Dr. Robert Weiss suggested the existence of two different types of loneliness: emotional loneliness and social loneliness. While emotional loneliness refers to the lack of close, intimate attachment to another person, social loneliness results from the lack of a network of social relationships in which the person is part of a group of friends who share interests and activities (Weiss, 1973).
Shaver and Brennan’s report clarifies how loneliness in an individual is seen because of a deficiency in the interpersonal realm. Depression can be due to both interpersonal and other factors, both social and nonsocial (Shaver & Brennan, 1991).
Crediting for conceptualizing the start of understanding loneliness, Bowlby developed an attachment theory that maintains that a parent and child share innate signals shaped by both the quality of the relationship and the personalities at play. His theory has received much criticism as research has indicated that attachment styles of adults do not rigidly follow experiences from childhood, nor do they remain constant from one relationship to another (Bowlby, 1973).
Cacioppo examined the use of social media by lonely people. He has provided research that suggests that people with more friends on Facebook tend to be less lonely. Cacioppo claims that the true predictor of loneliness is how the electronic interactions are treated and used. For example, higher face-to-face interactions suggest less lonely people whereas higher online interactions suggest lonelier people. According to Cacioppo, Facebook is simply a tool and if employed to increase face-to-face contact, the risk for loneliness is decreased (Cacioppo, 2011).
This study explores the relationship between loneliness and psychological well-being in older adults, particularly in the area of depression. The participants, all above the age of 65, reported on measures of loneliness, social support, depression, and physical health. The results of this study indicated that self-reported poor health was inversely correlated with greater depression. Through this study, Alpass and Neville concluded that the loss of professional identity, physical mobility, and the loss of family and friends that come with old age affect an individual’s ability to maintain relationships and independence (Alpass & Neville, 2003).
Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides comprehensive, recovery-focused integrated primary and mental health care and substance abuse rehabilitation services. Our outpatient services are offered on a voluntary outpatient basis to adults and children at a total of 24 sites, including four outpatient centers (located in Paramus, Fair Lawn, Hasbrouck Heights, and Montclair), ten residential facilities, offices at three local hospitals, and seven community offices, all conveniently located throughout Northern New Jersey. Learn more about this organization here!