Three months of loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown

William D.S. Killgore, Sara A. Cloonan, Emily C. Taylor, Michael A. Miller, Natalie S. Dailey

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The majority of the U.S. population has been under stay-at-home restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 since March 2020. Over the first three months of restrictions, 3,121 U.S. adults completed the UCLA Loneliness Scale-3 and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Despite relaxation of lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders over that time, loneliness scores increased significantly, particularly from April to May 2020, and appear to have plateaued by June. Loneliness was correlated with depression and suicidal ideation at all time points and was most prevalent among individuals who reported that they were still under community restrictions to socially isolate due to the novel coronavirus. Loneliness remains elevated despite the reopening of many communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113392
JournalPsychiatry research
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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