Lives Of The Lonely: How Collaborative Consumption Services Can Alleviate Social Isolation

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pia A. Albinsson PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Loneliness and social isolation are significant public health concerns that affect individual and community wellbeing. Certain urban centers have seen an increase in “lonely deaths” which entail “people, often elderly, dying alone without anyone noticing” (Rashid, 2017). Termed “godoska” by South Koreans, and “kodokushi” by the Japanese (Rashid, 2017), this “death by isolation” (Albinsson et al., 2021) is an extreme consequence of loneliness. Research findings indicate that individuals’ health-related behaviors, their mental and physical health, as well as their risk of death are influenced by the quantity and quality of their social relationships (Umberson and Karas Montez, 2010). According to the Cacioppo Evolutionary Theory of Loneliness, in all age groups, the experience of feeling lonely elicits a host of behavioral and biological processes that contributes to premature death (National Institute on Aging, 2019). Those that are isolated or less socially integrated are physically and psychologically less healthy and thus at greater risk of mortality (Shankar et al., 2011). While this public health concern is being addressed at multiple levels (e.g., government and local community programs), another avenue of exploration is whether sharing economy (SE) initiatives can foster human connections and thereby reduce social isolation and loneliness.

Additional Information

Merlyn A. Griffiths, B. Yasanthi Perera, Pia A. Albinsson. Lives of the Lonely: How Collaborative Consumption Services Can Alleviate Social Isolation. Frontiers in Psychology. 2022;13. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2022
social isolation, loneliness, sharing economy, paid friendships, consumer vulnerability, collaborative consumption, community

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