Lonely Americans

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photoIn the era of cell phones, email, and MySpace you might think that Americans are more connected to their closest friends than ever. But in fact, they're more alone. At least that's the conclusion of new research.

According to the new study, one in four Americans say they have no one to talk to about their personal problems. Twice as many people as two decades ago. It's an alienation exacerbated perhaps by long, lonely commutes, longer work hours, two-career families, and the rise of the Internet.

The fear is that this growing social isolation is fraying Americans' emotional safety nets — even threatening their physical well-being.

Hear what it means when so many Americans feel so alone.


Lynn Smith-Lovin, Sociologist at Duke University and co-author of the study "Social Isolation in America" published in American Sociological Review

Jacqueline Olds, Psychiatrist, Harvard Medical School and co-author of
"Overcoming Loneliness in Everyday Life"

Bernice Pescosolido, Medical Sociologist at Indiana University and Director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research.

This program aired on June 28, 2006.


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