found for men on social loneliness. However, for women a significant lower level of social loneliness is only observed among the married who had a child (β = -0.27, p<0.5).
Further investigations will conduct cluster analysis on two distinct loneliness domains, model its relationships with various marital groups, and explore the social network characteristics as covariates on loneliness clusters.