Special section in the European Journal of Ageing - Loneliness in ageing populations

This special section aims to concentrate on one facet of vulnerability: loneliness understood as the feelings arising when one perceives a discrepancy between desired and actual number and quality of social relations.

There is an abundance of literature on the issue of loneliness covering loneliness in the context of old age, coping strategies and interventions to prevent from loneliness, factors leading to such feelings, and comparisons between different countries. There is an increasing literature on loneliness feelings among older migrants, yet there are not many studies comparing older natives and migrants.

The population at the core of this special section is that of older persons. The aim is to grasp the heterogeneity of this population and accordingly how loneliness is experienced in different groups of elderly: persons with or without a migration background, minorities both ethnic, but also sexual minorities, vulnerable persons, and so on.


  • for submitting abstracts: 1 May 2019
  • for full papers: 1 September 2019

The special section invites contributions that discuss some of the following issues:

  1. The role of the life course for old-age loneliness,
  2. Loneliness feelings at different moments in the life course and their impact on old-age loneliness,
  3. Factors protecting from loneliness feelings in old age,
  4. Methodological developments to measure loneliness and cross-cultural validations.

With regard to research methodologies, qualitative studies are particularly welcomed. Also, the special section aims to talk across disciplines and research fields, welcoming papers from sociology, migration studies, gerontology, psychology, socio-economics and public health.

Interested scholars are invited to submit an abstract to Oana Ciobanu (oana.ciobanu@unige.ch), no later than 1 May 2019.

Your submission for the special issue should include the following:

  • Name, email address, and affiliations of all the authors,
  • Title of the paper,
  • Abstract of around 500 words (topic, aim and research question, theoretical perspective, methodology and main results).

The guest editors will decide on the acceptance or rejection of the abstract until 15 May 2019. Selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper (max. 5000 words for empirical papers, including qualitative studies, and max. 8000 words for reviews or theoretical articles) via the Editorial Management system of the European Journal of Ageing. The deadline for full papers is 1 September 2019. The papers will go through the usual peer-review process.

For any queries, please e-mail oana.ciobanu@unige.ch.