Loneliness and psychological adjustment: A comparison among three ethnic groups.
AuthorKirkland, Shari Lynn
AdvisorArkowitz, Harold S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the current study differences between lonely and nonlonely black, Hispanic, and white subjects were assessed in an attempt to discover any group variation and to highlight the potential importance of research using different ethnic groups. Loneliness was chosen as the focus because it is well researched, and likely to be a problem across groups. Previous research has demonstrated that lonely white subjects exhibit an internal, stable attribution style which is related to their loneliness and psychological distress. It was hypothesized that lonely ethnic minorities would exhibit a more external, unstable attribution style and, hence, fewer symptoms of psychological distress than lonely whites. This hypothesis was based on research indicating that (1) some ethnic minority groups exhibit a more external locus of control than whites, and (2) self-blaming tendencies exacerbate negative emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. The results did not support the hypothesis. Regardless of loneliness, black subjects scored highest on psychological adjustment and lowest on internal, stable attributions for negative events, whereas Hispanics scored at the other extreme. Loneliness correlated with internal, stable attributions for negative outcomes, and with psychological maladjustment, although the strength of these relationships varied with ethnicity. Implications of generalizing findings across groups were discussed.