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Childhood and Adolescent Loneliness


Kimberley Brownlee (Philosophy, University of Warwick) and Pamela Qualter (Psychology, University of Central Lancashire) will run an interdisciplinary research retreat in July 2016 to address conceptual, psychological, and ethical issues of childhood and adolescent loneliness.The retreat is funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation.

The retreat will bring together philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists to tackle such questions as: What is the nature of the experience of loneliness during childhood and adolescence? How severe are its effects? What are the online behaviours of lonely children and adolescents? Is it morally acceptable to encourage lonely children and adolescents to use social media as a surrogate for direct interaction? What rights, if any, do children and adolescents have against being socially isolated or lonely? If children prefer to be isolated, do we have good psychological and moral reasons to disregard their preferences?

Retreat participants:
Manuela Barreto (Exeter) is an expert on stigmatisation and how it leads to social isolation.

Elizabeth Brake (ASU) is an expert on parental rights and marriage and is developing new interests in social goods as objects of distributive justice.

Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick) is pioneering a philosophical account of the ethics of sociability and social human rights, which emphasises, amongst other things, the moral tragedy of loneliness.

Anca Gheaus (Pompeu Fabra) is an expert on children’s rights, parents’ rights, care, and justice.

Luc Goossens (Leuven) is the leading European expert on adolescent loneliness, with a special interest in gene-environment interactions.

Rebecca Harris (Bolton) is an expert on cognitive, interpretative and behavioural biases related to loneliness, online behaviour of lonely people, and the impact of loneliness on the transition from primary to secondary school.

Pamela Qualter (University of Central Lancashire) is the UK’s leading expert on childhood and adolescent loneliness.
Tim Thornton (University of Central Lancashire) has expertise in both philosophy and psychiatry, specifically on clinical judgment, idiographic and narrative understanding, the interpretation of psychopathology, and social constructionism in psychiatry.

Adam Swift (Warwick) is internationally renowned for his work on the ethics and politics of the family.

Keming Yang (Durham) is an expert on the effects of social relations on mental wellbeing, including, specifically, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.