ERIC Number: ED281118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Similarity of Personality Attributes for "Best Friends" of Lonely Students.
Nielsen, Kathleen P.; Suess, James F.
Loneliness seems to be a significant clinical problem in American society and a nearly universal experience. If friends of lonely persons are themselves lonely and, hence, reinforce ineffective interpersonal styles or fail to model normative social behaviors, they may perpetuate a cycle of increasing loneliness. A study was conducted to explore personality attributes of the best friends of persons identified as state-, trait-, or non-lonely by scores on the Revised University of California at Los Angeles Loneliness Scale. It was hypothesized that best friends of college students would score similarly to their friends on measures of loneliness, social desirability, and self-confidence. Forty-eight undergraduate students and their same-sex friends completed measures of social desirability, self-confidence, and two versions of the loneliness scale. Findings support the hypothesis that the personality data of subjects' best friends would be similar to those of their own subject group. One implication of these results is that loneliness may be maintained, in part, by the choosing of friends who possess similar personality attributes. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (94th, Washington, DC, August 22-26, 1986).