VOLUME 5 (2003) - ISSUE 10 (WINTER)

The Experience of Loneliness: Objective and Subjective Factors

by Warren H. JONES and Lauriann HEBB


Empirical research on the psychological experience of loneliness is reviewed with particular emphasis on the distinction between objective and subjective determinants. The review begins with an examination of conceptual and measurement issues, then proceeds to consider each of several domains of loneliness research including, psychological correlates and processes (e.g., demographics, development, emotion, belief, personality, the self, adjustment and health), and social factors (i.e., relationship status, conversational behavior, stress, and culture).  The thesis that social ties are inhibited in economically advanced countries is considered from the perspective of the loneliness literature.  The essay concludes with a summary of major findings.  Specifically, the interaction of internal psychological processing and external social factors in the development and maintenance of loneliness is emphasized.


Loneliness - Relationships - Social Behavior - Personality - Stress


Warren H. JONES, Ph.D,  is Professor of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

Lauriann HEBB is a doctoral student in psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Author Name (Year), “Title”, in: The International Scope Review, Volume Number, Issue Number, TSCF Editions, Brussels.


This contribution is a chapter of the book edited by Patrick HUNOUT, The Erosion of the Social Link in the Economically Advanced Countries.


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