Source: University of California - Santa Cruz
Teens who choose to spend time alone may know what's best for them, according to new research that suggests solitude isn't a red flag for isolation or depression.
The key factor is choice, say researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Wilmington College: When solitude is imposed on adolescents and young adults, whether as punishment or as a result of social anxiety, it can be problematic.
But chosen solitude contributes to personal growth and self-acceptance, they found.
When adolescents and young adults choose to spend time alone, solitude can provide an opportunity for self-reflection, creative expression, or spiritual renewal
But it can be challenging when it is imposed on them, when they opt out of social engagement because they lack friends, feel awkward, experience social anxiety, or are being punished.