The Need to Belong and the Relationship Between Loneliness and Health

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2014
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Zusammenfassung

Humans are social animals; consequently, a lack of social ties affects individuals’ health negatively. However, the desire to belong differs between individuals, raising the question of whether individual differences in the need to belong moderate the impact of perceived social isolation on health. In the present study, 77 first-year university students rated their loneliness and health every 6 weeks for 18 weeks. Individual differences in the need to belong were found to moderate the relationship between loneliness and current health state. Specifically, lonely students with a high need to belong reported more days of illness than those with a low need to belong. In contrast, the strength of the need to belong had no effect on students who did not feel lonely. Thus, people who have a strong need to belong appear to suffer from loneliness and become ill more often, whereas people with a weak need to belong appear to stand loneliness better and are comparatively healthy. The study implies that social isolation does not impact all individuals identically; instead, the fit between the social situation and an individual’s need appears to be crucial for an individual’s functioning.

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150 Psychologie
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need to belong, loneliness, perceived social isolation, current health state
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ISO 690HARTUNG, Freda-Marie, Britta RENNER, 2014. The Need to Belong and the Relationship Between Loneliness and Health. In: Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie. 2014, 22(4), pp. 194-201. ISSN 0943-8149. eISSN 2190-6289. Available under: doi: 10.1026/0943-8149/a000129
BibTex
@article{Hartung2014Belon-30133,
  year={2014},
  doi={10.1026/0943-8149/a000129},
  title={The Need to Belong and the Relationship Between Loneliness and Health},
  number={4},
  volume={22},
  issn={0943-8149},
  journal={Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie},
  pages={194--201},
  author={Hartung, Freda-Marie and Renner, Britta}
}
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