Michael Furlong, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara – along with Kelly-Ann Allen of Monash University, Australia – has guest edited the most recent issue of Australian Journal of Psychology. The issue – Volume 73, Issue 1 (2021) – is entitled "Belonging and loneliness." The issue can be accessed online.
Loneliness is treated as a public health problem/challenge in a number of countries if not in the United States. This special issue places the topic in a broader research history context, emphasizing the importance of global perceptions of acceptance and being valued by others. “It is my own theoretical bias toward mindset constructs,” Furlong writes. “We can have moment-to-moment lonely feelings, but at the end of the day when we go to sleep, it is the sense we make of those feelings that are crucial. When lonely feelings equal believing that I am not accepted—rejected and unvalued as a person—then a child’s positive development is threatened.” This topic is an emerging focus as U.S. schools increasingly attend to students’ mental health and well-being.
In addition to being a Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Michael Furlong also served as Interim co-Dean of the Gevirtz School (2015-16), Associate Dean for Research of the Gevirtz School (2016-18), and as a Professor and Chair in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. He taught in the GGSE from 1982-1985 and 1990-2018. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 16, School Psychology) and the American Educational Research Association. Between 2008-2015 he was the Editor of the Journal of School Violence and co-edited the Handbook of Positive Psychology in the Schools (2009, 2014). He carries out his research with colleagues in the international Center for School-Based Youth Development.