Theoretical model of experiencing loneliness in adulthood

Keywords: loneliness, experience of loneliness, adulthood, model of experience of loneliness, coping strategies.


The article is devoted to the theoretical analysis of psychological features, structure, criteria and indicators of experiencing loneliness in adulthood. The main approaches to the study of loneliness and the peculiarities of its experience are singled out (psychoanalytic, phenomenological, existential, sociological, interactionist, cognitive, intimate, systemic, interdisciplinary), based on the analysis of which a comprehensive approach is proposed, according to which loneliness is defined as a delta between the desires or needs of an individual in communication and the quality of his/her social environment, and the experience of loneliness is interpreted as a feedback mechanism between the individual and others, which performs a regulatory function to establish the optimal level of human contacts. A theoretical model of experiencing loneliness is presented which has a three-component structure: cognitive, affective (emotional-evaluative) and conative (behavioral) components, in each of which two poles are distinguished depending on the constructive or destructive type of experiencing loneliness. It is shown that the attribution of the experience of loneliness to a certain type occurs according to the criteria: 1) awareness, understanding, interpretation of the situation of loneliness (perception of oneself as a person who has / does not have sufficiently close relationships, ability (constructive type of experiencing loneliness) or inability (destructive type of experiencing loneliness ) to find a resource in being alone with oneself, satisfaction or dissatisfaction with self-realization): 2) modality of feelings and experiences of the situation of loneliness (frustration, experiencing one's own isolation, or, conversely, the presence of close, trusting, warm relationships with others, primarily with one's own family or romantic partner): 3) coping strategies for experiencing loneliness (a balance between avoiding situations of loneliness, the inability to be alone with oneself and a tolerant attitude to solitude, autonomy, the ability to resist the pressure of public opinion and the development of one's own standards of behavior), etc.


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How to Cite
Kulaieva, T. (2022). Theoretical model of experiencing loneliness in adulthood. Kyiv Journal of Modern Psychology and Psychotherapy, 4, 56-65.