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Solitude: An Exploration of Benefits of Being Alone

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Abstract

Christopher R. Long and James R. Averill, Solitude: An Exploration of Benefits of Being Alone, pp. 21–44. Historically, philosophers, artists, and spiritual leaders have extolled the benefits of solitude; currently, advice on how to achieve solitude is the subject of many popular books and articles. Seldom, however, has solitude been studied by psychologists, who have focused instead on the negative experiences associated with being alone, particularly loneliness. Solitude, in contrast to loneliness, is often a positive state—one that may be sought rather than avoided. In this article, we examine some of the benefits that have been attributed to solitude—namely, freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality. In subsequent sections, we consider the environmental settings and personality characteristics conducive to solitude, how time spent alone is experienced differently across the life span, and the potential dangers related to the attractiveness of solitude. We conclude with a brief discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of solitude.

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... By reviewing the research and theory related to solitude, Long and Averill (2003) argue that in contrast to loneliness involving negative emotions, solitude is a "more open-ended experience" with positive aspects. Even though solitude is characterized by the status of being alone, it provides the opportunity to separate from social environment and to have the freedom to choose desired solitary activity (Long & Averill, 2003). ...
... By reviewing the research and theory related to solitude, Long and Averill (2003) argue that in contrast to loneliness involving negative emotions, solitude is a "more open-ended experience" with positive aspects. Even though solitude is characterized by the status of being alone, it provides the opportunity to separate from social environment and to have the freedom to choose desired solitary activity (Long & Averill, 2003). This theoretical framework of positive solitude was supported by evidence from a study examining the daily experience of social isolation, which indicated that being alone was not a negative experience for older adults, rather it was a positive opportunity for them to fully engage in self-reflection or hobbies (Larson et al., 1985). ...
... Individuals differ widely in the degree of social interaction, as some of them have a strong desire for social contact, whereas others may be less desired to interact with people (Leary et al., 2003). People even choose to be isolated, as solitude provides people with opportunities and freedom to engage in activities for enjoyment, relaxation, and alleviating stress (Long & Averill, 2003;Nguyen et al., 2018). Even though solitary activity has no or limited social interaction with others, it can be beneficial for people's psychological wellbeing (Burke, 1992). ...
Article
Social isolation has been recognized as a critical public health problem. As the most vulnerable population, older adults are disproportionately affected by social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purposes of this study were to examine the association between social isolation and loneliness among U.S. older adults and to explore the moderating effect of solitary activity by using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Social isolation was measured by six indicators, including marital status, living arrangement, social participation in any clubs or social organizations, and the frequency of social contact with children, family members, and friends. Loneliness was assessed by eleven questions derived from the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Solitary activity included 11 types of activities that respondents could perform alone with limited or no social interaction. Results from the multivariate regression analyses indicated that unmarried status and lower frequency of social contact were associated with more perceived loneliness. Solitary activity significantly moderated the negative effects of the low frequency of social contact with family members on loneliness. The findings implicate that social work programs and interventions can aim to expand social networks and provide more opportunities for solitary activities, particularly for isolated older adults.
... Both scales have been used to demonstrate that self-determined motivation correlates with positive functioning in general [1], as well as with more proximal outcomes [2]. These positive reasons for spending time alone have been documented in studies not only from Western samples [1,12], but also in one East Asian sample [13]. ...
... Indeed, this view of healthy motivation for solitude has been reflected in recent empirical works, which showed that the pursuit of solitude for its benefits to creativity and relaxation was linked to experiences of personal growth in young adults [1]. When individuals experience positive solitude, they often attribute this to the freedom to engage in chosen activities and the removal of social pressure and surveillance [12]. From these literatures, our research was aimed at testing the hypothesis that solitude allows opportunities for autonomous self-expression-being able to engage in activities that reflect one's interests and choices. ...
... Solitude research may be more richly advanced if researchers study time alone as a unique experience with its own particular correlates and dynamics, rather than as a derivative from the lack of enjoyment or opportunities for interpersonal interactions. In fact, just as a person can feel lonely both when spending time with others and when spending time alone [12], it is possible that personality characteristics that lead people to enjoy their time with others also predict their affinity for solitude, as was the case here for an autonomous disposition. To this end, our studies suggested that a healthy motivation for solitude might be related to an individual's tendency to regulate their daily experiences in autonomous and choiceful ways. ...
Article
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Within the solitude literature, two discrete constructs reflect different perspectives on how time spent alone is motivated. Self-determined motivation for solitude reflects wanting time alone to find enjoyment and gain meaningful benefits from it, whereas preference for solitude concerns wanting time for oneself over others’ company regardless of reasons for why time alone is wanted. We investigated two personality characteristics: introversion from Big-Five personality theory and dispositional autonomy from self-determination theory. In two diary studies university students completed personality measures and reported about their experiences with time spent alone over a period of seven days. Across both studies, contrary to popular belief that introverts spend time alone because they enjoy it, results showed no evidence that introversion is predictive of either preference or motivation for solitude. Dispositional autonomy–the tendency to regulate from a place of self-congruence, interest, and lack of pressure–consistently predicted self-determined motivation for solitude but was unrelated to preference for solitude. These findings provided evidence supporting the link between valuing time spent alone with individual differences in the capacity to self-regulate in choiceful and authentic way.
... Although concerns about loneliness are warranted, it is important to note that time alone can also be experienced positively, as a growing body of research attests (Larson, 1990;Long & Averill, 2003;Ost Mor et al., 2020;Thomas, 2021). Research on solitude in older adulthood is scarce, especially compared to the vast literature on loneliness in old age, but the available evidence indicates that time alone in late life is not a uniformly negative experience. ...
... Individuals vary in their preference and motivation for solitude, with those who show a preference for solitude enjoying it more (Leary et al., 2003;Long & Averill, 2003), and those who choose solitude for self-determined reasons, as opposed to being alone by default or withdrawing because of social discomfort, are more likely to experience positive outcomes and not feel lonely (Thomas & Azmitia, 2019). However, this literature has largely overlooked solitude during late adulthood, and as we describe in more detail in the next section, social factors such as retirement and widowhood may play an influential role in solitary behavior. ...
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Research on solitude in older adulthood is scarce, and findings are mixed on whether time alone at this age is risky or beneficial. A mixed-method study was conducted to examine patterns of motivations for solitude among senior living residents (N = 397, Mage = 83) and associations with well-being. Cluster analyses identified four motiva- tional profiles: Low, Positive, Negative, and Dual. Overall, those with Low and Positive motivations for solitude displayed greater levels of well-being on both hedonic (e.g., life satisfaction) and eudaimonic (e.g., personal growth) measures; in particular, the Positive profile showed significantly higher levels of psychological richness. Themes drawn from responses to open-ended survey questions asking about the benefits and challenges of both socializing and being alone are discussed in light of the four motivational profiles, and implications for aging services are discussed.
... Notwithstanding, research also documents desired effects for solitude, stressing its contribution to well-being. Time alone arises in these studies as an opportunity to relax, regulate emotions, and reflect on one's life, thus enhancing and consolidating one's selfhood (Coplan & Bowker, 2014;Long & Averill, 2003;Nguyen et al., 2018;Pauly et al., 2018;Uziel, 2021). The factors that determine the nature of the alone experience are the focus of emerging yet still indecisive research (Coplan et al., 2019;Lay et al., 2018;Uziel et al., 2020). ...
... Aloneness (by choice and not) emerged as a setting of relative stability, with participants experiencing their different alone conditions quite similarly. Therefore, solitude might not present immediate benefits to well-being, but it does appear to offer a more predictable experience, and if utilized effectively could be a source of personal growth Long & Averill, 2003;Uziel, 2021). A worthy direction for future research would be to compare the immediate and sustained implications of periods of aloneness. ...
Article
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Stable social relationships are conducive to well-being. However, similar effects are not reported consistently for daily social interactions in affecting episodic (experiential) subjective well-being (ESWB). The present investigation suggests that the choice of being in a social context plays an important moderating role, such that social interactions increase ESWB only if taken place by one's choice. Moreover, it is argued that choice matters more in a social context than in an alone context because experiences with others are amplified. These ideas were tested and supported in two studies: An experiment that manipulated social context and choice status, and a 10-day experience-sampling study, which explored these variables in real-life settings. Results showed that being with others by one’s choice had the strongest positive association with ESWB, sense of meaning, and control, whereas being with others not by one’s choice—the strongest negative association with ESWB. Effects of being alone on ESWB also varied by choice status, but to a lesser extent. The findings offer theoretical and practical insights into the effects of the social environment on well-being.
... We see similar arguments in the field of social psychology. Long and Averill (2003) explicitly contrast solitude with loneliness, arguing that the great amount of concern for the latter has resulted in disregard for the former and unquestioned assumptions that solitude is the culprit of loneliness. Although emphasizing the positive outcomes of solitude, they are careful to recognize that solitude can be experienced positively or negatively, arguing that it depends on whether one chooses or prefers it. ...
... This line of thinking has been influential in how social psychologists approach loneliness itself (Long & Averill, 2003). Earlier research in the field tended to treat loneliness as a unidimensional construct, as reflected in Russell et al.'s (1978) UCLA Loneliness Scale. ...
Article
This article revisits the theoretical terrain surrounding solitude to address conceptual, methodological, and practical challenges manifest in the digital era. First, solitude has been approached from a number of different research traditions, resulting in disconnected streams of theory. Furthermore, these streams were developed before the rise of the Internet and mobile media. As a result, solitude is commonly, if not most commonly, conceptualized and measured as a matter of being physically alone. This article re-conceptualizes solitude as “noncommunication” to offer a more contemporary and inclusive perspective, one that uproots it from ideations of physical aloneness and replants it in social aloneness. Whereas previous theory in this area often ignores mediated interaction, we recognize it as a meaningful way for people to connect, with important implications for solitude. Our framework also calls for interrogation of key contextual factors that condition whether and how solitude is experienced in the digital era.
... Furthering such a line or reasoning, we can start by advocating that solitude, at least discussing it in theoretical terms, should present as a positive feeling in a given situation that then proves beneficial to develop creative and innovative solutions and action paths, given that it can particularly enable renewed perspectives around a myriad of fields in the daily life, these motivated by the freedom of spirit which turns possible to be experienced in such a context (Simonton, 2000). Apropos, Long & Averill (2003) advanced two ways in which solitude could enable increased levels of Creativity, namely: one by promoting and energizing the individual's imaginative involvement into a myriad of realities, this to say, by both enabling and leveraging people's imagination, daydream, and wonder, creating alternative scenarios to the present reality (Barabasz, 1991). Although different, logically relating to this emerges the other possible way in which solitude could boost creative behaviors in such delicate contexts, based on the premise that solitude may be conceived as interestingly able to facilitate self-reflection and contemplation (Koch, 1994), which, at their very core, are key to the generation of alternative and refined perspectives on life, which later derive into the adoption of new-fangled attitudes and behaviors (Long & Averill, 2003). ...
... Apropos, Long & Averill (2003) advanced two ways in which solitude could enable increased levels of Creativity, namely: one by promoting and energizing the individual's imaginative involvement into a myriad of realities, this to say, by both enabling and leveraging people's imagination, daydream, and wonder, creating alternative scenarios to the present reality (Barabasz, 1991). Although different, logically relating to this emerges the other possible way in which solitude could boost creative behaviors in such delicate contexts, based on the premise that solitude may be conceived as interestingly able to facilitate self-reflection and contemplation (Koch, 1994), which, at their very core, are key to the generation of alternative and refined perspectives on life, which later derive into the adoption of new-fangled attitudes and behaviors (Long & Averill, 2003). Hence, it can be defended that solitude can positively nurture creativity via the adoption of different, alternative, and complementary selves, this both via and resulting in a self-transformation process. ...
Chapter
Football coaches often play a differentiating role for the clubs, helping them to survive in a demanding mediatic, changing, and competitive environment where innovation may arise regarding leadership. This chapter seeks to unveil the perceptions of football coaches as leaders and the role of the football clubs' organizational culture in affirming this leadership. Studies on leadership constitute a broad field of organizational and management theories, highlighting the role of personality traits, as well as the organizational and social contexts surrounding the leaders' actions. As there is no significant academic literature on football coaches and leadership, it was sought to explore the coaches' perceptions as leaders, as well as the influence of the clubs' organizational culture in which they developed their activity. Based on 22 interviews with football coaches of reference clubs, this chapter highlights their difficulties, demands, and needs to deal with their professional context.
... Individuals with a high preference for solitude are thought to have low motivation for both social approach and social avoidance (Wang et al., 2013b), and usually show a non-fearful preference for solitary activities (i.e., they refrain from social intercourse, but are not afraid of other people) (Rubin et al., 2009;Coplan and Weeks, 2010). Previous studies on the relationship between preference for solitude and individuals' psychological and behavioral adaptation have been mostly restricted to western individualistic contexts (Wang, 2016;Coplan et al., 2019) and revealed that solitude has a positive effect on individuals' development (Long and Averill, 2003). However, preference for solitude has been endowed with different meanings and values in different societies and cultures (Ding et al., 2015;Liu et al., 2015;Coplan et al., 2019). ...
... In this context, preference for solitude can be considered as an expression of personal choice, and people may view solitude more positively (Chen and French, 2008). Early Western psychological research has demonstrated that solitude has positive significance for human beings' psychological adaptation (Larson, 1997;Long and Averill, 2003). For instance, previous studies have found that high preference for solitude not only had a positive after effect on emotional state (Larson, 1997) but also can improve human beings' well-being (Burger, 1995). ...
Article
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Background: With the increasing incidence of mobile phone addiction, the potential risk factors of mobile phone addiction have attracted more and more researchers’ attention. Although various personality trait factors have been proven to be significant predictors of mobile phone addiction, limited attention has been paid to preference for solitude. Considering the adverse impacts of preference for solitude in the context of collectivistic societies and its possible negative effect on mobile phone addiction, this study was designed to examine the relationship between preference for solitude and mobile phone addiction, and to test the mediating role of psychological distress and the moderating role of mindfulness in this relationship. Methods: Data were collected through convenience sampling from a comprehensive university in China. A total of 927 Chinese college students (371 males and 556 females), aged from 16 to 24 ( M age = 19.89 years, SD = 1.22), participated in this study. Their preference for solitude, psychological distress, mindfulness, and mobile phone addiction were measured using well-validated self-report questionnaires. Results: Correlational analyses, sobel test, SPSS macro PROCESS (Model 8) and simple slopes analyses were used for major data analysis. Results showed that preference for solitude was significantly and positively associated with mobile phone addiction, and this link could be mediated by psychological distress. Moreover, the indirect effect of psychological distress in this link was moderated by mindfulness, with this effect being stronger for college students with lower levels of mindfulness. However, mindfulness can not moderate the direct relation between preference for solitude and mobile phone addiction. Conclusion: The present study broadened our knowledge of how and when (or for whom) preference for solitude is related to mobile phone addiction. Education professionals and parents should pay special attention to the psychological distress and mobile phone addiction of college students with high levels of preference for solitude, particularly for those with lower levels of mindfulness.
... Alternatively, it could be that spending time alone during adolescence is beneficial, leading to better adjustment and emotion regulation (Long & Averill, 2003). Time alone may provide adolescents with the ability to self-reflect and autonomously pursue solo leisure activities (Goossens & Marcoen, 1999;Larson, 1997). ...
... The two-factor model is consistent with previous findings (Nicol, 2006;Thomas & Azmitia, 2019). The first subscale included items related to spending time alone for reasons that are valuable and personally enjoyable to the individual (see Long & Averill, 2003;Palgi et al., 2021), and thus, this subscale was labeled as positive solitude ("Because it makes me feel good"). The second subscale included items related to spending time alone as a reaction to a situation (e.g., social exclusion) or an emotional state (e.g., being sad or unhappy). ...
Article
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Research on the link between affinity for solitude (a tendency to enjoy time alone) and psychosocial adjustment among adolescents has been mixed; however, this may depend on whether time spent alone is motivated by positive (self-reflection, creative pursuits) or reactive (negative affect, avoiding social interaction) factors. The current study investigated affinity for solitude and motivations for spending time alone among 1072 early to mid-adolescents (Mage = 12.48 years, age range = 10–16, 49.8% female). Higher reactive solitude predicted depressive symptoms, peer victimization, and lower self-esteem, controlling for previous scores on these adjustment indicators. For social anxiety and friendship quality, there were significant 3-way interactions between affinity for solitude, reactive solitude, and frequency of time spent alone, indicating that the relation between affinity for solitude and these latter adjustment indicators depends on why and how often youth spend time alone. Findings indicate that attention should be given to youth who spend time alone for reactive reasons, as this appears to be associated with negative adjustment.
... Solitude was highlighted through photographs the participants took of different places they enjoyed spending time alone in nature. The benefits of solitude, as it applies to all age groups, has been acknowledged in the literature (Long & Averill, 2003). In agreement with Long and Averill's (2003) discussion, participants in the present study found that critical reflection on their emotional, spiritual, and mental health helped them address parts of their lives that were not evident, or that they could not give attention to, in a superficial context. ...
... The benefits of solitude, as it applies to all age groups, has been acknowledged in the literature (Long & Averill, 2003). In agreement with Long and Averill's (2003) discussion, participants in the present study found that critical reflection on their emotional, spiritual, and mental health helped them address parts of their lives that were not evident, or that they could not give attention to, in a superficial context. Furthermore, Toyoshima and Sato (2018) explored the tension between solitude and loneliness in older adults. ...
Thesis
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Background: Mental health is a major health concern in Canada. As the population ages, adults aged 50 and over will represent a larger proportion of Canadians with mental health concerns. This population is also increasing in size in rural areas; yet, there is a paucity of literature regarding the experiences of older adults with mental health concerns in rural areas. Research Design: This thesis addressed: What are the experiences of adults aged 50 and over with a mental health concern in a rural community in British Columbia? Community A was a rural town in the southern interior of BC. The thesis used critical social theory and interpretive description and data were collected using photovoice. Cameras were provided to eight participants aged 50 and over who had experienced a mental health concern and who lived in Community A. They photographed meaningful parts of their lives and shared photos in individual interviews. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Findings: Five themes were identified using constant comparison. For the first theme, mental wellbeing, participants unveiled eight facets of wellbeing: personal qualities, hope, spirituality and gratitude, nature, routine and productivity, medication, substance use, family, and isolation. For the second theme, losses, participants described how they were affected by the loss of abilities, friends, family, lifestyles, and thoughts regarding death. The third theme, stigma, was experienced internally and publicly. The fourth theme was services and supports. Participants identified barriers to support, as well as negative and positive experiences when they accessed services, and the importance of informal supports. Finally, participants’ mental health was influenced by their environment (home, finances, community). Discussion: These themes existed in tension with one another. While participants had ways of caring for their wellbeing, these strategies were inhibited by stigma. Stigma was the underlying factor for many of the complexities uncovered. Isolation, poverty, and access to services were all related to stigmatizing experiences. Additionally, participants’ personal histories often influenced their coping strategies, and their ability to reflect on their mental health needs. Themes informed recommendations made for policy development, education, health services delivery, and future research.
... Positive solitude refers to individuals' ability to positively enjoy alone time without meaningful interaction with others (5). In the whole process of life, individuals have more or less needs for solitude to relieve social pressure, reflect on themselves and conduct emotional renewal (6)(7)(8)(9)(10). Compared to Western cultures, Eastern cultures are more concerned with solitude (11,12), especially Chinese Confucianism and Taoism, which both advocate solitude. ...
... Loneliness refers to a painful psychological experience that individuals experience when they feel that their expectations cannot be met in current social interaction (24). However, solitude does not always have to be painful, and it can also be seen as a positive state of being sought rather than avoided (8). Winnicott is the first to regard solitude as a basic positive development ability of individuals, and emphasized the importance of individuality and privacy (25). ...
Article
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The current study aimed to identify latent profiles of positive solitude during the recurrent outbreak of COVID-19 among Chinese adults. A total of 902 adults from China completed the questionnaires. We found five different profiles of positive solitude: low positive solitude group, medium-low positive solitude group, quietness positive solitude group, medium-high positive solitude group, and high positive solitude group. Positive and negative affect were significantly different from the five profiles. In addition, gender had different effects on different positive solitude profiles. The results of the study provide a new perspective to understand the positive solitude of Chinese adults during the recurrent outbreak of COVID-19 by using the people-centered approach.
... The author of the concept argued and empirically confirmed that traumatic experience, obstacles and frustration contributes to developing emotional creativity (Averill, 1999). Another explanation is that emotionally creative people are able to process and interpret frustrating experience differently if we in addition consider another finding that emotionally creative people are able to enjoy the benefits of solitude (Long, Averill, 2003). Emotional creativity is correlated to the third scale of solitude inventory, which includes inner calmness, self-discovery and privacy (Long., & Averill, 2003). ...
... Another explanation is that emotionally creative people are able to process and interpret frustrating experience differently if we in addition consider another finding that emotionally creative people are able to enjoy the benefits of solitude (Long, Averill, 2003). Emotional creativity is correlated to the third scale of solitude inventory, which includes inner calmness, self-discovery and privacy (Long., & Averill, 2003). One important empirically based assumption is that emotionally creative people more frequently use avoidance as dominant coping strategy (Averill, 1999). ...
Article
The present research investigates emotional characteristics of professional culture – artists, examining the difference between art and non-art faculty students in emotional creativity and exploring the relationship between emotional creativity and alexithymia. Emotional creativity refers to the person’s ability to express and experience authentic, original and appropriate combinations of emotions. Art and non-art faculty students from different universities (34 female and 46 males; M of age=20.41, SD=1.64) were administered with the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI) along with the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) The result showed that art faculty students have higher scores on emotional creativity than students from other faculties. Emotional creativity aspects are negatively related with the alexithymia. In the interpretation of results, emotional creativity is represented as one of the psychological constructs which is an important characteristic for the individuals working in the field of art. There’s an illustration how differently artistic individuals understand and experience emotions. The results have practical implication for social and emotional learning perspective. According to following research not only cognitive but emotional creativity is an important disposition for creative work. This emotional aspect should be identified at school age to contribute the development of individuals’ artistic skills. Key words: artistic skills, alexithymia, emotional creativity.
... However, these studies investigate the fluctuation of social withdrawal over time in adolescence, focussing specifically on the negative aspects of social withdrawal, including shyness and peer victimization. They do not provide information on whether adolescents differ in the way they experience social withdrawal in their daily life, including both negative and positive aspects of social withdrawal, such as having time to spend on personal interests (Long & Averill, 2003). These studies also used retrospective, general measures of social withdrawal (Barzeva et al., 2019, Oh et al., 2008, making them potentially biased, as it may be difficult for participants to accurately recall information from social situations (Bower & Forgas, 2001). ...
... While the social withdrawal experiences of one group of adolescents might indeed be primarily characterized by high levels of negative affect and loneliness, the social withdrawal experiences of another group might be primarily characterized by high levels of positive affect and finding it pleasant to be alone. The experiences of the first group would then correspond more to the findings that social withdrawal is negative (Rubin et al., 2018), while the experiences of the second group would correspond more to the findings that social withdrawal can also be positive (Danneel et al., 2018, Long & Averill, 2003. ...
Article
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Social withdrawal is often presented as overall negative, with a focus on loneliness and peer exclusion. However, social withdrawal is also a part of normative adolescent development, which indicates that groups of adolescents potentially experience social withdrawal differently from one another. This study investigated whether different groups of adolescents experienced social withdrawal in daily life as positive versus negative, using experience sampling data from a large-scale study on mental health in general population adolescents aged 11 to 20 (n = 1913, MAge = 13.8, SDAge = 1.9, 63% female) from the Flemish region in Belgium. Two social withdrawal clusters were identified using model-based cluster analysis: one cluster characterized by high levels of positive affect and one cluster characterized by high levels of negative affect, loneliness and exclusion. Logistic regression showed that boys had 66% decreased odds of belonging to the negative cluster. These results show that daily-life social withdrawal experiences are heterogeneous in adolescence, which strengthens the view that, both in research and clinical practice, social withdrawal should not be seen as necessarily maladaptive.
... The positive benefits of solitude have been well documented (Coplan et al., 2018;Dixon, 2020;Long & Averill, 2003;Nguyen et al., 2018;Nguyen et al., 2019;Thomas & Azmitia, 2019). Benefits associated with time alone include avoiding over-stimulation (Suedfeld (1982), feelings of calmness (Nguyen et al., 2018), increased creativity (Gong & Xin, 2019;Long & Averill, 2003); Suedfeld, 1982), imaginative involvement (Barabasz, 1991), decreased self-consciousness (Larson, 1990), freedom of mental and physical choice (Long,200), free floating thoughts (Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1978), self-examination (Storr, 1989) and reflection (Koch, 1994). ...
... The positive benefits of solitude have been well documented (Coplan et al., 2018;Dixon, 2020;Long & Averill, 2003;Nguyen et al., 2018;Nguyen et al., 2019;Thomas & Azmitia, 2019). Benefits associated with time alone include avoiding over-stimulation (Suedfeld (1982), feelings of calmness (Nguyen et al., 2018), increased creativity (Gong & Xin, 2019;Long & Averill, 2003); Suedfeld, 1982), imaginative involvement (Barabasz, 1991), decreased self-consciousness (Larson, 1990), freedom of mental and physical choice (Long,200), free floating thoughts (Larson & Csikszentmihalyi, 1978), self-examination (Storr, 1989) and reflection (Koch, 1994). ...
Thesis
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People vary in the way in which they perceive, process and react to environmental factors, and some are more or less sensitive than others. There is a dearth of research investigating the possible impact that environmental sensitivity has in the postsecondary education context. To address this gap in literature, the following research question was posed: What impact does environmental sensitivity have on student learning in tertiary education? To answer this question a two-stage mixed methods research project was undertaken. The first stage involved two studies which used snowball recruitment via social media, and subject inclusion criteria were current or previous postsecondary education experience. Participants completed on-line surveys. Study One is the design, development and validation of a self-report instrument measuring postsecondary students’ perceptions of their learning success, and participants completed the Perceived Success in Study Survey (PSISS) and associated demographic questions. Two phases were undertaken to check for reliability of results, n=225 and n=237. Reliability statistics found a high level of internal consistency, and principal component analysis identified five factors: Intellectual Stimulation, Generic Skills, Work-life Balance; Commitment to Learning and Learning Community. The PSISS was found to be a comprehensive measure of overall success for postsecondary learners. The participants in Study Two (n=365) completed the PSISS and the 12-item Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS-12, Pluess et al., 2020) and related demographic questions. Independent T-tests, ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc calculations identified that high sensitivity is positively associated with success-promoting attitudes and strategies as identified on three of the five PSISS factors. It also found positive associations between total scores on the PSISS and the sensitivity subscales of Aesthetic Sensitivity and Ease of Excitation (Smolewska et al., 2006). This study included a response field to register interest in participation in further research. Those who responded, and who rated as highly sensitive on the HSPS-12, were invited to take part in a semi-structured interview, leading into the second stage of the project. Thirteen Zoom interviews were conducted with participants from a broad range of geographic locations and levels and fields of study in order to exemplify and elaborate on the quantitative findings. Reflexive inductive thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data, and sixteen codes and three themes were identified. Responses were written vi into a semantic narrative, accompanied by pertinent participant quotations, providing a rich and detailed description of participant experience. The results of this study confirmed that there are educational advantages contingent with high sensitivity, including the use of a broad array of metacognitive study and self-care strategies, and the prioritisation of wellbeing and work-life balance. Conversely, it also found that numerous simultaneous study demands can lead to feelings of overwhelm, however, the participants employed a comprehensive array of metacognitive coping strategies to manage these. Low sensory thresholds associated with high sensitivity can present challenges for highly sensitive students who can be negatively impacted by aspects of the physical learning environments including light, noise, indoor environmental pollutants. Additionally, participants highlighted the need for postsecondary institutions to provide education about environmental sensitivity, to allow flexibility in teaching delivery, to explore options to support students who may struggle with group-work and presentations, and to provide assessment accommodations. Overall, the project has identified a number of positive and negative associations between levels of learner sensitivity and student success and suggests that education about environmental sensitivity for students and teaching staff would be helpful for increasing awareness about the benefits and challenges of environmental sensitivity. Institutional commitment to providing optimal physical learning and social environments may enhance the learning experience for all students. Finally, recommendations for policy, practice and institutions highlight elements that will be of benefit to all students, most especially those who sit at the high end of the sensitivity spectrum.
... Research to date has largely focused on the effect of the pandemic on indices of loneliness, without considering the need for solitude. Although the need for solitude may differ by age, personality, and circumstance, solitude has been found to support the freedom to engage in personal interests and to foster creativity and spirituality [25]. ...
Article
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures were put into place to flatten the pandemic curve. It was projected that older adults were at increased risk for poor psychological and health outcomes resulting from increased social isolation and loneliness. However, little research has supported this projection among community-dwelling older adults. While a growing body of research has examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults, there is a paucity of qualitative research that captures the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults in Canada. The current study aimed to better understand the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults during the first six months of the pandemic in Ontario, Canada. Semi-structured one-on-one interviews were conducted with independent-living older adults aged 65 years and older. A total of 22 interviews were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Following a recursive process, two overarching themes were identified: perceived threat and challenges of the pandemic, and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, participants reflected on the threat of contracting the virus and challenges associated with living arrangements, social isolation, and financial insecurity. Participants shared their coping strategies to maintain health and wellbeing, including behavioral strategies, emotion-focused strategies, and social support. Overall, this research highlights resilience among older adults during the first six months of the pandemic.
... 453). Although it is commonly accepted that loneliness and solitude are two separate constructs, it is noted that solitude, not loneliness, provides people with opportunities for self-exploration and creativity (see Long and Averill, 2003). We believe that what is referred to as long-termed "negative solitude" is but a different term for loneliness and does not truly describe the term "solitude." ...
... Since then, many studies had treated loneliness as a unique mental state which could be distinguished from anxiety (Caplan, 2006;Crick & Ladd, 1993;Hamama et al., 2000;Jones et al., 1990;Leary, 1990;Reid & Reid, 2007), depression (Donovan et al., 2017;Ge et al., 2017;Kabir et al., 2018;Pandeya, 2017;Pronk et al., 2011;Wang et al., 2017), separateness (Karnick, 2005;Wijeratne & Manicavasagar, 2003), solitude (Davies, 1996;Galanaki, 2004;Goossens et al., 2009;Long & Averill, 2003), and boredom (Conroy et al., 2010;Skues et al., 2016). Horowitz, French, and Anderson (1982) identified three areas commonly attributed to lonely people-thoughts and feelings of being separated and disconnected from other people (e.g., feeling unloved, feeling interior, feeling like an alien), feelings of paranoia, depression and anger, and behaviours that reinforce loneliness (e.g., isolating oneself from others). ...
Thesis
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Loneliness is a prevalent issue among older persons. The literature largely indicated that the loneliness at old age would be a rather different experience than those of young adults and the middle-aged. Yet, there had never been a loneliness scale tailored for the unique experience of old age. This study aims to fill the gap by constructing a scale to measure loneliness among older persons. 94 older persons in Singapore were surveyed using a set of 30 items comprising of the UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 and 10 original items. These items were subjected to exploratory factor analysis and resulted in three candidate scales for measuring loneliness-the 19-item Senior Loneliness Scale (SLS19), as well as the 9-item variant (SLS9) and the 12-item variant (SLS12). The SLS scales were highly reliable and validated against the direct question LON1 "How often do you feel lonely?". Each candidate scale comprises of three sub-scales-emotional loneliness (EL), social loneliness (SL) and affiliative loneliness (AL). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and Cohen's kappa suggested that the EL sub-scales of SLS19 and SLS12 were effective in distinguishing older persons who were never/ rarely lonely from those who were sometimes/ often lonely. Regression of LON1 against the SLS sub-scales indicated that only the EL sub-scale was a significant predictor of the frequency of loneliness among older persons. This finding suggests that loneliness among older persons might be a unidimensional construct, but it would require further validation in future studies.
... The correlations revealed that the higher the solitude, the better the nutrition and physical activity alterations differently to loneliness, solitude is considered a positive state of aloneness (Long & Averill, 2003). Hence, when feeling good about being with yourself, there is an enhancement in diet and exercise, as seen in another study, which implies that practicing physical activity alleviates bad emotions during the pandemic . ...
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As the pandemic spread across Europe, universities had to suspend presential classes. By mid-April, a survey was applied to assess University of Algarve (UAlg) students during social distancing and e-learning classes. Participants completed an anonymous web-based survey and the sample included 1,358 students (mean age 23.20 ± 6.92). Results show optimism and solitude were positively correlated with anxiety, sleep, time management, and study conditions. Loneliness was negatively correlated to the variables mentioned above. Contrarily, optimism, and solitude were negatively correlated with preoccupations about isolation/loneliness, stress/anxiety, decrease in academic performance, and decrease in social 52 Studies in Education Sciences, Curitiba, v.2, n.2, p.51-74, may./aug., 2021 relationships. These variables were associated positively with loneliness. In addition, loneliness correlated positively with preoccupations in catching COVID-19 and getting sick. The findings suggest that the students who have a higher level of optimism and more often spend time with themselves in a positive way, present better conditions to deal with the pandemic effects. RESUMO Com a propagação da pandemia sobre a Europa, as universidades suspenderam as aulas presenciais. Na metade de abril, um questionário foi aplicado para avaliar estudantes da Universidade do Algarve (UAlg) durante o distanciamento social e as aulas remotas. Os participantes completaram uma pesquisa online e anônima e nossa amostra incluiu 1.358 estudantes (idade média 23.20 ± 6.92). Os resultados mostram que o otimismo e a solitude foram positivamente correlacionados com ansiedade, sono, gerenciamento do tempo e condições de estudo. A solidão se correlacionou negativamente com as variáveis citadas anteriormente. Contrariamente, otimismo e solitude foram negativamente correlacionados com preocupações sobre isolamento/solidão, stress/ansiedade, diminuição no desempenho académico e diminuição nas relações sociais. Os achados sugerem que quem tem maior índice de otimismo e maior capacidade de ficar mais frequentemente consigo de uma maneira positiva, teve melhores condições para lidar com os efeitos causados pela pandemia. Palavras-chave: COVID-19, universitários, saúde mental, impacto psicológico.
... Regarding the benefits of solitude, the findings of the present study corroborate the literature; solitude is a healthy way of adapting to changes (e.g. losses, retirement) and allows OA to identify unmet needs (Long & Averill, 2003;Toyoshima & Sato, 2019). However, participants found they were alone more often than desired. ...
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to understand the mental health experiences of adults 50 years of age and older living in a rural community in British Columbia. Methods: This study used critical social theory and interpretive description. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 8 adults aged 50 years and older. Participants used digital cameras and spent up to five weeks taking photos of representations of their life as an older adult with a mental health concern in a rural community. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore participants' reasons for taking various photos, unveiling their experiences. Constant comparison was used to analyze the data. Results: Four key themes were identified: mental wellbeing (hope, spirituality, and gratitude; nature and losses); stigma; services and supports; and environment. Conclusion: There is a significant need for more health care providers for rural older adults' mental health. Additionally, there is a need for integrated services and peer-led supports to address the needs of this population.
... In this sense, we applied them in our research in Litoral Norte MPA in northern Portugal to study the relationships between non-material NCP and subjective human well-being. We added one indicator statement reflecting 'solitude', because positive experiences of solitude in nature suggest that being alone in nature contributes to peace, tranquillity, self-reflection, and sense of freedom (Borrie and Roggenbuck 2001;Long and Averill 2003;Heintzman 2009). We pre-tested interview questionsincluding all indicator statements-before implementing the survey, to assess its suitability. ...
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The non-material aspects of nature are frequently the most socially valued and demanded nature’s contributions to people (NCP). This is because non-material NCP often lay the foundations of key human well-being dimensions such as identities, experiences, and capabilities. Yet, while research on material NCP such as food and water abound, studies of non-material NCP are relatively scarce. This research gap results in a limited understanding of the relationships between non-material NCP and human well-being, especially in the marine and coastal environment. To understand the relationships between non-material NCP and subjective human well-being, we surveyed 453 users of Litoral Norte—a multiple-use marine protected area in Portugal. Our survey included 16 statement indicators reflecting theoretical constructs of subjective well-being. Using factor analysis, we found that subjective well-being derived from relating to, interacting with, and experiencing marine and coastal sites can be grouped into four interpretable cultural dimensions of well-being. These dimensions are ‘engagement with nature & health’, ‘sense of place’, ‘solitude in nature’, and ‘spirituality’. We also found statistically significant differences in reported levels of the four dimensions of well-being. Reported levels of well-being varied with interviewees’ socio-economic characteristics and environmental behaviour. Our findings offer interesting insights for marine conservation practice and policy that aims to foster both biodiversity and human well-being.
... It also relates to their feelings about this (D'Hombres et al., 2020;DG EMPL, 2018;Russell, 1982). Researchers have also discussed the difference between loneliness and other related concepts, such as social isolation and solitude (Long and Averill, 2003;Russell, 1982;Zavaleta & Samuel, 2014). Other studies investigate how the feeling of loneliness depends on the relationship between individual characteristics or conditions (e.g., age, disability, sexual orientation, and unemployment: see Borys et al., 1985;Garcia et al., 2020;Farinha Rodrigues, 2019), as well as characteristics of the living environment, both at the meso-and macro level (e.g., poor neighbourhood, foreign country see Savikko, et al., 2005;van Tilburg, & Fokkema, 2020). ...
Technical Report
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Persisting territorial disparities across and within the EU represent a potential threat to the future of the European project. These inequalities have been further exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is crucial to understand existing challenges and opportunities across European locations for improving policies coherently with the principles of leaving no place and no one behind. This work introduces the exploratory concept of lonely places, which is spatially embedded and identifies a plurality of places that present a vulnerability in terms of lack or insufficient local endowment, accessibility, or connectivity. This study presents a unique spatial, multi-scalar and interdisciplinary approach to places. It aims at creating knowledge going beyond traditional operational classes of policy programmes, the urban/rural dichotomy, or administrative boundaries. This work also includes several dimensions (e.g., physical infrastructure, access to schools, cultural facilities, democratic participation, migrants’ integration, etc.), which are all useful to create fully integrated policies. Findings from this research enhance and support evidence-based policy actions to favour cohesion among territories and avoid the possibility that places might act as an obstacle to individuals to achieving their full potential. Results presented in this report can also inform other specific EU policies and frameworks, as well as policies at national, regional, and local levels.
... Physical contact with friends and relatives within the limits of the distancing rules as well as digital contact with them may decrease feelings of loneliness. Moreover, the present pandemic situation provides individuals with opportunities for positive solitude experiences by leaving time for doing positive things at home not done during non-pandemic everyday life and going out and experience nature (Burger, 1995;Long & Averill, 2003). These activities may bring about a sense of connection with someone or something and thus act as a buffer against loneliness (Russel et al., 2013). ...
Article
Background and Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing protocols designed to impede transmission of the corona virus have severe mental health consequences. This study examine changes in loneliness in the general adult population when the corona-related social distancing protocols were largely discontinued (T2) following a period of strict protocols (T1), predictors and correlates of these changes, and the associations between loneliness and depression and anxiety symptoms. Design In an online survey, 10,061 responded at T1. At T2, these respondents were asked to complete the survey again, and 4936 (49.1%) of them responded. Results Loneliness decreased from T1 to T2, but only to a minor extent. Using a multilevel approach, younger age was found to be related to more reduction of loneliness from T1 to T2. Higher health anxiety was found to predict less reduction of loneliness across time. Reduction of maladaptive coping strategies and negative metacognitive beliefs from T1 to T2 were both associated with reduction in loneliness. In turn, reductions in loneliness were associated with reductions of depression and anxiety symptoms. Conclusions The results suggest that health anxiety, maladaptive coping strategies and negative meta-beliefs are potential targets of intervention to alleviate loneliness. Pre-registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04444115.
... Research to date has largely focused on the effect of the pandemic on indices of loneliness, without considering the need for solitude. Although the need for solitude may differ by age, personality, and circumstance, solitude has been found to support the freedom to engage in personal interests and to foster creativity and spirituality [21]. ...
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures were put into place to flatten the pandemic curve. It was projected older adults were at increased risk for poor psychological and health outcomes resulting from increased social isolation and loneliness. However, little re-search has supported this projection among community-dwelling older adults. While growing body of research has examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults, there is a paucity of qualitative research that captures the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults. The current study aimed to better understand the lived experience of community-dwelling older adults during the first six months of the pandemic. Semi-structured one on one interviews were conducting with independent living older adults aged 65 years and older. After achieving saturation, 22 interview were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Following a recursive process, two overarching themes emerged from the data: perceived threat and challenges of the pandemic and coping with the pandemic. Specifically, participants reflected on the threat of contracting the virus and challenges associated with living arrangement, social isolation, and financial insecurity. Participants shared their coping strategies to maintain health and wellbeing, including behavioral strategies, emotion-focused strategies, and social support. Overall, this re-search highlights resilience among older adults during the first six months of the pandemic.
... Regarding loneliness, previous studies have reported that the ability to spend time alone may not be negatively affected [41]. Since the subject of this study could come to the measurement venue by themselves, it seems that their ADL is independent. ...
Article
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Previous studies have frequently reported that those with a driver’s license have better physical and cognitive functions than those without. However, there are many people in the world who do not need or who cannot have a driver’s license. We hypothesized that if the non-driver’s license group had the same or better physical and cognitive functioning as the driver’s license group, they could lead healthy lives without the risk of functional decline or loss of functioning due to surrendering their licenses or giving up driving. The subjects were 47 community-dwelling older adults. We measured their physical function and cognitive function and performed psychological assessment via the following tests: grip strength, Timed Up and Go test, walking speed, Five Times Sit to Stand test, Functional Reach test, Two-Step Test, Mini-Mental State Examination, Trail Making Test, Modified Falls Efficacy Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, and University of California Los Angeles Loneliness Scale. In previous studies, it has been said that having a driver’s license provides good physical, cognitive, and psychological functions. However, in this study, loneliness and executive function were strongly influenced by age and sex, and no direct relationship to a driver’s license was suggested. Rather, non-driver license holders may be relieved because there is no risk of accidents due to driving, and there is no possibility of a suddenly decline in physical or cognitive function due to revocation of a driver’s license.
... These results have implications for clinical practice, research, and policy. As reviewed earlier, the outcomes in this study are associated with a higher risk of disability and early mortality, [20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27] suggesting that timely interventions are needed for older adults reporting financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or income decline during COVID-19. These results suggest that older adults should be screened for pandemic-related financial challenges. ...
Article
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Background: Despite profound financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a gap in estimating their effects on mental health and well-being among older adults. Methods: The National Health and Aging Trends Study is an ongoing nationally representative cohort study of U.S. older adults. Outcomes included mental health related to COVID-19 (scores averaged across eight items ranged from one to four), sleep quality during COVID-19, loneliness during COVID-19, having time to yourself during COVID-19 and hopefulness during COVID-19. Exposures included income decline during COVID-19 and financial difficulty due to COVID-19. Propensity score weighting produced covariate balance for demographic, socioeconomic, household, health, and well-being characteristics that preceded the pandemic to estimate the average treatment effect. Sampling weights accounted for study design and non-response. Results: In weighted and adjusted analyses (n=3,257), both income decline during COVID-19 and financial difficulty due to COVID-19 were associated with poorer mental health related to COVID-19 (b= -0.1592, p<0.001and b= -0.3811, p <0.001, respectively), poorer quality sleep (OR= 0.63, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.86 and OR= 0.42, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.58, respectively), more loneliness (OR= 1.53, 95% CI: 1.16, 2.02 and OR= 2.72, 95% CI: 1.96, 3.77, respectively), and less time to yourself (OR= 0.54, 95% CI: 0.40, 0.72 and OR= 0.37, 95% CI: 0.27, 0.51, respectively) during COVID-19. Conclusions: Pandemic-related financial challenges are associated with worse mental health and well-being regardless of pre-pandemic characteristics, suggesting that they are distinct social determinants of health for older adults. Timely intervention is needed to support older adults experiencing pandemic-related financial challenges. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... 161 En todo caso, lo primero en no pocas oca-159 No es referencia a la soledad de la que habla Rodao (2019), ya que este autor más bien la atribuye al país en su totalidad dentro del conjunto de todas las naciones que integran el orden mundial. 160 Por ejemplo, véanse Choi y Lee (2016), Long y Averill (2003), Galanaki (2004) y Utz et al. (2014, para tener una idea del estado de la discusión. 161 Este es un fenómeno común en muchos países. ...
Book
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The different social problems that Japan is currently facing, such as suicides, death due to work exhaustion, demographic contraction, divorces, loneliness and poverty, are explained basing on the concept of "burn-out-society" proposed by the Korean philosopher Byung Chul Han. The second part of the book suggests alternatives to get out of the burn out based on elements of traditional Japanese culture itself.
Article
Background The detrimental role of childhood emotional neglect (CEN) on long-term affective and social development has received increasing attention in the literature. Individuals who were emotionally neglected during their childhood are more prone to feeling isolated and excluded by their parent during adolescence. However, little is known about the mediating processes underlying this association. Objective This study investigated whether self–other differentiation (SOD) and emotional detachment from parents mediate the link between CEN and parent-related loneliness. Method and participants A sample of 535 high school students aged 13–18 years (63.6% female; Mage = 16.21; SD = 1.40) completed questionnaires regarding demographics, CEN, SOD, emotional detachment, and parent-related loneliness. Results After controlling for demographic covariates, structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that (a) CEN was positively associated with parent-related loneliness ( = .64, p < .001), (b) SOD did not mediate the relationship between CEN and parent-related loneliness ( = −.01, p = .142), (c) emotional detachment partially mediated the relationship between CEN and parent-related loneliness ( = .16, p < .001), and (d) SOD and emotional detachment partially and sequentially mediated the link between CEN and parent-related loneliness, albeit with a small effect size ( = .02, p = .027). Conclusions The findings underscore the significance of the link between CEN and parent-related loneliness in adolescence. Moreover, our results suggest that some adolescents with a history of CEN have difficulties in establishing clear boundaries between “self” and “other” and tend to engage in emotionally detached relationships with their parents, which may lead them to feel more parent-related loneliness. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
The pursuit of tranquility experience has emerged as a new demand in tourism, but the perception of tranquility in tourism remains understudied. Although there are tools in the psychology and acoustics to measure tranquility perception, they are not suitable in tourism research. Therefore, this paper attempts to explore two contextual tourists’ perceptions scale of tranquility by analyzing two distinct destinations. Visual, auditory, and tactile involvement were introduced into the scale construction. A total of 1012 samples were collected from rural tranquil area and desert tranquil area. Following dimension construction and item production, EFA, CFA, reliability and validity tests were performed. Finally, a five-dimensional tranquility perception scale was developed. This study enriches the current themes and perspectives of multisensory involvement in the tranquility research and directs for further research on tourism, culture and tranquility experience.
Article
Objective Considering the interdependence between close partners, the present study examined how the amount of one's alone time was related to both one's own and the partner's relationship satisfaction in married couples. It also tested how attachment style moderated the within- and cross-partner associations between the experience of solitude and marital satisfaction. Background Solitude reflects a status of being alone without any active social interactions. It can be related to either positive or negative affects depending on the circumstances. The role that solitude plays in close relationships is understudied in previous research. Method Using data from 105 married couples from mainland China, both actor and partner effects and the moderating effect of attachment style were tested using the moderated actor–partner interdependence model (MAPIM). Results Two cross-partner interactions between solitude and attachment style on husbands' marital satisfaction were identified. When wives reported high anxiety, the more husbands spent alone time, the lower was their reported marital satisfaction. When husbands reported high avoidance, the more wives spent time alone, the higher was their husbands reported marital satisfaction. No significant association between solitude and wives' marital satisfaction was found. Conclusions and Implications The results reveal the intricate role that solitude plays in marital relationships and highlight the importance to consider cross-partner effects when studying dyadic interactions.
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While interest in wellbeing has grown immensely among practitioners and researchers across various disciplines, there is limited understanding of how lay people, particularly emerging adults, conceptualise and experience wellbeing. Exploring the lived experiences of wellbeing can offer insight into the context within which emerging adults understand and manage their health as well as help facilitate a more dynamic understanding of the processes of their wellbeing. Using a participant-driven photo-elicitation interviewing method, this study explored how emerging adults understand and manage wellbeing in their daily lives. Eighteen emerging adults in South-East Queensland took pictures capturing their understanding of wellbeing and attended in-depth interviews to discuss the meaning of their photographs. Thematic analysis revealed five themes important to wellbeing: maintaining supportive relationships, looking after yourself, accepting yourself, progressing yourself, and centreing yourself. Participants discussed how these elements contributed to their wellbeing, demonstrating that wellbeing was perceived and experienced as a multifaceted, dynamic, and fluid construct. Maintaining supportive relationships was viewed by participants as the most crucial to wellbeing. The findings offer insight into how emerging adults understand and manage wellbeing in their daily lives. The findings can inform the development of population-acceptable health promotion interventions aligned with the views and experiences of emerging adults.
Article
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Solitude may often be confused with the concept of loneliness and perceived as a negative experience. However, when solitude is a choice, it can be a growth-creating and healing experience. In this study, a model examining the mediating role of mindfulness in the relationship between the preference for solitude and life satisfaction among university students was tested. A total of 261 university students participated in the study. A personal information form, the Preference for Solitude Scale, the Mindfulness Scale, and the Life Satisfaction Scale were employed to collect data. Results indicated that mindfulness was a significant mediator in the preference for solitude and life satisfaction link.
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Solitude – the state of being alone and not physically with another – can be rewarding. The present research explored the potential benefits of solitude from a pragmatist approach: a ground-up, top-down perspective that is receptive to new knowledge but informed by theory. Participant recruitment was stratified by age and gender, and the sample involved 2,035 individuals including adolescents (13–16 years), adults (35–55 years), or older adults (65+ years). Data were analyzed with a mixed-methods approach. Coded themes from brief narratives about solitude were extracted, and their frequencies (i.e., their salience to participants ) were compared across the lifespan. Themes were then correlated with two indicators of well-being in solitude: self-determined motivation for solitude and peaceful mood. Several prominent themes emerged when talking about time spent in solitude. With the exception of feeling competent in solitude, which was described frequently but consistently unrelated to self-reported well-being regardless of age, benefits of solitude tended to shift over the lifespan. Some qualities, such as a sense of autonomy (self-connection and reliance; absence of pressure), were salient and consequential for everyone, but increasingly so from adolescence to older adulthood. Older adults also reported feeling most peaceful in solitude and described their social connection and alienation less frequently, suggesting they see solitude and social time as more distinct states. Findings are discussed in light of existing work on solitude across the lifespan, and theoretical frameworks that spoke well to the data (e.g., self-determination theory).
Article
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Solitude––the absence of social interaction––can bring both positive and negative experiences. Drawing on self-determination theory, we conducted three experience sampling studies to investigate quality of experience and dispositions associated with activities varying on two dimensions––chosenness (chosen/unchosen) and social context (solitary/interactive). Participants (total N = 283) completed surveys 6–7 times each day over a 7-day period (total: 8,769 surveys). Multilevel modeling confirmed that participants reported the lowest quality momentary experiences when engaged in unchosen (vs. chosen) solitary activities. Further, individuals who spent more time on unchosen solitary activities reported lower meaning in life and satisfaction with life. Extraversion was positively associated with time spent on chosen interactive activities but negatively with chosen solitary activities. Post hoc analyses revealed that people low (vs. high) in extraversion reported lower productivity only during unchosen interactive activities. Chosen (vs. unchosen) solitary activities seem to have a relatively benign impact on quality of experience and well-being.
Article
BACKGROUND: according to the most updated data children and adolescents are less affected by sars-coV-2 infection , but they may be among the most exposed to the psychosocial consequences of the pandemic. We investigated the immediate psychological consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak in a sample of italian adolescents. METHODS: an online survey was administered to 204 adolescents during the country's nationwide lockdown. it was composed of a socio-demographic interview focused on how teenagers were experiencing the health emergency (e.g., sport practiced, school distance learning, media exposure), and questionnaires on pathological worry, impact of events, metacognitions, state and trait anxiety, and affectivity. RESULTS: Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that specific individual dispositions and lifestyles during the emergency period predicted cognitive and emotional experiences of adolescents. sport was directly related to positive affect, while media exposure was inversely related. Online learning was positively related to adolescents' state anxiety, while fear of being infected was positively related to state anxiety, excessive worry, and post-traumatic stress. Moreover, the comparison with a control group of adolescents tested in a period free from any health emergency showed that the current sample had higher worry, state anxiety, negative affect, and reduced positive affect. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the pandemic and the containment measures have significantly affected ado-lescents' mental health. Lifestyles during the health emergency showed to have a predictive value on the cognitive and emotional experience of adolescents, therefore they must be seriously taken into consideration to counteract the effects of the pandemic.
Article
Although solitude is found to be undesirable to many, systematic practice of it can yield positive psychological outcomes. This mixed-method study explored the process and influence of solitude as a behavioral intervention among youths in a therapeutic community in Hong Kong. Qualitative interviews with 43 youths (67.4% male, mean age = 18.3) revealed that solitude facilitated growth in their sense of personal responsibility, increased perspective-taking, increased respect for rules, change in life attitudes, and growth in consideration of future consequences. A two- wave prospective study (n = 79, 82.3% male, mean age = 17.4) further demonstrated perceived meaningfulness in solitude predicted an increase in consideration of future consequences, but not in other types of behavioral intervention. This study preliminarily demonstrated solitude has beneficial outcomes among high-risk youths, and meaning-making can facilitate this relationship. Keywords
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BACKGROUND: Social interactions are vital for our wellbeing, particularly during times of stress. PURPOSE: We investigated the real-time effect of social interactions on changes in stress and mood using an ecological momentary assessment approach in 732 participants during COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020 and in a subsample of these participants (n= 281) during a further lockdown in winter 2020. METHODS: Participants reported their stress and mood in a smartphone app five times per day for seven days and indicated the nature and frequency of their recent social interactions. RESULTS: Overall, social interactions and their frequency were associated with enhanced momentary mood. In person interactions, but not those that were not in person (e.g., via audio, video, or text), were linked to lower stress, especially if they were with closer others. Individuals scoring high on trait loneliness benefited least from social interactions in terms of their momentary mood, whereas those scoring high on trait depressive symptoms benefited the most. Our key findings replicated across both lockdowns. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the benefits and limits of social interactions for improving momentary mood and stress during psychologically demanding periods and highlight how clinically relevant individual differences can modulate these effects.
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Background and Objectives Focusing on the fact that older adults with positive emotions tend to spend time alone, this study aimed to examine the relationship between preference for solitude and subjective well-being among older adults. In Study 1, we developed a revised version of the Preference for Solitude Scale with a three-factor structure, unlike the single-factor structure of the original scale. In Study 2, we examined the relationship between preference for solitude and subjective well-being using the revised scale. Research Design and Methods We conducted an Internet survey with 210 older adults in Study 1 to develop a revised Japanese scale. In Study 2, to address the possible research method bias in Study 1, we conducted a mail survey with 276 older adults. We examined the replicability of Study 1, confirming metric invariance through multi-group analysis and hypothesis model through path analysis. Results The results of the path analysis indicated that “Productivity during solitude” (Factor 3) was positively related with positive affect and life satisfaction, and “Enjoyment of solitude” (Factor 2) was negatively related with negative affect. However, the results of the mediation analysis suggested that preference for solitude was also related to loneliness, and the indirect effect of preference for solitude on well-being was negative. Discussion and Implications “Enjoyment of solitude” and “Productivity during solitude” were related to maintaining subjective well-being among older adults, although the effects were marginal. The impact of preference for solitude was mixed in enhancing and decreasing subjective well-being.
Article
Older adults are more likely to live alone and engage in solitary activities than young adults, leading to decrement in their well‐being. However, researchers have discovered beneficial implications of solitude, and some of them even have established that the negative and positive effects of solitude coexist. The study's purposes are to investigate the relationship between solitude and well‐being among older adults and to further examine the inter‐individual differences in this relationship. In the database of Google Scholar, the systematic review methods are used and 17 articles meet the inclusion criteria. The study concludes that older adults experience solitude both negatively and positively; the complex relationship between solitude and well‐being can be better understood and explained by inter‐individual differences based on intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cultural factors. This systematic review adopts a perspective that spans individual and social/cultural levels and helps grasp the link between solitude and well‐being in older adults. Based on this review, the researcher can develop appropriate interventions to help older people maximize the benefits of solitude while minimizing the drawbacks to further achieve a higher quality of life.
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The construct of solitude skills suggests that successfully navigating the domain of solitude may require specific psychological resources, but this theoretical possibility has not yet been investigated empirically. Fourteen well-adjusted adults (Mage=49.5) participated in a qualitative study that examined their lived experiences with solitude and sought to identify the skills they utilized when engaging in positive solitude. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) of narrative data resulted in the identification of eight solitude skills organized within three central concepts: Connect with Self included the skills of enjoying solitary activities, emotion regulation, and introspection; the skills included in Protect Time were making time to be alone, using that time mindfully, and validating one’s need for solitude; and the skills of Find a Balance included heeding signals to enter solitude and knowing when to exit solitude. These findings illuminate how the documented benefits of solitude are enacted and illustrate how solitude sustains the private self, which clinicians have argued promotes well-being (Modell, 1992). Knowledge of these skills may be valuable for those who volitionally enter solitude as well as those who find themselves in unwanted isolation. These findings lay the groundwork for future studies to examine whether the solitude skills identified here apply to other populations, and to explore the efficacy of solitude skills trainings in promoting psychological well-being or as a clinical intervention.
Article
Loneliness is a risk factor for older adults, one exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although time spent alone is associated with both loneliness and greater well-being, the experience of solitude may depend on the type of activity pursued. We examined formal prosocial activity as one facilitator of positive solitary experiences. Older adults ( N = 165, M age = 71.13, SD = 5.70) highly committed to prosocial-program work (e.g., tutoring) filled out surveys at six random times every day for a week. Using multilevel modeling, we investigated whether participating in prosocial-program activity alone was associated with greater well-being compared to other solitary activity. While prosocial-program activity did not buffer against negative affect in solitude, it promoted positive affect and relatedness when alone. To the extent that prosocial-program work can facilitate positive solitary experiences by enhancing feelings of connection, it may protect against threats to well-being posed by loneliness in later life.
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Removing oneself from social interactions, referred to as social withdrawal, has primarily been shown to predict maladjustment. Previous research distinguishing between social withdrawal subtypes based on individual differences in underlying social motivations, indicates that shyness and avoidance are more problematic than unsociability, particularly during the emerging adulthood years. Nevertheless, little research has examined the potential upside to social withdrawal. The aim of this study was to consider differences in well-being between sociable, shy, avoidant, and unsociable emerging adults. Participants included 813 Canadian university students between the ages of 18 to 25. Participants completed a series of self-report surveys assessing social withdrawal and indices of well-being. Results showed that unsociable emerging adults reported significantly greater happiness, satisfaction with their lives, social support, and self-worth than both shy and avoidant emerging adults. Social withdrawal is largely viewed as detrimental to psychosocial functioning; however, these findings show that unsociability might not pose the same risk to emerging adults’ well-being as shyness or avoidance. Indicators of well-being among unsociable emerging adults did not significantly differ from their more sociable counterparts, suggesting there may be an upside to social withdrawal for unsociable individuals.
Article
As a complete recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis does not seem possible in the near future, the survival of many creative professions is under threat in Russia and other countries. Strict anti-pandemic measures were introduced in Moscow at the end of March 2020 and lasted for a little more than two months. One of the main requirements was to work from home and go outside as rarely as possible. Most Russian creative professionals such as photographers, makeup artists, actors, musicians, stand-up comedians and television hosts found themselves in very unfamiliar conditions since their work presumes physical contact with other people. However, even artists who usually work alone like jewellers or designers met with came across practical and psychological difficulties as well and had to adapt to the new order. This research focuses on two examples of creative work during the COVID-19 pandemic: Russian jewellery designer Katia Rabey’s project ‘Quarantine Rings’ and the participation of Russian makeup artist Yulia Rada in virtual commercial photo-shoots. I am interested in how the artists perceived the changes introduced as a result of the pandemic and how these changes emphasized the digital side of contemporary creative labour. Despite the differences in the challenges that the two artists met, both of them stressed the importance of social closeness.
Chapter
This chapter foregrounds the importance of motivation for seeking out solitary confinement in a Category-A prison. The argument involves a detailed description of the complex, and sometimes contradictory, motives that may lead prisoners into seeking isolation. It further attempts to explore the relationship between segregation and the wider prison environment. For many prisoners, segregation has a ‘negative benefit’ or amounts to a form of ‘lesser evil’. Such phrasing hints at the difficult decisions that prisoners navigate and offers an alternative perspective on solitary confinement.
Article
Feelings of isolation have been prevalent worldwide since March 2020 due to COVID‐19 pandemic lockdowns. This has prompted increased concerns about loneliness and related mental health problems. During the first UK COVID‐19 lockdown, 71 participants were asked to share their high and low point stories from lockdown. These were analyzed using thematic analysis to explore how “aloneness” was experienced at this time. A deductive analyses supported three key facets of aloneness reported in the literature: emotional loneliness, social loneliness, and existential loneliness, as well as a more positive form of aloneness, solitude. An inductive analysis identified risk and protective factors for loneliness, comprising worry, lockdown changes, and poor mental health; and social contact, emotional contact, stability and simple life. The study highlights the importance of understanding how facets of aloneness interrelate, and how understanding risk and protective factors can help us to develop social and policy interventions to alleviate loneliness. In particular, solitude is proposed as a potential mechanism for alleviating loneliness, particularly existential loneliness, alongside more common social methods.
Article
The academy’s separation of the arts from the sciences constricts researchers’ opportunities to engage with works of art and literature that pause our time-worn processes of data collection and analysis. From the works of Humboldt and Goethe, to more recent writers and artists, literature and art offer us moments to stop and think differently about the ways in which we interact with our environment and others, human and nonhuman. In moments of enchantment, awe or stillness, we might lose ourselves, and imagine other less anthropocentric ways of being in the world and new transdisciplinary forms of collaboration.
Article
Aloneliness is the negative psychological state characterized by dissatisfaction with one's lack of solitude, which is connected to well‐being deficits (e.g., depression, stress). From an I3 theory perspective, we expected that aloneliness could predict anger and partner‐directed aggression among persons in romantic relationships, who must, by nature of their partnership, dedicate time to their romantic partners. In Studies 1a and 1b (N = 554), trait aloneliness positively correlated with trait anger, aggression, and violence, but more strongly among persons in relationships (vs. single persons). In Study 2, aloneliness was experimentally primed among 93 undergraduates in relationships. When aloneliness was salient (vs. a control), participants reported higher anger and used more pins in a partner‐representative voodoo doll. These results suggest that solitude is an inhibiting factor against anger and, potentially, the perpetration of partner‐directed aggression. Although subsequent work in this area is needed, we add evidence showing the importance of individual differences in the need for solitude.
Chapter
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic tested the solidity, agility, and resilience of organizations, it as well enhanced a refined debate on the conceptual frameworks that have traditionally been guiding the managerial decisions and organizational structures, policies, and practices. This chapter aims at exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on knowledge, technology, creativity, and innovation management research, highlighting creativity as the core vector to understand the reconfiguration of the renewed corporate structures and processes. By literature review, it identifies key concepts, assumptions, and theoretical constructs, aiming at highlighting creativity as the core asset to understand how the worldwide organizations have been able to overcome the twofold challenges and opportunities of the recent environmental conditions, defending that creativity hence emerged as the core asset so that organizations could test and reinforce their resilience, boosting overall performance via transversal dynamics to all the organization's structure, stakeholders, policies, and practices.
Chapter
Social media apps (SMAs), like Instagram or Facebook, are actively used by one-in-three people in the world. The vast adoption of these technologies is changing multiple aspects of peoples’ lives. Through the means of meaning and emotional experiences, the products people use every day have the potential of influencing their happiness and wellbeing. The present work points and discusses which themes are more prominent and relevant regarding how users engage with SMAs and how it can relate to their wellbeing. Through the discussion of a systematic literature review and other seminal works, the study proposes four main channels the interaction with SMAs can relate to users’ wellbeing: interpersonal relationships, information consumption, self-image, and relationship with technology. The study also hypothesizes on how SMAs as interactive products can deliver experiences that nurture users’ wellbeing, on top of being pleasurable and usable.
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In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age—no warmth, no life, no movement. Only those who have experienced it can fully appreciate what it means to be without the sun day after day, week after week. Few men unaccustomed to it can fight off its effects altogether, and it has driven some men mad. (Lansing, 1959, p. 51)
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This chapter focuses on preliminary data obtained from two Antarctic pilot investigations. The first study investigated changes in imperviousness to distracting events, a personality variable termed absorption, as assessed by objective test measures. Absorption can also be defined as the capacity for deep imaginative involvement. The second pilot investigation employed structured interviews to assess changes in imaginative involvement.
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The development of an adequate assessment instrument is a necessary prerequisite for social psychological research on loneliness. Two studies provide methodological refinement in the measurement of loneliness. Study 1 presents a revised version of the self-report UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Loneliness Scale, designed to counter the possible effects of response bias in the original scale, and reports concurrent validity evidence for the revised measure. Study 2 demonstrates that although loneliness is correlated with measures of negative affect, social risk taking, and affiliative tendencies, it is nonetheless a distinct psychological experience.
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In order to explore the effects of solitary confinement (SC) on penitentiary inmates, data were collected from volunteer respondents at five U.S. and Canadian prisons. Besides a structured interview, measures of personality, intelligence, mood, subjective stress, and creativity were administered. A questionnaire was used to identify ways of coping with the SC experience. Although the prisoners as a group differed from standardization samples on some of the tests, there were no dramatic differences between convicts who had experienced SC and those who had not. These data, which are unusual in that they were collected from actual convicts who were responding to SC as it is normally administered in their institution (as opposed to volunteer subjects under special conditions), do not support the view that SC in prisons is universally damaging, aversive, or intolerable.
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Understanding the way that policy translates into experiences, perceptions, and behaviors is important to managing recreation in wilderness. The limits of acceptable change (LAC) planning system was used to structure a relationship between three constructs: experience dimensions (goals), conditions of concern (condition indicators), and coping behaviors (actions) in wilderness recreation. The Wilderness Act of 1964 served as a conceptual basis, providing five descriptors: natural, solitude, primitive, unconfined, and remote; these were used to develop experience, condition, and behavior measures. Recreationists from two wildernesses in the southeastern United States were sampled and asked to participate in a mail survey. Results indicated that wilderness experience dimensions existed that reflected the five descriptors, and that these dimensions were congruent with the constructs representing perceived conditions and coping behaviors. Natural and solitude aspects of the recreational experience were most significant in the relationships among constructs. Results suggest that recreationists use behaviors to control and manage conditions, and thus their experience, in wilderness.
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In 1981 and 1982, a psychological scale was developed for exploring the several meanings of privacy and solitude that wilderness recreationists find to be important. The scale was never field tested, however. The present report describes the results of a field test of the wilderness privacy scale among backpackers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1987. Factor analysis of 20 items characterizing various aspects of wilderness privacy produced the following five factors, ranging from most to least important: tranquility and natural environment, individual cognitive freedom, social cognitive freedom, intimacy, and individualism. One new factor (social cognitive freedom) that did not appear in the earlier laboratory development of the wilderness privacy scale resulted from the field test. Nevertheless, the most important aspect of wilderness privacy in the field test remained being in a natural, remote environment that offers a sense of tranquility and peacefulness and that involves a freedom of choice in terms of both the information that users must process and the behavior demanded of them by others.
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Two studies examined whether the previously documented coping strategy of social withdrawal in response to chronic crowding is related to changes in social information processing. In both studies we found evidence that individuals residing in crowded homes in comparison to uncrowded homes were less cognizant of personal information about strangers in an incidental encounter under naturalistic, uncrowded conditions as well as under highly crowded conditions, occurring in the laboratory. Furthermore, we show in the experimental study that interference with this social withdrawal process has significant effects on social information processing. In study 2 we also demonstrate that social withdrawal in response to acute crowding is an effective coping strategy for reducing short-term stress for those who have learned to employ this strategy while living under chronically crowded conditions. All of these results occur independently of income levels.
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The present investigation examined the stability and the concurrent and predictive correlates of different forms of social withdrawal in childhood. Eighty-eight Grade 2 children were observed during free play and were assessed by peers and teachers on measures of social withdrawal, popularity, and aggression. The children's perceptions of their social skills were also measured. In Grade 4, 81 children were assessed, 55 of whom had been in the original sample. In addition to the Grade 2 measures, children's reports of loneliness and depression were gathered. In Grade 5, 77 children participated, including 51 from the original sample; all measures taken in this grade were similar to those in Grade 4, with the exclusion of behavioral observations. The data revealed at least two distinct subtypes of social isolation, passive-anxious and active-immature. Passive isolation was stable across the three grades; was consistently and concurrently related to peer rejection, internalizing difficulties, and negative social self-perceptions; and was generally unrelated to externalizing problems across all three grades. Moreover, indices of passive isolation in second grade tended to predict depression and loneliness in fifth grade. In contrast, active-immature isolation was infrequent and unstable. This form of isolation was more often associated with aggression and with externalizing rather than internalizing difficulties; however, active isolation was not predictive of subsequent problems in Grade 5.
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A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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Socioemotional selectivity theory claims that the perception of time plays a fundamental role in the selection and pursuit of social goals. According to the theory, social motives fall into 1 of 2 general categories--those related to the acquisition of knowledge and those related to the regulation of emotion. When time is perceived as open-ended, knowledge-related goals are prioritized. In contrast, when time is perceived as limited, emotional goals assume primacy. The inextricable association between time left in life and chronological age ensures age-related differences in social goals. Nonetheless, the authors show that the perception of time is malleable, and social goals change in both younger and older people when time constraints are imposed. The authors argue that time perception is integral to human motivation and suggest potential implications for multiple subdisciplines and research interests in social, developmental, cultural, cognitive, and clinical psychology.
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Analyzing national and ethnic differences in individualism and collectivism, D. Oyserman, H. M. Coon, and M. Kemmelmeier (2002) showed that small differences in scales or samples produce markedly divergent results, challenging the validity of these constructs. The author examines the following limitations of research on individualism and collectivism: It treats nations as cultures and culture as a continuous quantitative variable; conflates all kinds of social relations and distinct types of autonomy; ignores contextual specificity in norms and values; measures culture as the personal preferences and behavior reports of individuals; rarely establishes the external validity of the measures used; assumes cultural invariance in the meaning of self-reports and anchoring and interpretation of scales; and reduces culture to explicit, abstract verbal knowledge.
Article
Backcountry backpackers' norms concerning the maximum acceptable tolerance limits for visual-social contacts at three encounter sites (trailhead, trail, and campsite) were examined in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Actual encounter levels were examined by asking backpackers to report the number of parties encountered at each of these three locations. Although 83% of the respondents reported encountering more parties than their acceptable norms, only 34% of the respondents reported that the number of encounters detracted from their solitude experience. Overall, 61% of the respondents whose personal norms were exceeded at one or more of the three encounter sites indicated that the number of encounters did not detract from the trip experience. Possible explanations for this finding are: (a) many backcountry users do not have a clear or salient conception of what a tolerable number of encounters is, (b) visual-social encounters are only of minor importance in the overall solitude experience found in remote environments, (c) limitations in our measurements resulted in the apparent noncongruent relationships between norms and reactions, and (d) the number of encounters is important to respondents, but conformity of behavior to normative beliefs is not a certainty.
Article
Information-processing theory is offered as a basis for understanding the issue of solitude and the many realms of privacy humans seek during wilderness experiences. It is suggested that wilderness users do not mean complete isolation when they speak of wilderness solitude, but rather, an environmental situation in which they have some control over the information they must process and the attention required of them to process it. An empirical test involving 109 wilderness campers lends support to the theory. Factor analysis of twenty items characterizing various aspects of wilderness solitude resulted in four factors, in which the "natural environment" that provides an element of "cognitive freedom" was found most important.
Article
Various types of privacy behaviours are engaged in to achieve a desired level of access by others to one's self or group. Six types of privacy have been identified empirically—solitude, isolation, anonymity, reserve, intimacy with friends, and intimacy with family (Pedersen, 1979, 1982 a). Factors representing the basic psychological functions or needs met by each of these types of privacy have also been obtained (Pedersen, 1997). This study presents a consolidated 6×5 model for the attainment of five privacy needs for each of the six types of privacy. The five privacy functions were autonomy, confiding, rejuvenation, contemplation, and creativity. In accordance with the model, privacy need profiles were obtained from 123 participants. These profiles described the degree to which the five privacy needs were met through the six types of privacy. The patterns of the privacy needs met by the various types of privacy were unique and meaningful.
Article
Emotional states are typically viewed negatively: Our fears, angers, and sorrows seem to outweigh our joys and pleasures. Yet, it is hard to imagine life without ostensibly negative emotions. The solution, Nietzsche suggested, is to spiritualize the passions, the negative as well as the positive. And what might that entail? Whatever else, spiritualizing the passions requires creativity. In this chapter, we explore how standard criteria for creativity (novelty, effectiveness, and authenticity) apply to emotional as well as to intellectual and artistic responses. In a similar vein, we show how characteristics commonly associated with spiritual experiences (meaning, vitality, and connectedness) apply to emotionally creative responses. Finally, data are presented that relate individual differences in emotional creativity to a spiritualization of the passions, at the high end of the creativity continuum; and to its opposite, a despiritualization of the passions (neurosis), at the low end.
Constructed a taxonomy of different varieties of the experience of aloneness, specifying the structure for each by reviewing dictionary definitions of words that refer to aloneness experiences, by categorizing examples of aloneness excerpted from 250 novels and 150 popular songs, and by conducting open-ended pilot interviews with 10 psychiatric patients and 10 staff members. Nine varieties of aloneness, each with a unique structure, emerged; a situation, transformation, instruction, and function of each is described. Results show that Ss experienced varieties of aloneness in different ways. There was no simple conventional organization. However, knowing what has been experienced provides insight into the personality and life experience of the individual. Certain structures of aloneness may defend against or preclude other structures. It is concluded that only qualitative research methodology could have illuminated the structure of these emotional experiences and the way in which the structures yield insight into personality organization and development. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The first section, "Overview of Attachment Theory," provides an updated primer on the theory. The second section of the volume, "Biological Perspectives," stems from J. Bowlby's reliance on ethology and primate research in the creation of attachment theory. The third section of the volume, "Attachment in Infancy and Childhood," contains 3 chapters that provide an overview of empirical research on patterns of attachment in infancy and childhood. The fourth section, "Attachment in Adolescence and Adulthood," contains chapters growing out of Bowlby's early contention that attachment characterizes humans "from the cradle to the grave." The fifth section of the volume, "Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory and Research," contains chapters that reflect the strong roots of attachment theory in clinical psychology and psychiatry, and the contributions that the theory and associated research can now make to clinical work. The final section of the volume,"Emerging Topics and Perspectives," provides a sampling of the wide array of areas into which attachment theory and research are being extended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined children's reasons for choosing peers for the withdrawal items on the Revised Class Play (RCP). 88 elementary-school children nominated peers they felt were best described by each RCP item. Reasons for their nominations were classified into 2 categories: passive withdrawal from and active isolation by the peer group. For 3 of the items ("Someone who would rather play alone than with others," "Someone who is very shy," and "Someone whose feelings get hurt easily"), the children's reasons were predominantly based on passive withdrawal, whereas for 3 other items ("Someone who is often left out," "Someone who has trouble making friends," and "A person who can't get others to listen"), they were predominantly based on active isolation. Reasons for the remaining item ("Someone who is usually sad") were split equally between both alternatives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This chapter will consider certain aspects of schizophrenia from a somewhat new point of view. The central thesis in the conceptualization to be proposed is that anxiety is the pre-eminent factor in the development of schizophrenia. This thesis itself is not, of course, new: on the contrary, it is quite widely held. What is new here is a particular interpretation of anxiety and an attempt to spell out just how anxiety, in terms of this particular interpretation, can lead to those behavioral characteristics which define schizophrenia. The general plan of this paper is as follows. The first two sections will be devoted to the development of a general conceptual framework, and the last six sections will concern the application of this theoretical formulation to certain problems of schizophrenia. Specifically, the purposes of the succeeding sections are: first, to describe the underlying theoretical orientation; second, to present an interpretation of the nature of anxiety; third, to show how this interpretation applies to the general problem of schizophrenia; fourth, to examine the problems of schizophrenic avoidance and withdrawal; fifth, to consider some of the problems of hallucinations; sixth, to consider distortions in reality perception in terms of the general theoretical orientation; seventh, to offer an interpretation of thinking disorder in schizophrenia; and eighth, to indicate and consider several general questions raised by the interpretation of schizophrenia presented in the earlier sections. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the degree to which backpackers used 6 physical coping (PC) and 6 social coping (SC) behaviors to avoid encounters/interactions with other backpackers. PC behaviors were used more often than SC behaviors. Ss used SC behaviors infrequently, except for reducing social interactions with backpackers in other parties. The importance of solitude to Ss was significantly related to adoption of all 6 PC behaviors but to none of the SC behaviors. Ss who had lower encounter norms and who were more sensitive to actual encounters participated significantly more often in 10 of the 12 coping behaviors. Level of past experience had little influence on use of coping behaviors. Findings are interpreted in the context of coping behavior as a means of avoiding or adjusting to visitor encounters in wildland recreation areas. The role of such behavior in controlling environmental conditions and desired level of privacy is also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This book is a continuation of my Motivation and Personality, published in 1954. It was constructed in about the same way, that is, by doing one piece at a time of the larger theoretical structure. It is a predecessor to work yet to be done toward the construction of a comprehensive, systematic and empirically based general psychology and philosophy which includes both the depths and the heights of human nature. The last chapter is to some extent a program for this future work, and serves as a bridge to it. It is a first attempt to integrate the "health-and-growth psychology" with psychopathology and psychoanalytic dynamics, the dynamic with the holistic, Becoming with Being, good with evil, positive with negative. Phrased in another way, it is an effort to build on the general psychoanalytic base and on the scientific-positivistic base of experimental psychology, the Eupsychian, B-psychological and metamotivational superstructure which these two systems lack, going beyond their limits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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"A Personal Orientation Inventory utilizing scores of relative time competence, relative inner-and other-directedness, and 10 additional subscales has been developed. Validation studies show a definite trend in discriminating self-actualized, normal, and non-self-actualized groups on these dimensions." The mean for the self-actualized group was above the norm mean, whereas the mean for the non-self-actualized group was below. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Orientations toward privacy were identified and individual differences in orientation assessed by means of the newly developed Privacy Preference Scale. Principal components analysis of the PPS revealed six major factors from which subscales were constructed, their content centering on orientations toward noninvolvement with neighbors, seclusion of the home, solitude, privacy with intimates, anonymity, and reserve. In a suburban adult sample (n = 101), these orientations toward privacy were related by means of correlation, multivariate analysis of variance, and canonical correlation to density of past and present environments and to features of the physical environment affecting potential privacy.
Article
Two investigations explored the psychometric properties of Burger's Preference for Solitude Scale (1995). In Study 1, both internal consistency and spit-half reliability estimates were adequate, although exploratory factor analysis suggested a multidimensional scale. Study 2 also demonstrated adequate reliability estimates and confirmed the stability of three subscales: Need for Solitude, Enjoyment of Solitude, and Productivity During Solitude. Results also revealed differential relations of these subscales to loneliness, self-concealment, self-esteem, and social anxiety. The utility of this scale and directions for further test validation are discussed.
Article
Loneliness is a complex set of feelings encompassing reactions to the absence of intimate and social needs. Although transient for some individuals, loneliness can be a chronic state for others. We review the developmental, social, personality, clinical, and counseling psychology literatures on loneliness with an emphasis on recent empirical findings. Chronic feelings of loneliness appear to have roots in childhood and early attachment processes. Chronically lonely individuals are more likely to be high in negative affectivity, act in a socially withdrawn fashion, lack trust in self and others, feel little control over success or failure, and generally be dissatisfied with their relationships compared to nonlonely individuals. Loneliness has also been associated with a variety of individual differences including depression, hostility, pessimism, social withdrawal, alienation, shyness, and low positive affect; loneliness is also a concomitant of more severe disorders, such as clinical depression, borderline personality, and schizophrenia. Although loneliness affects a large number of individuals and is associated with numerous negative outcomes, relatively few investigations have examined the efficacy of treatments aimed at alleviating or preventing loneliness. Several investigations raise the possibility of treating loneliness, but the absence of appropriate comparison groups casts doubt on the efficacy of many of these treatments. Correlational studies also suggest that one close friend or romantic partner may be sufficient to buffer those at risk for loneliness. Research on causal processes is sparse, however, and more research is needed to delineate which factors are antecedents and which are consequences of loneliness.
Article
Various types of privacy behaviors are engaged in to achieve a desired level of access to one's self or group. Six types of privacy have been identified empirically—Solitude, Isolation, Anonymity, Reserve, Intimacy with Friends, and Intimacy with Family. The psychological needs met by each privacy was investigated in this study. Each type of privacy was rated by 74 subjects according to the degree to which each of 20 privacy needs was achieved. A factor analysis of the ratings within each privacy type was completed to find types of privacy functions. Several privacy function factors were found. There was both commonality and uniqueness of the factors across the six kinds of privacy. The factors found were contemplation, autonomy, rejuvenation, confiding, creativity, disapproved consumptions, recovery, catharsis, and concealment. Mean factor scale scores were calculated to describe the relative amount of utilization of the various privacy functions for each type of privacy.
Article
Past research suggests that solitude can have either a positive or a negative impact on a person′s well-being. How time away from others affects people may depend on the person′s general preference for solitude. We present a scale to measure individual differences in preference for solitude. Experiments 1 and 2 report on the development of the Preference for Solitude Scale and provide evidence of its reliability. Experiments 3 and 4 provide discriminant and convergent validity data for the scale. Experiments 5 and 6 use self-report data to demonstrate that scale scores predict the extent to which people spend time by themselves and with others. Experiment 7 uses scale scores to predict the amount of social interaction in a laboratory setting. Experiment 8 demonstrates that scale scores can predict the amount of time people spend alone beyond that predicted by introversion-extraversion. Taken together, the data indicate that the Preference for Solitude Scale assesses individual differences in the extent to which people prefer to spend time alone.
Article
From childhood to old age people spend increasing amounts of their waking hours alone. This paper examines this enlarging solitary part of daily life as a distinct “experiential niche” having unique potentials and liabilities. The paper synthesizes a program of research in which people of different ages have provided reports on their experiences at random times during the day, including times when they are alone. Findings show that the immediate experience of daily solitude is usually one of loneliness and passivity. This is particularly true in adolescence; for older samples aloneness becomes both more common and less emotionally negative. At the same time, adolescents who spend at least some portion of their time alone appear to be better adjusted, perhaps because solitude facilitates the adolescent developmental tasks of individuation and identity formation, while in adulthood and old age, spending large amounts of time alone is more likely to be correlated with poor adjustment.
Article
A new 4-group model of attachment styles in adulthood is proposed. Four prototypic attachment patterns are defined using combinations of a person's self-image (positive or negative) and image of others (positive or negative). In Study 1, an interview was developed to yield continuous and categorical ratings of the 4 attachment styles. Intercorrelations of the attachment ratings were consistent with the proposed model. Attachment ratings were validated by self-report measures of self-concept and interpersonal functioning. Each style was associated with a distinct profile of interpersonal problems, according to both self- and friend-reports. In Study 2, attachment styles within the family of origin and with peers were assessed independently. Results of Study 1 were replicated. The proposed model was shown to be applicable to representations of family relations; Ss' attachment styles with peers were correlated with family attachment ratings.
Article
This research investigates the quantity and quality of time alone or "solitude" in the daily lives of older adults. A sample of 92 retired adults carried electronic pagers for 1 week and filled out self-reports on their companionship and internal states in response to signals received at random times. Analysis of the 3,412 reports indicates that those who were unmarried and living alone spent a majority of their waking hours alone and experienced low affect and arousal when in this dominant part of their lives. For the married, solitude was also a major part of daily life, filling 40% of their time, but, although it was related with somewhat lower affect, it was also related with higher arousal. These results suggest that being alone is not a wholley negative experience for this age group, especially for those who have the regular companionship of a spouse.
Article
Administered a questionnaire containing items of varied content believed to be related to hypnotizability to 481 female undergraduates. 2 subsamples of 142 and 171 Ss, respectively, also completed Block's Ego Resiliency and Ego Control questionnaire scales and the Group Scales of Hypnotic Susceptibility. Analysis of the combined questionnaire data yielded 3 replicated higher order factors: the familiar dimensions of Stability and Introversion and a 3rd factor, Absorption. Absorption is interpreted as a disposition for having episodes of "total" attention that fully engage one's representational (i.e., perceptual, enactive, imaginative, and ideational) resources. This kind of attentional functioning is believed to result in a heightened sense of the reality of the attentional object, imperviousness to distracting events, and an altered sense of reality in general, including an empathically altered sense of self. Only Absorption was consistently correlated with hypnotizability. Absorption appears to be of interest for the study of hypnosis and personality. (38 ref)
Article
Adolescents spend one-quarter of their waking hours alone, yet the significance of this time is little understood. This study evaluates developmental changes in the experience of solitude between late childhood and early adolescence. Four hundred eighty-three European American fifth through ninth graders provided experience-sampling reports on their companionship and subjective states at random times over a week. The findings show, first, that time alone becomes more voluntary across this age period. Second, time-series analysis shows that for seventh through ninth graders, but not fifth and sixth graders, solitude had a positive after effect on emotional state. Third, adolescents, but not preadolescents, who spent an intermediate amount of their time alone were better adjusted than those who spent little or a great deal of time alone. As a whole, the findings suggest that, while continuing to be a lonely time, in early adolescence solitude comes to have a more constructive role in daily life as a strategic retreat that complements social experience.
Article
The structure and correlates of emotional creativity were explored in a series of six studies, using a specially constructed measure of individual differences--the Emotional Creativity Inventory (ECI). Analyses of the ECI suggest that three facets of emotional creativity can be distinguished empirically as well as theoretically, namely, preparedness (understanding and learning from one's own and others' emotions), novelty (the ability to experience unusual emotions), and effectiveness/authenticity (the skill to express emotions adroitly and honestly). Women score higher than men on emotional preparedness and effectiveness/authenticity, but not on the novelty of their responses. People who score high on the ECI are considered by their peers to be more emotionally creative, presumably on the basis of everyday behavior. Associations between emotional creativity as measured by the ECI and a variety of other personality variables (including the Big Five personality traits, mysticism, self-esteem, authoritarianism, locus of control, alexithymia, and ways of coping) are examined, as is the relation between emotional creativity and prior traumatic experiences.
Article
Solitude may be positive or negative, depending on situational and personal factors. From prior research, nine types of solitude were identified. Based on data from a questionnaire study of undergraduate participants, factor analysis suggests that these nine types can be reduced to three dimensions, two positive and one negative. These are, respectively, Inner-Directed Solitude (characterized by self-discovery and inner peace), Outer-Directed Solitude (characterized by intimacy and spirituality), and Loneliness. Personality and value correlates, as well as situational correlates, of the various types of solitude also were explored.
The Executive Management Committee Openness to absorbing and self-altering experi-ences ( " Absorption " ), a trait related to hypnotic susceptibility
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JTSB3301C02 2/27/03, 1:37 PM Christopher R. Long and James R. Averill © The Executive Management Committee/Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003 T, A., and A, G. (1974). Openness to absorbing and self-altering experi-ences ( " Absorption " ), a trait related to hypnotic susceptibility. Journal of Abnormal Psy-chology, 83, 268–277.
The pleasure of solitude Solitude: A philosophical encounter
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J, A. (1999, March). The pleasure of solitude. Health, 13 (2), 62. K, P. (1994). Solitude: A philosophical encounter. Chicago: Open Court.
Religious systems as culturally constituted defense mechanisms Conduct and meaning in cultural anthropology Solitude: A return to the self Aloneness as a healing experience Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research, and therapy
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On multiple realities
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Averill © The Executive Management Committee The preference for solitude scale: Psychometric properties and factor structure
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Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. JTSB3301C02 2/27/03, 1:37 PM Christopher R. Long and James R. Averill © The Executive Management Committee/Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003 C, K.M., and L, R.P. (1998). The preference for solitude scale: Psychometric properties and factor structure. Personality and Individual Differences, 24, 193–199.