Presentation (Project) Title

Students’ Perceptions of Loneliness Intervention Programs and Strategies at the University of South Florida

Mentor Information

Amber Gum (College of Behavioral and Community Sciences)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

With the increasing prevalence of loneliness in college students, there is a need to evaluate intervention services offered by universities and private colleges. Through our research, we sought to examine students’ perceptions of loneliness intervention programs and strategies at the University of South Florida (USF). Students from the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences were emailed an anonymous online survey asking questions pertaining to loneliness. There were 219 students who participated in the survey. We were particularly interested in students’ awareness of intervention services, if students had utilized one or more of these services previously, and their perceived effectiveness of these services. Additionally, students were asked their preferred modality of interventions to combat loneliness. Intervention services included different departments of Student Success and their programs associated with involvement and wellness. The results of our study indicate there is room for improvement of intervention services that are offered by USF to ward off loneliness amongst students. We found that 70% of survey takers have not used an intervention service provided by USF. For those who did use these services, only 32% were extremely satisfied with their experience. Students were open to a variety of services, including counseling, campus activities, and a one-credit course on emotional intelligence and healthy relationships- with the majority of individuals demonstrating a preference for counseling. These findings may lead to suggestions for additional strategies USF can employ to lower the prevalence of loneliness in USF students.

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Students’ Perceptions of Loneliness Intervention Programs and Strategies at the University of South Florida

With the increasing prevalence of loneliness in college students, there is a need to evaluate intervention services offered by universities and private colleges. Through our research, we sought to examine students’ perceptions of loneliness intervention programs and strategies at the University of South Florida (USF). Students from the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences were emailed an anonymous online survey asking questions pertaining to loneliness. There were 219 students who participated in the survey. We were particularly interested in students’ awareness of intervention services, if students had utilized one or more of these services previously, and their perceived effectiveness of these services. Additionally, students were asked their preferred modality of interventions to combat loneliness. Intervention services included different departments of Student Success and their programs associated with involvement and wellness. The results of our study indicate there is room for improvement of intervention services that are offered by USF to ward off loneliness amongst students. We found that 70% of survey takers have not used an intervention service provided by USF. For those who did use these services, only 32% were extremely satisfied with their experience. Students were open to a variety of services, including counseling, campus activities, and a one-credit course on emotional intelligence and healthy relationships- with the majority of individuals demonstrating a preference for counseling. These findings may lead to suggestions for additional strategies USF can employ to lower the prevalence of loneliness in USF students.