Thomas, V. et al. (2019)
Journal of Adolescence, 70: 33-42

This study involved 979 young adults and adolescents to complete an online survey that included the Motivation for Solitude Scale (MSS-SF) which measures intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivations for solitude. The survey also evaluated well-being and personality measures. Chosen solitude was positively associated with improved well-being, personal growth, and self-acceptance. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
However, engaging in solitude due to extrinsic reasons was associated with loneliness, social anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Extrinsic reasons include lack of friends and feeling awkward. This group has lower identity development, autonomy, and fewer positive relationships with others. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Overall, this study addresses the stigma surrounding solitude, especially among adolescents and young people. Spending time alone may not necessarily be a red flag for isolation or depression, based on the individual’s motivation. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thomas, V., Azmitia, M. (2019). Motivation matters: Development and validation of the Motivation for Solitude Scale - Short Form (MSS-SF). Journal of Adolescence, 70, 33-42. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.11.004