Personality traits and quality of relationships as predictors of future loneliness among American college students

Todd Jackson1, Adam Soderlind1, Karen E. Weiss1
1University of Wisconsin-Superior, United States
Cite this article:  Jackson, T., Soderlind, A., & Weiss, K. (2000). Personality traits and quality of relationships as predictors of future loneliness among American college students. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 28, 463-470.

Volume 28 Issue 5 | e1041 | Published: October 2000 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2000.28.5.463

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In this prospective study we evaluated the impact of specific personality traits and quality of close relationships on subsequent loneliness in a college student sample. One hundred and eighty students from a liberal arts university in Northern Wisconsin completed self-report measures of shyness, optimism, social support, and loneliness, and returned 6 weeks later to complete the same measures. Results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that lower levels of optimism and social support at Time 1 predicted increases in loneliness at Time 2. In addition, participants who were shy and unsupported at Time 1 reported higher levels of subsequent loneliness compared to other students. Findings are discussed regarding their relevance to the identification of factors that increase risk for loneliness, and interventions that may lower this risk.


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