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A model proposal on the relationships between loneliness, insecure attachment, and inferiority feelings

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Abstract

Introduced by Bowlby and Adler respectively, the concepts of insecure attachment and inferiority feelings are based on the hypothesis that the relationships individuals experience during the early years of their lives influence both the form and quality of relationships they establish in adulthood. This study investigated to what extent the independent variables of insecure attachment and inferiority feelings can predict loneliness, and using a hypothetical model, it was analyzed whether inferiority feelings have the role of mediator between insecure attachment and loneliness. The results showed that insecure attachment and inferiority feelings can predict loneliness significantly and that inferiority feelings have partial mediation effect between insecure attachment and loneliness.

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... Yalnızlıkla ilişkisi Adler başta olmak üzere birçok teorisyen tarafından tartışılmış olan bir diğer değişken ise yetersizlik duygusudur. Normalde çocukluktan itibaren bireyin kendisini daha iyi bir konuma getirmek için motive edici bir güç olarak işlev gören yetersizlik duygusu (Adler, 1985;Akdoğan, 2012;2016;2017;Adler, 1927;Corey, 2008) çocuklukta karşılaşılan fiziksel yetersizlikler, hastalıklar veya olumsuz anne baba tutumları gibi bir takım nedenlerden dolayı rahatsız edici bir şekle bürünebilmektedir (Adler, 1927;Corey, 2008). Adler'e (1985) göre böyle bir yetersizlik duygusuna sahip bireyler, çevresindekilerden sevgi veya saygı görebileceklerine inanmakta zorlandıkları ve onlarla abartılı bir yarış haline giren tutum ve davranışlar sergiledikleri için sosyal ilişkilerinde problem yaşayabilmektedirler. ...
... 114 (2012) tarafından geliştirilen Yetersizlik Duygusu Ölçeğinin geliştirilmesini takiben gerçekleştirilmiştir. Bu araştırmalardan birinde yetersizlik duygusu ile yalnızlık arasındaki ilişkide güvensiz bağlanmanın aracı rolü incelenmiş ve yalnızlıkla yetersizlik duygusu arasında oldukça yüksek bir korelasyon (r =.57, p < .01) bulunmuştur (Akdoğan, 2017). Bir başka araştırma, yetersizlik duygusunun bireyi yalnızlaştırmak suretiyle mutsuzlaştırıyor olabileceği sonucunu ortaya çıkarmıştır (Cimsir ve Akdoğan, 2018 (Kelly ve Achter, 1995); stres (Cepeda-Benito & Short, 1998); anksiyete (Larson ve Chastain, 1990) ve mükemmeliyetçilik (Kawamura ve Frost, 2004) gibi olumsuz bir takım psikolojik değişkenlerle de ilişkili bulunması, kendini saklamanın yetersizlik duygusuyla da ilişkili olabileceğini düşündürmektedir. ...
... Bu araştırmada elde edilen yetersizlik duygusunun yalnızlığın güçlü bir yordayıcısı olduğu yönündeki bulgu (r = -.35, p <0.01) yetersizlik duygusuna sahip bireylerin kendilerini sosyal ilişkilerden uzak tuttuğu yönündeki teorik açıklamalar (Adler, 1985(Adler, , 1998(Adler, , 1996 ve mevcut kısıtlı sayıdaki araştırmayı (Akdoğan, 2017;Akdoğan ve Çimşir, 2018) doğrulamaktadır. Teorik olarak yetersizlik duygularına sahip olan bireylerin kendilerini sürekli diğerleriyle kıyasladıkları, kendi beceri ve yeterliliklerinden emin olmadıkları için sürekli çevresindekilere üstünlük kurmaya çalıştıkları ve bunu başaramadıklarını düşündüklerinde bu yıpratıcı duyguyla yüzleşmemek için farkında olarak ya da olmayarak AJESI -Anadolu Journal of Educational Sciences International, 2019; 9(1): 111-128 DOI: 10.18039/ajesi.520833 ...
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Bu araştırmada kendini saklamanın yetersizlik duygusu ile yalnızlık arasındaki olası aracı rolü incelenmiştir. Araştırma kapsamında Anadolu Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesinde eğitim gören 147 lisans öğrencisine Yetersizlik Duygusu Ölçeği, UCLA Yalnızlık Ölçeği ve Kendini Saklama Ölçeği Uygulanmıştır. Aracılık analizi Hayes (2013) tarafından geliştirilen SPSS PROCESS eklentisi (Model 4) ile yapılmıştır. Bulgular kendini saklamanın yetersizlik duygusu ile yalnızlık arasında kısmi bir aracılık işlevi gördüğünü (c’=0.03; p<.001) diğer bir deyişle bireyin yetersizlik duyguları arttıkça kendini saklamaya olan eğiliminin de arttığını ve bununla bağlantılı olarak bireyin kendini yalnız hissetme ihtimalinin de yükseldiğini göstermektedir. Araştırma bulgularına dayanarak, yetersizlik duygusuna sahip bireylerin diğerlerini tehdit olarak algıladıkları için (Adler, 1985) kendileri ile ilgili bilgileri paylaşmaktan kaçınmaya eğilim gösterdikleri ve bu eğilimin de yalnızlıkla sonuçlanma olasılığının arttığı belirtilebilir. Kendini saklama ile yetersizlik duygusu arasındaki pozitif ilişkiye yönelik araştırma bulgusu (r=.22, p<.05), kendini saklamanın durumsal nedenlerin (durumun niteliği, sosyal ortam ve bilginin muhteviyatı gibi) yanı sıra daha karmaşık bir psikolojik değişken olan yetersizlik duygusuyla da ilişkili olabileceğine işaret etmesi açısından önemli görülmektedir. The present study examined self-concealment as a possible mediator in the relationship between inferiority feelings and loneliness. One hundred and forty-seven undergraduate students from Anadolu University Education Faculty were administered the Inferiority Feelings Scale, the Self-Concealment Scale, the UCLA Loneliness Scale. The mediation analysis was performed using the SPSS PROCESS Macro (Model 4) that was developed by Hayes (2013). The results indicated that self-concealment mediated partially the relationship between inferiority feelings and loneliness, meaning that as inferiority feelings increase so does one’s tendency to self-concealment, which results in an increased likelihood of loneliness. Based on the results, it is possible to suggest that people with inferiority feelings may be unintentionally keeping information about themselves from others due to perceiving them as threats (Adler, 1985), and thus, feel more lonely. The positive correlation between inferiority feelings and self-concealment (r=.22, p<.05), is thought to be particularly important as it suggests that, aside from situation-specific factors such as the type of situation, social context and the content of information, a more complex psychological factor, inferiority feelings, might be at work when it comes to self-concealment.
... Consistent with the views of both Adler and Erikson, several studies have highlighted inferiority feelings as a dynamic that interferes with healthy psychosocial development. For example, greater inferiority feelings have been linked to neurotic perfectionism (Ashby & Kottman, 1996), depression, hostility, insomnia, suicidal ideation (Lung & Lee, 2008), frustration in adolescents (Rajeshwari, 2012), and insecure attachment and loneliness (Akdoğan, 2017), suggesting an indirect connection between inferiority feelings and happiness. ...
... The construct of inferiority feelings has been recently connected to both self-concealment (Cimsir and Akdoğan, 2019) and loneliness (Akdoğan, 2017), which are two constructs that are known to interfere with social well-being. In addition, theoretical propositions and research suggest that inferiority feelings may interfere with happiness by causing conflicts in interpersonal relationships (Adler, 1982(Adler, , 1996; see also Cimsir, 2019). ...
... However, inferiority feelings tend to be hidden by the individual because of their disturbing nature (Adler, 1982). In other words, it is not easy for an individual to face up to their own inferiority feelings and, thus, it is understandable that individuals who live with these feelings keep themselves from self-disclosure and become solitary (Akdoğan, 2017;Dreikurs, 1957). In this context, research findings suggest that self-concealment and loneliness are likely to be experienced as a Fig. 1. ...
Article
Despite recent research associating inferiority feelings with two of the social disruptors of happiness, namely self-concealment (Cimsir & Akdoğan, 2019) and loneliness (Akdoğan, 2017), neither the nature nor the mechanism of the connection between inferiority feelings and happiness have been investigated. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to test if inferiority feelings are associated with subjective happiness, while proposing a process in which inferiority feelings cause self-concealment, which in turn, causes loneliness, thereby resulting in a decrease in happiness. A serial mediation analysis was conducted via PROCESS, a computational tool for observed variable moderation, mediation and conditional process modeling (Hayes, 2012). The results confirm that self-concealment and loneliness act as serial mediators between inferiority feelings and subjective happiness, meaning that individuals with increased inferiority feelings have a higher tendency toward self-concealment. This, in turn, results in an increase in loneliness and a decrease in happiness. Additionally, a multiple regression analysis revealed that inferiority feelings, loneliness, self-concealment, age and gender significantly explain happiness at a level of 35% (R2 = 0.35, F (5, 276) =30.27, p < .001), with loneliness and inferiority feelings being the only significant predictors of subjective happiness.
... Loneliness appears to be a stable construct (Bartels et al., 2008;Boomsma et al., 2007;Junttila & Vauras, 2009) that has been found to be present in individuals at every stage of life and has been shown to be associated with a range of psychological constructs implicated in poor mental health or maladjustment. In childhood and early adulthood, loneliness is associated, for example, with insecure attachment to parents (Akdoğan, 2017;Mund & Neyer, 2016;Wiseman et al., 2006). Vanhalst et al. (2015) reported that adolescents who were chronically lonely viewed inclusion into groups as due to the situation, while exclusion from others was seen as caused by internal and stable characteristics. ...
... This study examined the relationship between borderline personality features and loneliness at the phenotypic, genetic and environmental levels and confirmed that individual differences in the PAI-BOR subscales and total score and in loneliness were explained by a combination of additive genetic and environmental factors. The heritability estimates, which ranged from 31% for the borderline subscale self-harm to 41% for the borderline total score, are either the same or somewhat lower than estimates reported previously (Boomsma et al., 2005;Distel, Rebollo-Mesa et al., 2009;Schermer et al., 2015;2017; please note that the samples partially overlap, but that the Australian sample in the present study is substantially larger than what has been used in previous research). Consistent with previous findings of the relationship between BPD and loneliness (Liebke et al., 2017), the phenotypic correlation between loneliness and the total scale of BPD was .51. ...
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Loneliness is related to mental and somatic health outcomes, including borderline personality disorder. Here, we analyze the sources of variation that are responsible for the relationship between borderline personality features (including four dimensions, affective instability, identity disturbance, negative relationships, self-harm and a total score) and loneliness. Using genetically informative data from two large nonclinical samples of adult twin pairs from Australia and the Netherlands (N = 11,329), we estimate the phenotypic, genetic and environmental correlations between self-reported borderline personality features and loneliness. Individual differences in borderline personality and loneliness were best explained by additive genetic factors with heritability estimates h2 = 41% for the borderline personality total score and h2 = 36% for loneliness, with the remaining variation explained by environmental influences that were not shared by twins from the same pair. Genetic and environmental factors influencing borderline personality (total score and four subscales separately) were also partial causes of loneliness. The correlation between loneliness and the borderline personality total score was rph = .51. The genetic correlation was estimated at rg = .64 and the environmental correlation at re = .40. Our study suggests common etiological factors in loneliness and borderline personality features.
... In line with this hypothesis, loneliness has consistently been related to lower perceived social skills and lower perceived social competence (for review see Heinrich & Gullone, 2006;Sharp, Cohen, Kitzmann, & Parra, 2015;Tsai & Reis, 2009). In addition, loneliness has been related to feeling inferior (Akdoğan, 2017) and to low self-ratings on various positive characteristics, for example, being less attractive, friendly, humorous, and trusting, than non-lonely individuals (for review see Heinrich & Gullone, 2006;Tsai & Reis, 2009). However, loneliness is also related to lower peer-ratings of social skillfulness Tsai & Reis, 2009) and possessing positive characteristics (Tsai & Reis, 2009). ...
Article
Loneliness is a distressing emotional state that motivates individuals to renew and maintain social contact. It has been suggested that lonely individuals suffer from a cognitive bias towards social threatening stimuli. However, current models of loneliness remain vague on how this cognitive bias is expressed in lonely individuals. The current review provides an up-to-date overview of studies examining loneliness in relation to various aspects of cognitive functioning. These studies are interpreted in light of the Social Information Processing (SIP) model. A wide range of studies indicate that lonely individuals have a negative cognitive bias in all stages of SIP. More specifically, lonely individuals have an increased attention for social threatening stimuli, hold negative and hostile intent attributions, expect rejection, evaluate themselves and others negatively, endorse less promotion- and more prevention-oriented goals, and have a low self-efficacy. This negative cognitive bias seems specific to the social context. Avenues for future research and implications for clinical practice are discussed.
... These features make it hard for them to build and maintain satisfactory relationships, which will enhance the risk of experiencing lonely feelings. A great number of studies have shown that high attachment anxiety is positively correlated with increased loneliness, and the increased loneliness in turn is positively correlated with decreased subjective well-being as well as increased inferiority feelings, depression, and problematic Internet use (e.g., Akdoğan 2017;Li et al. 2014;Meier et al. 2013;Zhang et al. 2016). ...
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Mobile phone dependence has become a worldwide problem due to its high occurrence rate, fast growth rate, and serious undesirable consequences. Previous studies have found that attachment anxiety is a key antecedent of mobile phone dependence. However, little is known about the underlying psychological mechanisms. The present study tested the mediating role of loneliness and the moderating role of rumination in the link between attachment anxiety and mobile phone dependence. A sample of 908 Chinese university students aged 17 to 27 years old was recruited from four universities in Central China. They completed the Chinese version of Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory, Mobile Phone Addiction Index, UCLA Loneliness Scale, and Ruminative Response Scale. After controlling for gender and age, loneliness mediated the association between attachment anxiety and mobile phone dependence. Both the direct association between attachment anxiety and mobile phone dependence and the indirect association through loneliness were moderated by rumination. These two associations were stronger for individuals with high rumination than for those with low rumination. Limitations and implications are discussed.
... Emotional abuse, as one kind of child maltreatment, may be associated with loneliness. Survivors of emotional abuse may be influenced by negative experiences of parent-child interactions, and they may have distorted understanding about interpersonal relationships, including mistrust towards others (Liu et al. 2018a); these distorted understanding about interpersonal relationships may make individuals feel more social isolation and loneliness (Akdoğan 2017). ...
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While emotional abuse has effects on social anxiety, little is known about mechanisms of this relationship, particularly in China. To address this gap, this cross-sectional study estimated mediating roles of self-esteem and loneliness in the relationship between emotional abuse and social anxiety in Chinese culture. 569 adolescents and pre-adolescents (aged between 10 and 15 years, M = 11.68, SD = 0.83; 50.62% boys) completed a series of questionnaires inquiring about emotional abuse, social anxiety, loneliness, and self-esteem. Structural equation modeling was used to examine mediating roles of self-esteem and loneliness in the relationship between emotional abuse and social anxiety. The results revealed that emotional abuse was positively associated with social anxiety and loneliness (r = .36, .29, respectively, p < .01), while it was negatively associated with self-esteem (r = − .22, p < .01). Mediational models testing indirect effects through the bootstrapping method revealed that the total effect of emotional abuse on social anxiety was positive and significant; this effect was mediated by self-esteem and loneliness. Findings suggest that loneliness and self-esteem mediates the relationship between emotional abuse and social anxiety. Decreasing loneliness and increasing self-esteem should be applied in interventions to reduce social anxiety of emotionally abused Chinese adolescents and pre-adolescents.
... Ailesi tarafından duygusal istismara maruz kalan çocukların ebeveyn-çocuk ilişkileri olumsuz etkilenebilir (Liu ve ark.,2018) ve çocukların başkalarına karşı güvensizlik de dahil olmak üzere kişiler arası ilişkiler hakkındaki düşünceleri olumsuz etkilenebilir. Bu durum da sosyal izolasyon ve yalnızlık hissetmelerini sağlayabilir (Akdoğan, 2017). ...
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Çocuğa yönelik duygusal ihmal ve istismar, diğer istismar türlerinde olduğu gibi gözle görülebilen bulguları olmadığı için hemen tespit edilemeyebilir. Bu nedenle önem verilmesi gereken bir konudur. Çünkü sebep olduğu olumsuz etkiler uzun yıllar sürebilir ya da uzun yıllar sonra ortaya çıkabilir. Tüm bu sebeplerden ötürü duygusal ihmal ve istismarın uzmanlar tarafından iyi gözlemlenebilmesi gerektiği düşünüldüğü için bu araştırma kapsamında çocukla karşılaşan ya da karşılaşma ihtimali bulunan uzmanların duygusal ihmal ve istismara bakış açılarının belirlenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Araştırma, nicel araştırma olarak tasarlanmıştır. Nicel araştırma yöntemlerinden nedensel-karşılaştırmalı araştırma yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Veri toplama aracı olarak duygusal ihmal, istismar ve kötü muamele ile ilgili soruların yer aldığı “Uzmanlar İçin Soru Formu” kullanılmıştır. Gelişigüzel örnekleme yönteminden yararlanılarak 780 uzman (çocuk gelişimci, doktor, psikolog, avukat, öğretmen ve asker/polis) görüşüne ulaşılmıştır. Elde edilen sonuçlar genel olarak değerlendirildiğinde; hem soru formunda listelenen davranışların uygun olup olmadığı konusunda, hem de davranışların çocuk ihmal ve istismarı olup olmadığı konusunda uzmanlar arasında yüzdesel olarak anlamlı bir farklılık görülmemiştir. Ancak tek yönlü varyans analizi sonuçları incelendiğinde, bazı davranışlarda uzman yanıtları arasında anlamlı farklılıkların olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Ortaya çıkan farklılığın hangi uzman grubundan kaynaklandığını belirlemek için Tukey testi yapılmıştır. Tukey testi sonuçları değerlendirildiğinde, çocuk gelişimcilerle diğer meslek grupları arasında olumlu anlamda farklılaşma olduğu görülmüştür. Anahtar Kelimeler: Duygusal istismar, duygusal ihmal, kötü muamele
... In this respect, feeling of inferiority is the emotional intermediary between rejection and loneliness [24]. Accompanied by feeling of inferiority [25] and sadness [26], feeling of loneliness was the dominant experience of dropout university students. The tendency to be a member of a group has its roots in the nature of humankind [27]. ...
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Introduction: Students face different challenges during their studies, among which dropping out of universities is one of the most complex of these challenges. The psychological status of students after leaving their university has received less attention in the field of educational psychology studies. The purpose of this study was to analyze the lived experiences of this group of students after leaving university. Method: In the present qualitative study, 15 students with a dropout experience were recruited throughout a purposive sampling. The experiences of participants were categorized into different groups based on the content of the interviews in thematic analysis. To gather the data, depth interviews was employed by using online video call, and the data was analyzed through a content analysis method. Results: The conventional content analysis revealed a main theme: helplessness. Accordingly, data analysis led to the formation of two categories: 1-unbelonging with three subcategories:( rejection by people in one's life, loneliness, lack of dignity among peers) and; 2-negative emotions with four subcategories: (shame and guilt, depression and sadness, inferiority feeling, hopelessness towards future). Conclusion: It seems that the students in Iran with a dropout situation face unpleasant psychological experiences. The results could clarify emotional dimensions of facing with stressful situation in academic context. One practical implication of the present study is the necessity of constructing psychological interventions for dropout student in the Iranian society in order to facilitate proper interventions to support these individuals and improve their psychological health.
... Loneliness may also change adolescents' perception of stressful events caused by the pandemic and predispose them to psychological risk factors. For example, researchers found that loneliness in children and adolescents was associated with poor self-esteem, perceived social competence, and insecure attachment (39,40). Additionally, lonely young people are more likely to utilize negative strategies to cope with stress, such as withdrawing and not seeking help (41). ...
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Background: Chinese adolescents experienced a variety of stressors during the COVID-19 home confinement period. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems (EBPs) among adolescents during the COVID-19 period. The study also examined the relationships between psychosocial stressors and adolescents' EBPs, and explored the potential explanatory value of loneliness for any associations observed. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study which included 6,587 adolescents in Taizhou, China between April 16 and May 14, 2020. Adolescents' EBPs were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), while subjective feelings of loneliness were assessed using one item from the Children's Depression Inventory. We applied structural equation modelling to assess direct and indirect associations (explained by loneliness) between psychosocial stressors (study problems, parent-child relationship, and family or friends with COVID-19) and the total difficulties and prosocial scores. Results: The prevalence of EBPs in the sample was 31.6% for total difficulties and 37.5% for prosocial problems. After adjustment for a range of covariates, the presence of study problems, poor parent-child relationship and family or friends with COVID-19 were significantly associated with a higher SDQ total difficulties score (β=6.20, 21.46, 5.21; P<0.01) and a lower prosocial score (β=-0.79, -4.35, -1.65; P<0.01). There was an explanatory effect of loneliness on these associations, which explained 27-37% of the total effect on the total difficulties score and 11-37% on the prosocial score. Conclusions: The presence of psychosocial stressors during the home confinement period was related to higher EBPs in adolescents, and the relationship was partially explained by loneliness. Targeted psychosocial interventions towards loneliness and COVID-19 related stressors may improve adolescents' psychological health.
... The problems related to insecure attachment and abnormal inferiority feelings may be the reasons people seek psychological help. Both insecure attachment and abnormal inferiority feelings are known to be related to lone liness (Akdogan, 2017), and loneliness is closely related to the tendency to seek help (Cacioppo et al., 2000). For example, because individuals with in secure attachment styles perceive less social support, they experience more distress. ...
... Among this group of indicators, the strongest predictor is the index of conflict in important social relations (β=.317***). This is in line with previous research which found that loneliness may depend more on the quality of relationships rather than the sheer number of contacts (Akdoğan, 2017). Indeed, loneliness is reported to be related to subjective experience and interpretation, rather than social isolation (Fischer and Phillips, 1982;Pinquart and Sörensen, 2003;de Jong Gierveld et al., 2006). ...
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The paper analyses social causes of loneliness in Europe using cross-national data from the 2017 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) module "Social Networks and Social Resources" from 13 countries categorised as Northern Europe, Continental Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The paper aims to examine loneliness with regard to three specific groups of predictors, related to network, socio-cultural and socio-structural aspects. The results suggest that sociability patterns and personal networks are the most important predictors of loneliness. While the frequency of contacts with family members and close friends and the overall number of contacts showed significance, loneliness was primarily related to the quality of personal relationships. Considering socio-cultural factors, the obtained findings showed that social trust is consistently associated with lower levels of loneliness. Furthermore, people from Continental Europe were, in general, less lonely than North and East Europeans. Age was an important factor here as respondents from younger age groups were lonelier in Nordic countries than in the other two blocs of countries, while older respondents were lonelier in Central and East European countries. Finally, socio-structural indicators in general showed less predictive value compared to sociability patterns and socio-cultural variables. However, when it came to socioeconomic exclusion, this aspect showed a stronger connection with loneliness for the individuals from the Nordic group of countries. The findings of this paper contribute to the vibrant field of contemporary scholarship on loneliness with a fresh perspective based on comparing three large blocs of European countries and an integrated approach to various predictors of loneliness.
... Feelings of loneliness are common among the women, all of whom did not have any close friendships throughout their lives. Insecure attachment and feelings of inferiority can significantly predict loneliness (Akdoğan, 2017), linking to the women's feelings of isolation and the inability to talk to others and share problems. Loneliness has also been cross-sectionally linked to emotional skill deficiencies (Zysberg, 2012, as cited in Wols et al., 2015), potentially explaining the women's difficulties in communication with others. ...
Thesis
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Despite women showing a four percent increase in criminal participation from 2007 to 2017 (Ministry of Justice, 2018), research on female crime is insufficient, sparsely explored within UK and US (Davies, 2002). Widom et al. (1983) has suggested three motives associated with female crime; affiliation, achievement and power. Additionally, drug use (Leverentz, 2006), familial and social relationships (Davies, 2002), and variations in socio-cultural factors (Beatton et al., 2018) have been noted to be contributory factors. To investigate this further, the present research adopted a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews to gain an understanding of the life experiences and motivations of four female ex-offenders, and what they believe can be done to provide support to those at risk of offending. Seven overarching themes arose as a result of the thematic analysis conducted: ‘Negative personal relationships and their implications’, ‘Financial Needs’, ‘Restricted Support’, ‘Emotional Implications’, ‘Life’s Challenges’, ‘Incomplete Education’ and ‘Privileged Background’. It was found that the participants were impacted by negative relationships involving abuse, financial problems and emotional boundaries, all of which they felt to be contributory factors to their offending.
... Early attachment interactions predict the development of interpersonal functioning during childhood and predict loneliness. Insecurely attached children experience difficulties in their social connections with children and adults and may feel lonely and excluded socially (Akdoğan, 2017;Al-Yagon et al., 2016). ...
Chapter
This chapter explores how loneliness, alienation and solitude set their stamp on ‘quiet professionalism’ in a climate of neoliberalism. This theme is considered in the context of a higher education system that is increasingly associated with efficiency, effectiveness and ‘time-management’ rather than passion or vocation. Departing from the example of Greta Garbo, who famously declared that she wanted to be let alone, the authors explore how the notion of correspondence – with its echoes of response, responsibility and responsiveness – sheds new light on the state of being ‘alone together’ as conducive to the freedom to think. They explore attacks on subjectivity through a novel reading of the psychoanalytical notion of impingement. This is considered against the background of a form of alone/togetherness that arises in and through a quest for ethical forms of collaboration.
... Consequently, securely attached individuals are found to experience higher psychological wellbeing [30,52,65], lower perceptions of loneliness [1,24] and lower levels of anxiety [19,47,68]. ...
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Background An insecure attachment style is an important risk factor for psychological problems. The aim of this study was to use Bartholomew and Horowitz’s model (Bartholomew and Horowitz in J Pers Soc Psychol 61(2): 226, 2019) to test a sample of Italian individuals to determine the mediation role of loneliness and COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms in the relationship between attachment styles and mental health issues in the context of the pandemic. Method A cross-sectional research study was conducted using a sample of 330 Italian participants (82.1% women; mean age = 34.3 years; SD = 13.16) who completed online self-reported measures of attachment styles (RQ), loneliness (RULS), COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms (C-19ASS) and mental health problems (GHQ-12). Serial mediation analyses were performed, and bootstrap tests were included. Results Our results supported the hypothesized model with respect to each attachment style ( p < 0.001). In particular, insecure attachment styles predict mental health problems both directly and indirectly, through loneliness and COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms. In addition, loneliness directly influences mental health problems and also mediates the relationship between insecure attachment styles and COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms which, in turn, positively predict mental health problems. Conclusions Our findings reinforce the importance of attachment in people’s processes of adapting to experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. The study makes an important contribution to developing effective prevention and intervention strategies to support people’s wellbeing in the context of the pandemic.
... Previous research suggests that emotional abuse and emotional neglect, in particular, may hinder secure attachment relationships between children and their parents (Lowell et al., 2014), undermine emotion regulation and emotion understanding (Heim et al., 2013), and yield negative beliefs about yourself as unworthy and incompetent and other people (Wright et al., 2009). Insecure attachment, deficits in emotional skills, and negative beliefs about yourself and others may interfere with the formation and maintenance of future relationships and are all related to an increased risk of experiencing loneliness (Akdogan, 2017;Qualter et al., 2009;Wols et al., 2015). ...
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While there is evidence that child maltreatment is positively associated with loneliness, the strength of this association is not yet clear. It is also unclear whether the magnitude and statistical significance of this association varies across groups of individuals. Therefore, this meta-analysis examines whether there are differences in loneliness between individuals with and without maltreatment histories, and which factors may influence the association between child maltreatment and loneliness. A three-level meta-analysis was conducted on 52 studies reporting 116 effect sizes ( N = 1,705,493; M age = 30.93; 49.6% females). Results showed a medium overall effect ( g = 0.45, p < .001, 95% CI [0.36, 0.53]), indicating that individuals with maltreatment histories, on average, feel lonelier than individuals without maltreatment histories. Moderator analyses showed that effect sizes were larger for emotional abuse and emotional neglect as compared to other types of child maltreatment and decreased when participants were older at the time of loneliness assessment. These findings suggest that individuals with maltreatment histories, especially those who have been emotionally abused and/or emotionally neglected, are vulnerable to experiencing loneliness across the lifespan. The results also suggest that feelings of loneliness warrant attention in prevention and intervention programs for individuals with maltreatment histories.
... The over-arching goal of this study was to assess the potential to situate the interpersonal theory of suicide with attachment theory in a life course approach among Kenyan men aged 18-34. Attachment theory posits that models of one's social identity and ability to form secure attachments in adolescence and adulthood originates in early social environments, such that later life insecure attachment may begin with insecure childhood attachments (Ainsworth, 1989). The interpersonal theory of suicide posits that thwarted belongingness is an essential component in the origins of suicide behavior (Van Orden et al., 2010). ...
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The interpersonal theory of suicide posits that suicide behavior is driven by two interpersonal dynamics – perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Attachment theory posits that one’s sense of belonging may stem from social attachments during childhood. In this study, we investigate whether these two theories may be meaningfully combined to provide a life course perspective on suicide ideation among young Kenyan men (age 18–34 years). We find that respondents who recalled childhood attachments that were less safe and warm were significantly more likely to report suicide ideation, a pathway that was significantly mediated by present loneliness. Consistent with the interpersonal theory of suicide, the association between loneliness and suicide ideation was significantly mediated by less meaning in life and hope. Suicide ideation in adulthood may be prevented by promoting more secure attachments during childhood.
... Recent studies on young adults as well as elderly individuals also showed that insecurely attached people were more prone to experiencing loneliness than securely attached people, who express more satisfaction about the support they perceive and receive (Bernardon et al., 2011;Akdogan, 2017;Spence et al., 2018). Although a relationship between loneliness and insecure attachment has been demonstrated, the specific implications for anxious and avoidant attachment styles remain unclear. ...
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The etiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia is complex and incompletely understood. Interest in a developmental perspective to these pathologies is gaining momentum. An early supportive social environment seems to have important implications for social, affective and cognitive abilities across the lifespan. Attachment theory may help to explain the link between these early experiences and later outcomes. This theory considers early interactions between an infant and its caregiver to be crucial to shaping social behavior and emotion regulation strategies throughout adult life. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that such early attachment experiences can, potentially through epigenetic mechanisms, have profound neurobiological and cognitive consequences. Here we discuss how early attachment might influence the development of affective, cognitive, and neurobiological resources that could protect against cognitive decline and dementia. We argue that social relations, both early and late in life, are vital to ensuring cognitive and neurobiological health. The concepts of brain and cognitive reserve are crucial to understanding how environmental factors may impact cognitive decline. We examine the role that attachment might play in fostering brain and cognitive reserve in old age. Finally, we put forward the concept of affective reserve, to more directly frame the socio-affective consequences of early attachment as protectors against cognitive decline. We thereby aim to highlight that, in the study of aging, cognitive decline and dementia, it is crucial to consider the role of affective and social factors such as attachment.
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Given that little is known about the underlying mechanisms of rumination in response to an interpersonal offense, the purpose of this research is to reveal if inferiority feelings, dispositional rumination, and gender predict rumination regarding an interpersonal offense in a college student population. A sample of 147 undergraduate students completed the Ruminative Thought Style Scale, the Inferiority Feelings Scale and the Rumination About an Interpersonal Offense scale. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis confirm that although the majority of variation in interpersonal rumination is accounted for by dispositional rumination, inferiority feelings still explain a significant amount of variation in interpersonal rumination. Additional analysis demonstrates that dispositional rumination has a partial mediator role between inferiority feelings and interpersonal rumination, which indicates that feelings of inferiority make individuals more prone to dispositional rumination, which in turn, increases their tendency to ruminate following an interpersonal offense.
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Due to the elevated exposure to individualistic cultural values through the use of social media, individuals living in collectivist cultures, particularly younger generations, are becoming increasingly ambivalent towards traditional values. This means that they may experience a phenomenon called collectivistic ambivalence, which can be described as the degree of internal conflict one experiences between her/his individual preferences and collectivistic values and norms. However, there is a lack of empirically-based measure of this phenomenon and, therefore, in Study 1, we first develop and validate a 10-item Collectivistic Ambivalence Scale (CAS) on a total of 856 college students. After this, in Study 2, conducted with an additional sample of 241 college students, we confirm that there is a significant positive correlation between collectivistic ambivalence and social anxiety, with inferiority feelings fully mediating this relationship. This suggests that collectivistic ambivalence is associated with a significant increase in social anxiety, as a result of its relationship with inferiority feelings. Moreover, inferiority feelings and collectivistic ambivalence significantly explain 31% of the total variance in social anxiety
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Background A central concept of attachment theory is that early experiences with close attachment figures shape the way we interact with and relate to other social partners throughout life. As such, early experiences of childhood maltreatment (CM) have been suggested as a key precursor of adult insecure attachment representations. As CM has been linked to feelings of loneliness in adulthood, this study examines whether insecure attachment could explain the relationship between CM and loneliness. Also, the moderating role of a diagnosis of persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is investigated, a disorder characterized by high levels of CM and loneliness. Method 60 patients with PDD (DSM-5) and 60 gender- and age-matched non-clinical control participants (NC) completed self-report questionnaires measuring attachment, loneliness, and CM. Mediation analyses (PDD as a moderator) were performed. Results PDD patients reported higher levels of CM, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and loneliness than NC. CM was positively associated with loneliness in both groups. Mediation analyses demonstrated that the relationship between CM and loneliness was mediated by avoidant, but not anxious attachment, regardless of a diagnosis of PDD. Limitations Caution when interpreting these results is crucial as the study lacked a clinical control group, relied on self-report measures, and the cross-sectional design limits the ability to draw causal inferences. Conclusions All constructs studied were present to a greater degree in PDD. Above, findings provide initial evidence that avoidant attachment may explain the relationship between CM and loneliness. Potentially, adult avoidant attachment may lead to and maintain feelings of loneliness, regardless of PDD.
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This study investigated whether the Abandonment schema mediates the relationship between a history of parental separation or divorce and attachment styles in adulthood. Participants (N = 426; Mage = 30.78 years) completed online measures, using Qualtrics. Results demonstrated that a history of parental separation or divorce was positively associated with anxious and avoidant attachment styles in adulthood. Mediation analyses revealed that the Abandonment schema mediated these relationships (p <.001). This suggests that adults with a history of parental divorce or separation are more likely to report anxious and avoidant attachment styles, and this is partially accounted for by an expectation that they will be abandoned by others. These findings have implications for case formulation and can be used to inform treatment. Schema therapy focused on healing the Abandonment schema could promote attachment security in individuals with a history of parental separation or divorce. For example, limited reparenting (i.e., the therapist seeking to meet the client’s unmet emotional needs, within the professional boundaries of the relationship), could be tailored to address the individual’s underlying unmet need for security and stability. Further research is needed to advance our understanding of the implications of these findings for treatment.
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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, insecure attachments and rising levels of loneliness threatened consumers’ well-being across the globe. Insecure and lonely individuals lack interpersonal support for positive and negative events resulting in the utilization of shopping as a coping mechanism. The arrival of the pandemic collided with the existing epidemic of loneliness, exacerbating loneliness and simultaneously changing shopping as it once was known. By virtue of lacking support, insecure and lonely consumers may be more motivated to engage in a particular type of shopping known as self-gifting. This research examines a conceptual model across countries with samples from collectivist and individualistic societies (n=610), revealing a universal framework to explain self-gifting motivation parallels for consumers affected by insecure attachment and emotional loneliness. Theoretical and practical implications provide cross-cultural research on the connections of attachment style and self-gifting to help the disconnections of loneliness in today’s world.
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Purpose Divorce has negative effects on children, although emotions that children experience after parental divorce are open to different interpretations. Accordingly, this study was conducted to explore loneliness in children of divorce. Design/methodology/approach A constructivist grounded theory study was carried out through the lens of definitive guidelines provided by Charmaz (2006). The participants were 15 female children aged 11–12 years, who were purposively selected. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and memos. To analyze data, the authors used four coding techniques, including initial, focused, axial, and theoretical coding. Also, to examine the links between the identified themes, the authors focused on three factors: conditions, actions/interactions, and consequences. Findings The analysis of the obtained data through the above-mentioned stages led to the identification of three main themes, including parental unavailability, rejection, and mistrust, which shaped children's experience of loneliness through lack of physical access, lack of emotional access, low levels of parental expectations, lack of supervision, absence of belongingness, being ignored, pessimistic views, and insecure relationships. Originality/value As was suggested by attachment theory, children of divorce lost their attachment bonds with their parents that intensified their perception of loneliness and negatively affected their social and academic performance. It was revealed that, effects of divorce went beyond the loss of the attachment bonds in families because our participants talked about their relationships with peers and their position in a society, where divorce carries the social stigma and children of divorced mother are marginalized.
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Although previous research has identified that perfectionism is associated with both narcissism and workaholism, research into the specific roles of potential perfectionism classes in these personality dynamics is currently unavailable. Furthermore, no study has investigated if the "useless superiority effort" dimension of inferiority feelings, which indicates an increased need for superiority over others potentially to overcome self-perceived inferiorities, is related to other important personality dynamics. This study was therefore conducted to identify if potential perfectionism classes that exist among academicians (N ¼ 317) can simultaneously explain significant differences in their tendencies toward workaholism, narcissism, and useless superiority effort, after controlling for potential social desirability effect. A latent class analysis of two dimensions of perfection-ism (discrepancy and high standards) revealed four distinct classes of academicians; non-perfectionists (NONPs; 20%), mal-adaptive perfectionists (MPs; 17%), normal perfectionists (NPs; 44%) and adaptive perfectionists (APs; 19%). Further analysis (MANCOVA) showed that while MPs have the highest tendencies toward workaholism and useless superiority effort, NONPs have the lowest tendencies toward these. Moreover, APs reported significantly lower useless superiority than NPs, despite scoring similarly on both narcissism and workaholism. Additionally, based on workaholism being related to narcissism, high standards and discrepancy dimensions of perfectionism, as well as useless superiority effort, while weekly work hours are not, it can be suggested that workaholism is qualitatively different from working long hours.
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Lonely adolescents report that they have poor social skills, but it is unknown whether this is due to an accurate perception of a social skills deficit, or a biased negative perception. This is an important distinction, as actual social skills deficits require different treatments than biased negative perceptions. In this study, we compared self-reported social skills evaluations with peer-reported social skills and meta-evaluations of social skills (i.e., adolescents’ perceptions of how they believe their classmates evaluate them). Based on the social skills view, we expected negative relations between loneliness and these three forms of social skills evaluations. Based on the bias view, we expected lonely adolescents to have more negative self- and meta-evaluations compared to peer-evaluations of social skills. Participants were 1342 adolescents (48.64 % male, Mage = 13.95, SD = .54). All classmates rated each other in a round-robin design to obtain peer-evaluations. Self- and meta-evaluations were obtained using self-reports. Data were analyzed using polynomial regression analyses and response surface modeling. The results indicated that, when self-, peer- and meta-evaluations were similar, a greater sense of loneliness was related to poorer social skills. Loneliness was also related to larger discrepancies between self- and peer-evaluations of loneliness, but not related to the direction of these discrepancies. Thus, for some lonely adolescents, loneliness may be related to an actual social skills deficit, whereas for others a biased negative perception of one’s own social skills or a mismatch with the environment may be related to their loneliness. This implies that different mechanisms may underlie loneliness, which has implications for interventions. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10964-016-0461-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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In recent years, adult attachment styles (secure, fearful, preoccupied, and dismissing) have been widely investigated within the framework of four-category model (Bartholomew and Horowitz, 1991). In three consecutive studies, the reliability and validity of two commonly used measures of attachment styles were examined on the Turkish sample and a cross-cultural comparison with a U.S. sample was made. Results of the Study I revealed that both the single and multi-item measures of attachment styles (Relationships Questionnaire; Re and Relationships Scales Questionnaire; RSQ) have satisfactory level of reliability, stability and convergent validity. However these two measures did not correspond bl classifying respondents into the four attachment groups in an acceptable degree. Study 2, first, replicated the results of study I and second, demonstrated that the four attachment styles can be sufficiently identified among Turkish students. Supporting the construct validity of the attachment scales, findings indicated that the four attachment styles were organized around the two underlying dimensions of attachment (models of self and others), and they were related to the outcome variables employed in the study consistent with the assumptions of attachment, theory. The final study permitted a comparison of Turkish sample with American students from the perspective of four- category model. It was found that although the attachment scales had compatible psychometric quality in both cultures, the RSQ was relatively more consistent than the Re across the two samples. Furthermore, cultural differences in attachment styles were found especially among the insecure styles and students with preoccupied styles in the Turkish sample and those with dismissing and fearful styles in the American sample seemed to be overrepresented Findings were discussed in the light of attachment literature regarding the measurement issues and cross-cultural differences.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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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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According to the Social Competencies in Interpersonal Process (SCIP) model, social competencies include (a) skills needed to recruit and maintain satisfying and supportive relationships, and (b) trait-like dispositions that govern use of these skills. Attachment theory explains how social competencies develop in early interactions with caregivers. Most adult clients' presenting problems can be viewed as maladaptive patterns of interpersonal interaction-patterns that the SCIP model holds are maintained by social competency deficits. Available social support is significantly determined by individual differences in social competencies. Because a productive therapy relationship requires a broad range of these competencies, a client's deficits and maladaptive patterns are soon evident. The relationship itself can then become a vehicle for change. This article summarizes my research testing aspects of the SCIP model. I conclude by presenting ideas for future research and suggestions for specific corrective attachment experiences in the therapy relationship that may facilitate client change.
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In 3 studies, 352 undergraduate Israeli students were classified into secure, avoidant, and ambivalent attachment groups, and their differences in traitlike measures of self-disclosure willingness and flexibility and in disclosure reciprocity and liking of hypothetical or real partners were assessed. Findings indicated that both secure and ambivalent people disclosed more information to, felt better interacting with, and were more attracted to a high discloser partner than a low discloser partner. In contrast, avoidant people's self-disclosure and liking were not affected by the partner's disclosure. Secure people showed more disclosure flexibility and topical reciprocity than ambivalent and avoidant people. Findings are discussed in terms of the interaction goals of attachment groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The purpose of this study is to examine the predictive power of attachment styles and gender on negative social emotions such as shame, guilt, and loneliness. The sample consists of 360 (183 female, 177 male) students attending to different departments of Marmara University. The Relationships Questionnaire, Guilt-Shame Scale, and UCLA Loneliness Scale were used as instruments. Results obtained from hierarchical regression analysis showed that gender has a predictive power on shame, solely. When the predictivity of attachment styles on negative social emotions was examined, the results revealed that shame was predicted by secure and dismissing attachment style, whereas guilt was predicted by only dismissing attachment. Furthermore, all attachment styles played a determining role on loneliness.
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This study examined factors related to family, social, and romantic loneliness in 173 undergraduate students (66 males, 107 females). Participants completed measures of attachment style, perceived availability of social support, use of social support coping, and loneliness. Results indicated that participants with greater attachment security reported lower levels of all types of loneliness compared to those with less attachment security, and this was partially mediated by perceived social support but not the use of social support coping. When examining underlying attachment constructs, a more positive model of others was related to less family and social loneliness, and these associations were mediated by greater perceived social support. Model of others also was associated with less romantic loneliness and model of self was associated with less loneliness in all domains, and these relations were partially mediated by perceived social support. Findings are discussed with respect to possible interventions to increase students' perceptions of available social support and to decrease overall loneliness levels. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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For seven days, participants described the important interactions they had using a variant of the Rochester Interaction Record and reported their attachment style using Bartholomew's four-category system. A series of multilevel random coefficient analyses found that across all interactions securely attached participants, compared to those who were insecurely attached, found their interactions to be more intimate and more positive emotionally. Secure participants also felt that others were more responsive to them and their needs. Secure–insecure differences were most pronounced when secure and dismissive avoidant participants were compared. Differences between secure and fearful types were minimal. In contrast, differences in reactions to interactions with close and not close friends were more pronounced for fearful types than for secures, dismissing, or preoccupied types. These results highlight the importance of distinguishing fearful and dismissive avoidance. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 51(2) of Journal of Counseling Psychology (see record 2007-16897-001). On page 134, line 8, right column, under the heading Checklist for Evaluating Mediation Analyses Using Multiple Regression, the question incorrectly asks, "Was the relation between the predictor and the outcome (Path b) greater than or equal to the relation between the predictor and the mediator (Path a)?" The correct question is "Was the relation between the mediator and the outcome (Path b) greater than or equal to the relation between the predictor and the mediator (Path a)?"] The goals of this article are to (a) describe differences between moderator and mediator effects; (b) provide nontechnical descriptions of how to examine each type of effect, including study design, analysis, and interpretation of results; (c) demonstrate how to analyze each type of effect; and (d) provide suggestions for further reading. The authors focus on the use of multiple regression because it is an accessible data-analytic technique contained in major statistical packages. When appropriate, they also note limitations of using regression to detect moderator and mediator effects and describe alternative procedures, particularly structural equation modeling. Finally, to illustrate areas of confusion in counseling psychology research, they review research testing moderation and mediation that was published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology during 2001. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
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As a social species, humans rely on a safe, secure social surround to survive and thrive. Perceptions of social isolation, or loneliness, increase vigilance for threat and heighten feelings of vulnerability while also raising the desire to reconnect. Implicit hypervigilance for social threat alters psychological processes that influence physiological functioning, diminish sleep quality, and increase morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this paper is to review the features and consequences of loneliness within a comprehensive theoretical framework that informs interventions to reduce loneliness. We review physical and mental health consequences of loneliness, mechanisms for its effects, and effectiveness of extant interventions. Features of a loneliness regulatory loop are employed to explain cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences of loneliness and to discuss interventions to reduce loneliness. Loneliness is not simply being alone. Interventions to reduce loneliness and its health consequences may need to take into account its attentional, confirmatory, and memorial biases as well as its social and behavioral effects.
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According to the attachment theory which is also known as an affect regulation theory, internal working models that are constituted by the interaction between primary care giver and infant in the early period of life. These working models plays an important role how the infant gives a meaning to the world and himself/ herself and it determines the individual’s personality development and by the way the probable psychopathologies that can be observed in the future like depression. In relation with this, many of the empirical studies in the adult literature states on how internal models and cognitive representations have an influence on emotional reactions. According to various studies, reporting different attachment styles and individuals who has probably different internal models, differs in each others’ emotional reactions and how they behave according to these reactions. In view of attachment literature, individual makes a decision in terms of making affect regulation for maintaining proximity seeking and this process evokes the activation of secondary attachment strategies which are named as hyper and deactivating strategies. From the framework of this review, the relationship between major depression and adult attachment styles, affect regulation strategies is examined. Firstly, Bowlby’s attachment theory is mentioned shortly and adult attachment styles are introduced. Secondly, affect regulation strategies, which are thought to be related with major depression as a mood disorder are identified and finally, the empirical research findings relevant to the topic are represented.
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The relationship between social skill deficits and the psychological state of loneliness was examined in two studies. Study 1 compared conversational behaviors of high-lonely and low-lonely college students during brief heterosexual interactions. Results indicated that the two loneliness groups differed significantly in their use of a specific class of conversational behaviors termed partner attention, with high-lonely as compared to low-lonely subjects giving less attention to their partners. Study 2 examined the casual relationship between social skill and loneliness by directly manipulating the use of partner attention in a group of high-lonely males. For that group, increased use of partner attention during dyadic interactions resulted in significantly greater change in loneliness and related variables relative to interaction only and no-contact control groups. The utility of conceptualizing loneliness as a social skills problem is discussed.
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This article reviews premorbid indicators of psychosis that may be relevant to primary intervention. These risk markers are divided into two categories: (1) precursors related to early etiological factors (family psychiatric history, perinatal and obstetric complications, neurobehavior deficits, early parental separation, institutionalization, and poor family function) and (2) precursors signaling latent mental illness (personality measurements indicating proneness to psychosis, and teacher ratings indicating emotional lability, social anxiety, social withdrawal, passivity, poor peer relations, and disruptive and aggressive behavior). Because teacher ratings have been shown to be powerful predictors of adult mental breakdown, part of this article focuses on a specific study that assesses such ratings as predictors of psychosis in a high-risk population. Risk indicators may also provide clues about protective factors relevant for primary prevention.
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Self-report measures of adult attachment are typically scored in ways (e.g., averaging or summing items) that can lead to erroneous inferences about important theoretical issues, such as the degree of continuity in attachment security and the differential stability of insecure attachment patterns. To determine whether existing attachment scales suffer from scaling problems, the authors conducted an item response theory (IRT) analysis of 4 commonly used self-report inventories: Experiences in Close Relationships scales (K. A. Brennan, C. L. Clark, & P. R. Shaver, 1998), Adult Attachment Scales (N. L. Collins & S. J. Read, 1990), Relationship Styles Questionnaire (D. W. Griffin & K. Bartholomew, 1994) and J. Simpson's (1990) attachment scales. Data from 1,085 individuals were analyzed using F. Samejima's (1969) graded response model. The authors' findings indicate that commonly used attachment scales can be improved in a number of important ways. Accordingly, the authors show how IRT techniques can be used to develop new attachment scales with desirable psychometric properties.
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Attachment theory is a powerful framework for understanding affect regulation. In this article, we examine the role played by attachment orientation in shaping emotional reactions to interpersonal transactions within close relationships. Using our recent integrative model of attachment-system activation and dynamics as a guide (M. Mikulincer & P. R. Shaver, 2003), we review relevant evidence, present new findings, and propose hypotheses concerning how people with different attachment styles are likely to react emotionally to relational events. Specifically, we focus on attachment-related variations in the emotional states elicited by a relationship partner's positive and negative behaviors and by signals of a partner's (relationship relevant or relationship irrelevant) distress or pleasure. In so doing, we organize existing knowledge and point the way to future research on attachment-related emotions in close relationships.
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My aim in this study was to investigate the social skills, life satisfaction, and loneliness levels of a sample of 525 Turkish university students. Participants completed the UCLA Loneliness Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Social Skills Inventory, and a personal information form. Independent samples t test, correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis were employed for data analysis. The social skills and life satisfaction levels of female students were found to be significantly higher than those of male students. Loneliness levels of male students were found to be significantly higher than those of female students; social skills and life satisfaction were negatively correlated with loneliness; and social skills were positively correlated with life satisfaction. Life satisfaction and social skills negatively predicted university students' loneliness.
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Purpose of the study: The study evaluated profiles (a typology) of loneliness within the caregiving unit, which was composed of an older care recipient with functional impairment, a family member, and a home care worker. Design and methods: Overall, 223 complete caregiving units completed the 3-item Revised-University of California San Francisco Loneliness scale. Latent profile analysis was used to identify profiles of loneliness within the caregiving unit. Subsequently, latent profile membership was used as a between-subject variable to examine correlates of the latent profiles. Results: A 2-profile solution was deemed most plausible. This classification consisted of a large (174 caregiving units; 78%) more favorable profile in terms of loneliness and a smaller (49 caregiving units; 22%) lonelier profile. Profile classification was associated with a variety of quality of life, well-being, social relations, and sociodemographic indicators of the 3 members of the caregiving unit. Implications: The study provides a needed recognition of the potential interdependence among members of the caregiving unit and calls for research and practice that go beyond the individual level. The assessment of loneliness at the caregiving unit can provide valuable information about at-risk units as well as about the potential effectiveness of interventions that target the entire caregiving unit.
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Alfred Adler (1870-1937) one of the four original members of what was to become the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, was the first to accept a humanistic-educational model of man in contrast to Freud's medical model of man. This was in line with his deep involvement with prevention; in fact his original interest was in medical prevention. The present paper describes how his work touched on all the points of the contemporary field of psychological prevention. He developed a personality theory most suitable for application in prevention, education and brief psychotherapy. He identified various categories of children at risk. He advocated the right to abortion partly to prevent the birth of a child severely at risk by being unwanted. He considered the then existing dominance of the male sex to be damaging to both sexes. He engaged in practical prevention work by addressing general audiences and especially teachers and by the establishment of and participation in Educational Counseling Centers. He felt that the honest psychologist for reasons of prevention is bound to social advocacy, and that a true psychology of mental health merges into a corresponding world philosophy. These points are fully documented with quotations and references.
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Hazan and Shaver have identified three adult attachment styles corresponding to the infant-mother attachment patterns observed by Ainsworth and associates in the first year of life: secure, avoidant, and anxious-ambivalent. These three styles are related to a wide variety of close relationship processes and outcomes. To date, however; little research has focused on relations between attachment styles and major personality constructs. Such re-search can clarify, the nature of attachment styles and ensure that they are not simply redundant with existing constructs. The present research examined associations between attachment measures, relationship quality and outcome measures, and the 'Big Five"personality traits assessed by the NEO Personality Inventory. Attachment styles were related in theoretically predictable ways to the Big Five dimensions and especially to some of their 'facet' subscales but were not simply redundant with them. The NEO scales were generally not as powerful as the attachment style measures in predicting romantic relationship outcomes, probably because of the greater specificity of the attachment measures.
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Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of research on close relationships and the emergence of a new relationship subdiscipline within the social sciences. To date, the new science of relationships has been dominated by data. This article is based on the conviction that progress now hinges on the development of theory to organize and interpret extant findings and to guide future investigations. Through a selective but extensive review of the major bodies of empirical literature, we attempt to show that attachment theory can incorporate a broad range of findings on adult relationships. In addition, attachment theory addresses an impressive array of research questions concerning the functions, emotional dynamics, evolutionary origins, and developmental pathways of human affectional bonds. We conclude that a comprehensive theory of close relationships is both desirable and, with the integration of existing theories and concepts, currently achievable.
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A total of 183 university students completed measures of attachment, social and emotional loneliness, and social skills. Results indicate that secure attachment and social skills are related on several significant dimensions. Other findings reveal that attachment security and social skills are significantly related to loneliness, representing a replication and extension of previous research (Riggio, Throckmorton, & DePaola, 1990). These results lend support to the notion that securely attached individuals are socially skilled, and that social competence is related to lower perceived levels of loneliness. Finally, regression analyses indicated that the link between secure and fearful attachment, and social loneliness was mediated, in part, by social skills. It is suggested that attachment theory may provide a useful framework for the study of social competence and adjustment.
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The applicability of using the four-category model (Bartholomew and Horowitz, 1991) in classifying Chinese adults into four adult attachment prototypes: secure, dismissing, preoccupied, and fearful was explored. The impact of attachment styles on self-esteem, loneliness, and causal attribution on classroom events was also investigated. Two hundred and twenty-five student-teachers completed a self-report Attachment Style Inventory, and measures of self-esteem, loneliness, and attributional style. Results indicated that subjects with a preoccupied, dismissing, and fearful attachment were lower in self-esteem than their secure counterparts, while secure and dismissing subjects had higher self-esteem than the preoccupied group. The fearful group was the most lonely, followed by the preoccupied and then the dismissing with the secure group being the least lonely. While differences in attributional styles were found between the high self-esteem group and the low self-esteem group, the impact of attachment styles on attributional pattern was less obvious. The results suggest that the four attachment prototypes can be identified in Chinese individuals and that the quality of adult attachment has some influence on social functioning.
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A basic principle of attachment theory is that early attachment relationships with caregivers provide the prototype for later social relations. Working within an attachment framework, a new 4-group model of characteristic attachment styles in adulthood is proposed. In particular, two forms of adult avoidance of intimacy are differentiated: a fearful style that is characterized by a conscious desire for social contact which is inhibited by fears of its consequences, and a dismissing style that is characterized by a defensive denial of the need or desire for greater social contact. This distinction corresponds to two differing models of the self: people who fearfully avoid intimacy view themselves as undeserving of the love and support of others, and people who dismiss intimacy possess a positive model of the self that minimizes the subjective awareness of distress or social needs. The emotional and interpersonal ramifications of the two proposed styles of adult avoidance are discussed.
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Describes the author's experience in research on loneliness and speculates about directions that the field might take in the future. It is argued that insufficient attention is being directed toward the nature of loneliness and its subcategories: loneliness stemming from emotional isolation and loneliness resulting from social isolation or the absence of community. Problems with definitions of loneliness are discussed; they do not seem sufficiently sensitive to loneliness's status as a real phenomenon. The functioning of the attachment system in children and adults also requires further study, as do the modifications that this system (which links infants to parent figures) undergoes during adolescence. The need to define attachment figures is considered, and it is suggested that they are security-providing figures with perceptual and emotional linkages to an individual. Implications for social-psychological and sociobiological/biochemical research programs are examined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Existential psychotherapy arose spontaneously in the minds and works of a number of psychologists and psychiatrists in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s who were concerned with finding a way of understanding human beings that was more reliable and more basic than the then-current psychotherapies. The "existential orientation in psychiatry," wrote Ludwig Binswanger, "arose from dissatisfaction with the prevailing efforts to gain scientific understanding in psychiatry" (1956, p. 144). These existential therapists believed drives in Freudian psychology, conditioning in behaviorism, and archetypes in Jungianism all had their own significance. But where was the actual, immediate person to whom these things were happening? Are we seeing patients as they really are, or are we simply seeing a projection of our theories about them? These therapists were keenly aware that we are living in an age of transition, when almost every human being feels alienated from fellow humans, threatened by nuclear war and economic upsets, perplexed by the radical changes in marriage and almost all other mores in our culture--in short, almost everyone is beset by anxiety. Existential psychotherapy is not a specific technical approach that presents a new set of rules for therapy. It asks deep questions about the nature of the human being and the nature of anxiety, despair, grief, loneliness, isolation, and anomie. It also deals centrally with the questions of creativity and love. Out of the understanding of the meaning of these human experiences, existential psychotherapists have devised methods of therapy that do not fall into the common error of distorting human beings in the very effort of trying to help them. Topics covered in this chapter include history, personality, psychotherapy, and applications. A case example of a 50-year-old male is presented. An annotated bibliography and case readings are provided at the end of the chapter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Individual psychology has found that all problems of life are occupational, social, or sexual. All failures are failures because they lack fellow-feeling and social interest. All true meanings of life are defined in terms of usefulness to others. The majority of failures are among those who have suffered in childhood from organic imperfections, from being pampered, or from being neglected. None of these situations compels a mistaken style of life, but these children will need help in revising their approach to problems. In understanding their peculiarities, the analysis of the earliest childhood memory is especially useful. "What is missing from psychoanalysis is the very first requisite for a science of psychology—a recognition of the coherence of the personality and of the unity of the individual in all his expressions." This unity provides the explanation of the purpose of dream life. The dream is not a contradiction to waking life, but an attempt to solve the problems confronting the individual. The interpretation of dreams is therefore always individual. Position in the family leaves an indelible stamp upon the style of life; the greatest number of problems are among oldest children, with youngest children second. The school should provide training in cooperation rather than in competition. The intelligence quotient should not be regarded as fixing a limit to a child's achievements. It can always, except in the feeble-minded, be changed by right methods. Criminals are recruited from untrained and unskilled workers, and are of two types: persons who have never experienced fellow-feeling, and those who were pampered children. The cure lies in training for cooperation and social interest. Training in the first four or five years decides the style of life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Attachment theory is a powerful framework for understanding affect regulation. In this article, we examine the role played by attachment orientation in shaping emotional reactions to interpersonal transactions within close relationships. Using our recent integrative model of attachment-system activation and dynamics as a guide (M. Mikulincer & P. R. Shaver, 2003), we review relevant evidence, present new findings, and propose hypotheses concerning how people with different attachment styles are likely to react emotionally to relational events. Specifically, we focus on attachment-related variations in the emotional states elicited by a relationship partner's positive and negative behaviors and by signals of a partner's (relationship relevant or relationship irrelevant) distress or pleasure. In so doing, we organize existing knowledge and point the way to future research on attachment-related emotions in close relationships.
Article
Purpose Loneliness can affect people at any time and for some it can be an overwhelming feeling leading to negative thoughts and feelings. The current study, based on the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in England, 2007, quantified the association of loneliness with a range of specific mental disorders and tested whether the relationship was influenced by formal and informal social participation and perceived social support. Methods Using a random probability sample design, 7,461 adults were interviewed in a cross-sectional national survey in England in 2007. Common Mental Disorders were assessed using the revised Clinical Interview Schedule; the diagnosis of psychosis was based on the administration of the Schedules of the Clinical Assessment of Neuropsychiatry, while loneliness was derived from an item in the Social Functioning Questionnaire. Results Feelings of loneliness were more prevalent in women (OR = 1.34, 95 % CI 1.20–1.50, P < 0.001) as well as in those who were single (OR = 2.24, 95 % CI 1.96–2.55, P < 0.001), widowed, divorced or separated (OR = 2.78, 95 % CI 2.38–3.23, P < 0.001), economically inactive (OR = 1.24, 95 % CI 1.11–1.44, P = 0.007), living in rented accommodation (OR = 1.73, 95 % CI 1.53–1.95, P < 0.001) or in debt (OR = 2.47, 95 % CI 2.07–1.50, P < 0.001). Loneliness was associated with all mental disorders, especially depression (OR = 10.85, 95 % CI 7.41–15.94, P < 0.001), phobia (OR = 11.66, 95 % CI 7.01–19.39, P < 0.001) and OCD (OR = 9.78, 95 % CI 5.68–16.86, P < 0.001). Inserting measures of formal and informal social participation and perceived social support into the logistic regression models did significantly reduce these odds ratios. Conclusion Increasing social support and opportunities for social interaction may be less beneficial than other strategies emphasising the importance of addressing maladaptive social cognition as an intervention for loneliness.
Book
From texting and social networking sites to after-school activities, young people have many opportunities to interact with one another, and yet loneliness and isolation trouble today's youth in increasing numbers. Many children and teens report feeling lonely even in the midst of family and friends, and childhood loneliness is a prime risk factor for adult alienation. Lonely Children and Adolescents: Self-Perceptions, Social Exclusion, and Hope illuminates seldom-explored experiences of social isolation among young people as well as the frustrations of the parents and teachers who wish to help. This groundbreaking book conceptualizes loneliness not simply as the absence of social connections, but as a continuum of developmental experience, often growing out of the conflict between opposite needs: to be like one's peers yet be one's unique self. The author draws clear distinctions between loneliness and solitude and identifies genetic and environmental characteristics (i.e., social, psychological, familial, and educational) that can be reinforced to help children become more resilient and less isolated. In addition, therapeutic approaches are described that challenge loneliness by encouraging empowerment, resilience, and hope, from proven strategies to promising tech-based interventions. Highlights include: • Developmental perspectives on loneliness. • Schools and the role of teachers, from preschool to high school. • Peer relations (e.g., cliques, bullies, exclusion, and popularity). • Lonely children, lonely parents: models of coping. • Loneliness in the virtual world. • Prevention and intervention strategies at home, at school, in therapy. Asking its readers to rethink many of their assumptions about social competence and isolation, this volume is essential reading for researchers and professionals in clinical child, school, developmental, and educational psychology; allied education disciplines; social work; and social and personality psychology. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010. All rights reserved.
Article
Social species, from Drosophila melanogaster to Homo sapiens, fare poorly when isolated. Homo sapiens, an irrepressibly meaning-making species, are, in normal circumstances, dramatically affected by perceived social isolation. Research indicates that perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness) is a risk factor for, and may contribute to, poorer overall cognitive performance, faster cognitive decline, poorer executive functioning, increased negativity and depressive cognition, heightened sensitivity to social threats, a confirmatory bias in social cognition that is self-protective and paradoxically self-defeating, heightened anthropomorphism and contagion that threatens social cohesion. These differences in attention and cognition impact on emotions, decisions, behaviors and interpersonal interactions that can contribute to the association between loneliness and cognitive decline and between loneliness and morbidity more generally.
Article
Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.
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
Loneliness is a little discussed concept in today's self-obsessed climate, where it is seen as a negative embarrassing condition. It is unique for every individual, and as such, it is difficult to define. There are other closely related concepts, for example, aloneness and solitude, that further complicate an already complex issue. Loneliness also has various causes and effects that can be one and the same, and so it can be confused with similar but different conditions, for example, depression and self-esteem. But, at the end of the day, if the word loneliness is mentioned in conversation, everybody will understand what it means to them, and how distressing an ordeal it can be. Everyone is lonely to some degree, no matter how much they pretend they are not: it is part of being human. Nursing literature looks at loneliness from a rather basic, superficial perspective, when discussing whether such a traumatic state of being can be solved, but this is not a solution as such. It is such an innate part of the human psyche, that it cannot be solved like a puzzle; it can only be alleviated and made less painful. This can only be achieved by increasing humankind's awareness of this distressing condition that everyone has to endure in some way, shape or form, some time during their lives, about which there is nothing to be embarrassed. If non-lonely individuals could spare a smile or a word for people who might be perceived as being lonely, even if in doing so they selfishly think 'there but for the grace of God go I', such a small gesture might just make their day a little less of an ordeal.