Students’ Loneliness: The Role of Social Relations in the Online and Offline Life


  • Sara Fabijanić OŠ Josipa Jurja Strossmayera, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Lana Batinić Catholic University of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Ivana Vrselja Catholic University of Croatia, Zagreb, Croatia


loneliness, social support, offline and online social relationships


The aim of this study was to investigate whether support in the offline world and some aspects of social network use predict loneliness in students. A cross-sectional online study was conducted in March 2023 on a sample of 211 (80.6% female) students aged 18 to 26. Participants provided information on the social support they receive in the offline world (tangible support, evaluative support, self-esteem support, and belonging support), some aspects of their social network use (intensity of use, number of friends, and number of likes and comments), and loneliness. The data was analysed using a hierarchical regression analysis. As expected, the analysis showed that stronger appraisal, stronger self-esteem, and stronger belonging support in offline life were associated with lower loneliness in students. Surprisingly, none of the measured aspects of social network use significantly predicted students’ loneliness. These results provide valuable insight into understanding loneliness in the context of offline and online social relationships.