Social & Education Policy

An exploration of factors related to service utilization in emerging adults: Loneliness and psychosocial supports

Smith, K.M.; Reed-Fitzke, K.


To examine the relationships between loneliness and psychosocial supports, emerging adult service utilization, and barriers to utilization. Participants: 18 to 29-year-old students enrolled in a large Midwestern University (nā€‰=ā€‰292). Methods: Online surveys were administered to all participants involving information on loneliness, social supports, basic need satisfactions, community/university service utilization, and barriers to service use. Logistic and linear regressions, analysis of variance were conducted. Results: Emerging adults were found to have a greater likelihood of service utilization when higher in social support from friends and less likely to utilize services when high in relatedness and competence need satisfaction, specifically in regard to community services. Group differences in greater barriers to service utilization were found among the highest levels of loneliness and the lowest levels of need satisfaction. Conclusion: Overall, this study indicates psychosocial supports and loneliness are related to service utilization in a nuanced manner.