The De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale

General information


This widely-used and robust tool measures the feelings of missing an intimate relationship (emotional loneliness) and missing a wider social network (social loneliness).  As such it’s useful for identifying the reasons behind feelings of loneliness.

It comprises of 6 positively-worded questions, which need to be asked as a set.

You can find more information and guidance on measuring loneliness here: Brief Guide to Measuring Loneliness



Note that the scoring of the questions differs. The score for each answer is included in brackets after each possible response. The respondents don’t need to see this score in a self-completion questionnaire.

1. I experience a general sense of emptiness
Response: Yes [1]     More or less [1]     No [0]

2. There are plenty of people I can rely on when I have problems
Response: Yes [0]     More or less [1]     No [1]

3. There are many people I can trust completely
Response: Yes [0]     More or less [1]     No [1]

4. I miss having people around me
Response: Yes [1]     More or less [1]     No [0]

5. There are enough people I feel close to
Response: Yes [0]     More or less [1]     No [1]

6. I often feel rejected
Response: Yes [1]     More or less [1]     No [0]


de Jong Gierveld, J. and van Tilburg, T. 2006. 6-Item Scale for Overall, Emotional, and Social Loneliness: Confirmatory Tests on Survey Data Research on Ageing 28(5) pp. 582-598

Validation details

De Jong Gierveld, J., Van Tilburg, T. The De Jong Gierveld short scales for emotional and social loneliness: tested on data from 7 countries in the UN generations and gender surveys. Eur J Ageing 7, 121–130 (2010).


Cost / Terms of Use

Free (No permission required)

Instructions and Scoring

Because the questions are positively and negatively worded, the scoring is different for different questions (in square brackets above).



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