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Social Isolation

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OPINION
February 23, 2009 | GREGORY RODRIGUEZ
Are you feeling lonely, disconnected or alienated? It could be making you sick, and, ironically, you're not alone. In 1985, when researchers asked a cross-section of Americans how many confidants they had, the most common response was three. When they asked again in 2004, the most common answer -- from 25% of respondents -- was zero, nil, nada. In 1950, only 9.3% of American households consisted of people living alone. By 2000, that percentage had jumped to a whopping 26%.
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SCIENCE
March 26, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
People who are socially isolated are more likely to die prematurely, regardless of their underlying health issues, according to a study of the elderly British population. The findings, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that when mental and physical health conditions were factored out, the lack of social contact continued to lead to early death among 6,500 men and women tracked over a seven-year period. "They're dying of the usual causes, but isolation has a strong influence," said study author Andrew Steptoe, an epidemiologist at University College London.
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NEWS
November 14, 2011 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times/ For the Booster Shots blog
One in five Americans has hearing loss. Yes, you heard that right. A study published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine found that 20% of Americans over the age of 12 experience hearing loss in at least one ear. That figure surprised study leader Dr. Frank R. Lin, an assistant professor of otolaryngology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Lin and his colleagues also found that nearly 13% of Americans suffered hearing loss in both ears.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2012 | By Alan Zarembo
Among the details to emerge in the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school massacre was the possibility that the gunman had some form of autism. Adam Lanza, 20, had a personality disorder or autism, his brother reportedly told police. Former classmates described him as socially awkward, friendless and painfully shy. While those are all traits of autism, a propensity for premeditated violence is not. Several experts said that at most, autism would have played a tangential role in the mass shooting -- if Lanza had it at all. FULL COVERAGE: Connecticut school shooting “Many significant psychiatric disorders involve social isolation,” said Catherine Lord, director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
SCIENCE
September 20, 2008 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Social isolation is often described as "cold and lonely" -- but does it actually feel cold? New research this week says the answer is yes. Just thinking about rejection can make a person perceive a room as chillier, according to a report in the journal Psychological Science. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, also found that people who felt isolated preferred warm drinks over cold ones -- presumably to make themselves feel better.
HEALTH
October 16, 2006 | Ben Harder, Special to The Times
WHILE no man is an island, too many are like lonely peninsulas jutting off from the rest of society. In recent decades, close friendships among Americans have dwindled -- especially among certain groups of men. And, experts say, there are consequences to that. Social isolation -- a lack of close friends, tight-knit family or ties to groups -- takes a toll on men's physical and mental health. "Friendship is a buffer," says Dr.
NEWS
September 28, 2010
You've been dumped by a romantic interest you really liked. You've been passed over for a job by a boss you thought admired you. A group of friends is going out together, leaving you out of their plans. This kind of social rejection prompts your brain to send warning signals to your body that there's been a sudden tear in your personal social fabric, says a new study. Some of those signals you will undeniably feel -- the pain in your gut, the ache in your heart, the lump in your throat.
NEWS
December 24, 1997 | MARK GLADSTONE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An attorney for Theodore Kaczynski on Tuesday drew a portrait of the Unabomber suspect as a long-troubled man whose mental abnormalities were exhibited as long ago as 1959, when he was a Harvard University sophomore. Personality tests conducted at Harvard when Kaczynski was a teenage mathematics whiz indicated that he was showing signs of "social isolation" that presage schizophrenia, attorney Gary Sowards told U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2012 | By Alan Zarembo
Among the details to emerge in the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school massacre was the possibility that the gunman had some form of autism. Adam Lanza, 20, had a personality disorder or autism, his brother reportedly told police. Former classmates described him as socially awkward, friendless and painfully shy. While those are all traits of autism, a propensity for premeditated violence is not. Several experts said that at most, autism would have played a tangential role in the mass shooting -- if Lanza had it at all. FULL COVERAGE: Connecticut school shooting “Many significant psychiatric disorders involve social isolation,” said Catherine Lord, director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
OPINION
September 16, 2010 | Meghan Daum
Friendship is surely the most revered of social institutions. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously referred to a friend as "the masterpiece of nature. " Jane Austen called friendship "the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. " And as Marlene Dietrich pointed out, "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. " Finally, though, gooey sentiment has been backed up by science. In an analysis of data from 148 studies about the connection between health and social interactions, researchers from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people with strong social networks live longer than those without.
NEWS
November 14, 2011 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times/ For the Booster Shots blog
One in five Americans has hearing loss. Yes, you heard that right. A study published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine found that 20% of Americans over the age of 12 experience hearing loss in at least one ear. That figure surprised study leader Dr. Frank R. Lin, an assistant professor of otolaryngology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Lin and his colleagues also found that nearly 13% of Americans suffered hearing loss in both ears.
NEWS
September 28, 2010
You've been dumped by a romantic interest you really liked. You've been passed over for a job by a boss you thought admired you. A group of friends is going out together, leaving you out of their plans. This kind of social rejection prompts your brain to send warning signals to your body that there's been a sudden tear in your personal social fabric, says a new study. Some of those signals you will undeniably feel -- the pain in your gut, the ache in your heart, the lump in your throat.
OPINION
September 16, 2010 | Meghan Daum
Friendship is surely the most revered of social institutions. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously referred to a friend as "the masterpiece of nature. " Jane Austen called friendship "the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. " And as Marlene Dietrich pointed out, "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. " Finally, though, gooey sentiment has been backed up by science. In an analysis of data from 148 studies about the connection between health and social interactions, researchers from Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people with strong social networks live longer than those without.
OPINION
February 23, 2009 | GREGORY RODRIGUEZ
Are you feeling lonely, disconnected or alienated? It could be making you sick, and, ironically, you're not alone. In 1985, when researchers asked a cross-section of Americans how many confidants they had, the most common response was three. When they asked again in 2004, the most common answer -- from 25% of respondents -- was zero, nil, nada. In 1950, only 9.3% of American households consisted of people living alone. By 2000, that percentage had jumped to a whopping 26%.
SCIENCE
September 20, 2008 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Social isolation is often described as "cold and lonely" -- but does it actually feel cold? New research this week says the answer is yes. Just thinking about rejection can make a person perceive a room as chillier, according to a report in the journal Psychological Science. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, also found that people who felt isolated preferred warm drinks over cold ones -- presumably to make themselves feel better.
HEALTH
October 16, 2006 | Ben Harder, Special to The Times
WHILE no man is an island, too many are like lonely peninsulas jutting off from the rest of society. In recent decades, close friendships among Americans have dwindled -- especially among certain groups of men. And, experts say, there are consequences to that. Social isolation -- a lack of close friends, tight-knit family or ties to groups -- takes a toll on men's physical and mental health. "Friendship is a buffer," says Dr.
NATIONAL
June 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Services
Americans are more socially isolated than they were 20 years ago, separated by work, commuting and single life, researchers reported. Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50% named two or fewer confidants, the researchers said.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
People who are socially isolated are more likely to die prematurely, regardless of their underlying health issues, according to a study of the elderly British population. The findings, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that when mental and physical health conditions were factored out, the lack of social contact continued to lead to early death among 6,500 men and women tracked over a seven-year period. "They're dying of the usual causes, but isolation has a strong influence," said study author Andrew Steptoe, an epidemiologist at University College London.
NATIONAL
June 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Services
Americans are more socially isolated than they were 20 years ago, separated by work, commuting and single life, researchers reported. Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50% named two or fewer confidants, the researchers said.
NEWS
December 24, 1997 | MARK GLADSTONE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An attorney for Theodore Kaczynski on Tuesday drew a portrait of the Unabomber suspect as a long-troubled man whose mental abnormalities were exhibited as long ago as 1959, when he was a Harvard University sophomore. Personality tests conducted at Harvard when Kaczynski was a teenage mathematics whiz indicated that he was showing signs of "social isolation" that presage schizophrenia, attorney Gary Sowards told U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
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