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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-131

Anomie, Loneliness, and Psychopathology: Results from the Study of Youth in Istanbul

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida Gainesville; Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida Gainesville, Gainesville, FL, USA
3 Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
4 Department of Psychiatry, Cooper University Hospital/Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ, USA
5 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Alcohol, Drugs and Addictions Unit, Helsinki, Finland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mariam Rahmani
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Springhill 2 Building, 4197 N.W. 86th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32606
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_13_22

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Objective: “Anomie” describes social dysregulation or a social condition in which individuals feel isolated instead of united with other members of the society. The literature on the association of anomie and loneliness with suicidality and youth psychopathology has been demonstrated in some studies based in Western nations. This study aims to compare the association of anomie and loneliness, substance use, and psychosocial risk factors with suicidal ideations in a sample of high school (HS) students in Istanbul. The context of modern-day Turkey provides a setting where stress from socio-economic and cultural transitions resulting from globalization could contribute to higher degrees of anomie and isolation/loneliness. Methods: The study data were collected from a 66-question survey of 31,604 HS students administered by the Istanbul Department of Education. The primary questions and subquestions were used to generate variables of interest to explore the relationship between anomie, loneliness, and psychopathology. In addition to the descriptive analyses, logistic regressions were used with anomie and loneliness as dependent variables, and psychosocial variables and psychiatric symptoms were used as two main independent variable clusters. Results: Our findings show that 45% of Turkish youth experienced anomie and 17% experienced loneliness. Both anomie and loneliness are strongly associated with particular psychosocial variables. More time spent with family and higher parental education are protective factors, whereas peer influences and substance misuse increase the risk of anomie and loneliness. Both anomie and loneliness are also associated with psychiatric symptomatology, particularly suicidality. Conclusions: Identification of youth struggling with anomie and loneliness can be an important approach to reaching out to at-risk youth, particularly in a context of socioeconomic and cultural transition.

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