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Manuscript Submission Deadline 26 January 2023

Solitude has been conceived of as both a physical and perceived separation from others. Given the current state of virtual communication permitted by technology, contemporary conceptions of solitude describe a state where an individual is removed from opportunities for social interaction.

Historical views have emphasized both the good and the bad of solitude for child and adolescent development. For example, spending time alone is thought to facilitate critical developmental skills, including individuation, self-regulation, and achieving a sense of autonomy. However, there is also widespread concern that spending too much time alone will deprive children and adolescents of the critical and unique opportunities and benefits afforded peer interactions. This is one example of the paradox of solitude that illustrates the complex nature of solitude and its relations with well‐being. In addition, researchers have further proposed a model of developmental timing effects for solitude, in which non-linear variations are postulated in the implications of solitude from early childhood to emerging adulthood. Such non-linear variations reflect the myriad of factors that could serve to mediate, moderate, and complicate how solitude impacts child and adolescent well‐being.

In this regard, several topics require further exploration. For instance, what are the different causal mechanisms that might underlie children’s and adolescents’ experiences of solitude? To what extent do these causes differentially affect the implications of solitude at different stages of child and adolescent development? How do different contexts (e.g., technology, culture, COVID-19 pandemic) modulate the meaning and impact of solitude on well-being? To what extent would personal-oriented research help us better understand the heterogeneous nature of solitude?

Accordingly, the goal of this Research Topic is to elucidate a broad range of perspectives and more substantial empirical research evidence to these ongoing discussions, and welcomes themes including, but not limited to:
1. Internal and external motivations for solitude, and dynamic changes in the process of solitude motivation from a developmental perspective;
2. The complex relations between solitude and mental health, school adjustment, socio-emotional and cognitive development in children and adolescents;
3. Solitude in specific contexts (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, across cultures, immigration, and technology);
4. Conceptualization, assessment, and implications of the heterogeneous nature of solitude among children and adolescents.

Original research applying qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods, as well as meta-analyses, or systematic reviews are welcome.

Keywords: solitude, motivation, children and adolescent’s development, solitude in the context


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Solitude has been conceived of as both a physical and perceived separation from others. Given the current state of virtual communication permitted by technology, contemporary conceptions of solitude describe a state where an individual is removed from opportunities for social interaction.

Historical views have emphasized both the good and the bad of solitude for child and adolescent development. For example, spending time alone is thought to facilitate critical developmental skills, including individuation, self-regulation, and achieving a sense of autonomy. However, there is also widespread concern that spending too much time alone will deprive children and adolescents of the critical and unique opportunities and benefits afforded peer interactions. This is one example of the paradox of solitude that illustrates the complex nature of solitude and its relations with well‐being. In addition, researchers have further proposed a model of developmental timing effects for solitude, in which non-linear variations are postulated in the implications of solitude from early childhood to emerging adulthood. Such non-linear variations reflect the myriad of factors that could serve to mediate, moderate, and complicate how solitude impacts child and adolescent well‐being.

In this regard, several topics require further exploration. For instance, what are the different causal mechanisms that might underlie children’s and adolescents’ experiences of solitude? To what extent do these causes differentially affect the implications of solitude at different stages of child and adolescent development? How do different contexts (e.g., technology, culture, COVID-19 pandemic) modulate the meaning and impact of solitude on well-being? To what extent would personal-oriented research help us better understand the heterogeneous nature of solitude?

Accordingly, the goal of this Research Topic is to elucidate a broad range of perspectives and more substantial empirical research evidence to these ongoing discussions, and welcomes themes including, but not limited to:
1. Internal and external motivations for solitude, and dynamic changes in the process of solitude motivation from a developmental perspective;
2. The complex relations between solitude and mental health, school adjustment, socio-emotional and cognitive development in children and adolescents;
3. Solitude in specific contexts (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, across cultures, immigration, and technology);
4. Conceptualization, assessment, and implications of the heterogeneous nature of solitude among children and adolescents.

Original research applying qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods, as well as meta-analyses, or systematic reviews are welcome.

Keywords: solitude, motivation, children and adolescent’s development, solitude in the context


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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