ELSIE is a partnership with SpunOut.ie and funded by a New Foundations grant from the Irish Research Council to Dr Ann-Marie Creaven.

ELSIE is our acronym for the Exploring Loneliness and Social Isolation in Emerging adulthood project. Although loneliness is often viewed as a problem of older adulthood, research indicates that young adults also have high rates of loneliness. The goal of this project is to understand more about loneliness during the phase of life between adolescence and fully-fledged adulthood, described as “emerging adulthood”. This phase of life (from about 16 to 25 years), is a time of change in several factors related to loneliness – for example, this is when most people finish school, a transition that involves changes in the social networks and friendships that protect us from loneliness.

Meet the team!

Dr Ann-Marie Creaven is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Limerick, interested in how our social relationships influence health and well-being.

Emma Kirwan is a PhD researcher at UL. Emma's research explores loneliness in emerging adulthood and she takes a leading role in ELSIE.

Dr Páraic O Suilleabháin is a lecturer in psychology at UL, and coordinates the research training for trainees on our clinical psychology programme.

Dr Annette Burns is Loneliness Interventions Officer at the Institute of Public Health, involved in several loneliness projects relating to older adulthood, as well as ELSIE.

ELSIE Outputs

Emma presented our protocol for a scoping review of the literature on loneliness in emerging adulthood at the Division of Health Psychology, Psychology, Health, and Medicine Conference.


The protocol is under review in Systematic Reviews; find it here.


From the archive

Listen back to Ann-Marie discuss friendships and loneliness during COVID on RTÉ Radio 1:

10th March 2021

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