Advisor

Cynthia D. Mohr

Date of Award

Summer 6-4-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology

Department

Psychology

Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 273 pages)

Subjects

Loneliness -- Social aspects -- Research, Social isolation -- Health aspects -- Research, Health behavior -- Research, Self-disclosure -- Social aspects -- Research

DOI

10.15760/etd.2337

Abstract

As a social species, human beings are driven by an innate desire to belong and are thus motivated to develop and maintain meaningful social relationships. As such, perceiving a lack of belongingness strongly impacts psychological and physiological health and well-being. A common form of perceived relationship deficits is loneliness, a negative-affective experience detrimental to health and well-being over time. Through a series of three manuscripts, this dissertation applies the full-cycle model of social psychological research to explore various affective, behavioral, and cognitive consequences of loneliness. Whereas existing models of loneliness focus on long-lasting or chronic forms of loneliness, these studies investigate chronic and transient loneliness, as well as processes through which transient loneliness may develop into more chronic levels. The first paper demonstrates that solitary consumption is a unique behavioral response to transient loneliness, which may exacerbate the experience of loneliness and negatively impact health over time. The second paper provides support for a positivity-deficit perspective, demonstrating that chronic loneliness is related to less disclosure of recent positive experiences, a deficit which may be consequential for the development of close relationships. The third paper demonstrates the role of transient loneliness in inhibiting individuals and their interaction partners from reaping the social rewards of positive-event disclosure, particularly among those who typically feel socially connected. Taken together, these studies expand the current understanding transient loneliness, revealing various social-cognitive and behavioral consequences which could impede the social-reaffiliation process, and thus contribute to the maintenance of loneliness over time.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/15550

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