Master's Thesis

A social VR-based intervention to reduce loneliness in young adults


Ida Schaffeld

Processing Period:

21.06.2021 - 14.02.2022


Loneliness represents an ever growing problem in society, affecting young adults in particular.
Although loneliness can have long-term, sometimes serious effects on the physical and mental
health of those affected, there are so far only a few theoretically sound as well as target-group-
oriented interventions. A VR-based intervention was developed for the purpose of this Master’s
thesis, which includes psychological, playful and social elements to combat loneliness. An on-
line focus group test (N = 8) was conducted to explore the potential and effectiveness of the
intervention. The results of the focus group test indicate that the use of multiple strategies (e. g.
to build and strengthen social relationships, increase self-confidence and improve social skills)
is useful to counteract the individual causes and effects of loneliness. It could be shown that
especially the combination of psychological and playful elements is beneficial to offer lonely
people support and distraction in equal measure. In order to analyze the (long-term) effects of
the intervention, future research should be linked to and further develop the findings of this