In sum, the findings from contemporary social science research indicate that married individuals are less likely to be lonely. However, the picture is more complex than Russell's simple suggestion that love, at least as provided by marital and kin relations, provides a surefire escape from loneliness. At some ages and positions in life, kin relationships appear to be a less important aspect of the loneliness equation than friendships or other factors. Parents not only protect their children from being lonely but also they contribute to it. If siblings are close, they tend to be less lonely (Ponzetti and James 1997). Throughout adulthood, unsatisfying marriages and the endings of intimate relationships are associated with greater loneliness. Thus, it is not simply relationships but what happens in them that counts.
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