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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/387

Title: Loneliness: The Other Side of Social Interaction
Authors: Alicante, Fe Regina Ancheta
Keywords: Anxiety loneliness
Approach reactions
Attachment status
Avoidance reactions
Belongingness
Coping
Depression
Emotional loneliness
Existential loneliness
Late Adolescence
Middle Adulthood
Social loneliness
Social support
Young Adulthood
Issue Date: Mar-2003
Abstract: 7.1 Summary The study investigated two types of loneliness as to how social loneliness compares with emotional loneliness in terms of prevalence. Part of this description involved probing into the different variables that moderate when people do experience these types of loneliness. It was investigated if attached and unattached individuals, adolescents and adults, males and females, geared towards a certain type of loneliness. This research also examined the coping reactions of lonely individuals. This examination involved assessing the tendency of the respondents to employ or resort to a specific coping reaction. A valid scale that measures loneliness in different relationships, the Differential Loneliness Scale, was adopted and a tool that inquired into the coping reactions of lonely people was constructed. These comprised the questionnaire used for this study. Data was gathered from 213 respondents from different sectors of Baguio City including professionals and lay people, adolescents and adults, males and females alike. Data from the sample population was then tabulated and treated statistically. A univariate analysis of variance was applied to determine significant differences between and among the variables. 7.2 Findings In describing the experience of social and emotional loneliness, emotional loneliness has been found to be more prevalently experienced than social loneliness. Although their means show a trend that the late adolescent and the young adult experience emotional loneliness and that the middle adult experiences social loneliness, the differences do not merit substantial amount of significance. There is no significant difference between males and females in their experience of either social or emotional loneliness. The means of their scores point out that both males and females experience emotional loneliness more than social loneliness. On the inquiry as to the differences in the coping reactions among the attached and unattached, the late adolescents, middle adults and the late adults, males and females, post hoc tests revealed that respondents have a general tendency to resort to approach reactions among the three coping reactions more than avoidance reactions and social support. Findings of the study also suggest that the respondents across their attachment status, age and gender basically often employ approach reactions more than the other two coping reactions. Although both males and females often resort to approach reaction, females have significantly less tendency to use avoidance reactions than males. 7.3 Conclusions Emotional loneliness has been found to be more prevalently experienced than social loneliness. Not that there are more incidences of emotional loneliness but that its impact is more greatly experienced than social loneliness. The attached individual has a propensity to experience social loneliness while the unattached individual has a greater tendency to experience emotional loneliness. The presence of an attachment figure in a relationship inversely relates with the impact of the types of loneliness. Unattached individuals lack the presence of a buffer against the pangs of emotional loneliness. Age is not a variable that moderates in the experience of social or emotional loneliness. Young and old alike experience loneliness. However, loneliness, whether social or emotional, is more experienced by the late adolescents than by Adults as to whether loneliness increases or decreases with age, it cannot be established. Gender is also not a variable that moderates in the experience of social or emotional loneliness. Males and females are affected by both the impact of social and emotional loneliness. People across attachment status, age and gender often employ approach reactions more than avoidance reactions or social support. Both the attached and unattached have a tendency to often employ approach reactions. Seldom do they resort to approach reactions and social support. The late adolescent, the young adult and the middle adult have identical approach coping reactions, and they are significantly the most frequently employed. But as age progresses, the difference among the three age groups become significantly greater with a wider growing decrease in social support and avoidance reactions. In coping reactions, both female and male respondents often employ approach reactions and social support, but females have significantly less tendency to use avoidance reactions than males. 7.4 Recommendation The following are some recommendations and insights based on the conclusions of the study. (a) Although statistics would argue that the number of respondents would not matter as much when working with mean of scores, it would have been more generative had the number of respondents been increased. Perhaps, findings on gender and age as variables of loneliness would have yielded more specific and better results. Hence, it is recommended for future researches to increase the number of respondents to at least 300 and to make sure that all age groups and both genders are equally represented. (b) A curious issue to look into, how the Filipino humors himself and his suffering, would also be recommended. It would be an arduous feat to inquire if indeed there is a “Filipino” way of coping. (c) In this study, although an attachment figure was established as present, the quality of the presence was not guaranteed. In addition to attachment status, it would have been more meaningful to look into the degree or levels to which attachment is met or satisfied. The study would also benefit more individuals if the components and specific areas of loneliness were investigated. (d) Loneliness is generally something that happens to people rather than something they choose to experience. As manifested by the respondent’s preference for coping reactions, a positive attitude of acceptance and owning the experience should be stressed and promoted. (e) Since loneliness is inevitable, it is recommended to always have a positive regard to core relationships. They are vital and should not be taken for granted nor left unappreciated. The farther people move, away from loved ones and families, the greater the impact of loneliness. These relationships provide a shield from experiencing loneliness but also provide anchors when experiencing loneliness. (f) To be intrepid and discerning is necessary and is recommended. Although human closeness and intimate communication have their place and deep friendships answer many longings, the reality is: some loneliness will always remain a testament to human individuality and uniqueness. At the center of everyone is an impenetrable and incommunicable area of longing and aching that cannot be answered by human interactions. Only Him, the Creator, who understands and fathoms this uniqueness, can respond to it. In the very depth of human existence, man is essentially alone… born alone and will die alone. And there is always a part that, that no matter how intimate s/he becomes with another human being, remains essentially untouched by the other. Perhaps, as a prelude to faith, each one must experience this angst.
Description: Thesis (M.S.: Psychology). -- Saint Louis University, Baguio City, 2003.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/387
Appears in Collections:School of Humanities

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