INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS FOR LONELINESS, NEED FOR AFFILIATION AND COPING STRATEGIES

ANGELA CIFONE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between causal attributions for loneliness and strategies for coping with loneliness. In addition, need for affiliation was included in order to determine its mediating influence on loneliness. Peplau and Perlman's (1979, 1982) attributional analysis of loneliness and Murray's (1938) need theory was used to conceptualize causal attributions, need for affiliation and coping strategies for loneliness.^ A total of 152 undergraduate students attending a New Jersey State College, 107 females and 45 males were voluntary participants.^ Two sessions were required in order to collect the data. During Session 1, the following materials were given: (a) the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell et al., 1980) to determine the current level of loneliness; (b) the Personality Research Form-E (Jackson, 1974) to determine need for affiliation, and (c) a Biographic Information Form.^ During Session 2 each participant was given a written statement of feedback derived from the information obtained during Session 1. The statement of feedback reflected an estimate of each participant's degree of dissatisfaction with interpersonal relationships (expressed in terms of relative, moderate or slight dissatisfaction). The Thirteen Causes of Loneliness list used in previous loneliness research was administered following the feedback statement. In addition, each participant was asked to complete the Ways of Coping Scale by indicating how often they used each behavior as a coping strategy in response to their degree of dissatisfaction with relationships.^ All respondents completed the 56 items of coping. The practical use of the coping measure remains questionable.^ The results of this study provided evidence for the relation of causal attributions for loneliness and coping responses for loneliness as well as to clarify the role affiliative need plays in the experience of loneliness. More specifically, inactive coping responses were best explained when loneliness was reported high, need for affiliation was low and stable attributions for loneliness were endorsed. Active coping responses were best explained when need for affiliation was high and loneliness was low. When need for affiliation and loneliness were not considered, stable attributions, whether internal or external, best explained inactive coping responses. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.) ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

CIFONE, ANGELA, "INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS FOR LONELINESS, NEED FOR AFFILIATION AND COPING STRATEGIES" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600076.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600076

Share

COinS