How does PAX prevent loneliness?

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

A recent study in the Journal of Aging and Mental Health found that young adults

(age 21-30) feel lonely about twice as much as older adults (age 50-70). This is

contrary to what many may believe. It may also be surprising, since the younger

cohort still feels lonelier even though also reporting larger networks. That means

that even though young adults may be less at risk for “social isolation” by having

more people around them than older people, it doesn’t necessarily protect young

people from loneliness.

The UK has recognized loneliness in young people as such a problem that they have

incorporated relationship lessons into school curriculum. In addition to promoting

greater happiness, reducing loneliness also comes with health benefits such as

improved immunity and cardiovascular health.

PAX plays an important role in preventing and reducing children’s feelings of

loneliness. Strategies such as Tootle Notes not only increase the size of children’s

peer networks preventing social isolation, but also teach students social skills for

appropriate interaction within that peer network by teaching children to both give

and receive gratitude.

The co-operative tasks and interdependent nature of the PAX Game builds strong

relationships among children that promote engagement and inclusion of all

children. Frequent PAX Games actually reduce bickering and other anti-social

behavior since individual successes elevate the success of the team and all its

members. This becomes a very self-reinforcing mechanism for increased pro-social


Stephanie T. Child & Leora Lawton (2017) Loneliness and social isolation among

young and late middle-age adults: Associations with personal networks and social

participation, Aging & Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1399345


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