Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Lange

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven Ames

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt

Abstract

Loneliness occurs in the absence of belonging or social connectedness and has been linked to many physical and mental health problems. Among these conditions are depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and stress. College students report these four conditions as the largest barriers to good academic performance. For as much is known about loneliness, much less is known about belonging and health or the role loneliness plays in these relationships prompting a need for investigation. Using a sample of 301 university students, we replicated previous findings that loneliness predicts depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and stress. Next we replicated and contributed new findings for the relationship between social connectedness and the same health outcomes of interest. Previous research has found gender to be a moderator in the relationship between loneliness and social connectedness. The current study found no evidence of moderation. Based upon the available literature, it was hypothesized that loneliness would mediate the relationship between social connectedness and the health outcomes of interest. Using conditional process modeling, loneliness was found to be a mediator in every case. These findings validate previous findings on the effects of loneliness on health. They also highlight the significance of social connectedness as a factor in health. Future research should investigate the effectiveness of social connectedness as focal point for treatment of mental and physical health conditions.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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