Loneliness and disclosure processes in early adolescence
Master of Arts
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Research has shown that, in comparison to nonlonely adults, lonely adults show problems in self-^^disclosure intimacy with peers and the current study was designed to assess whether lonely adolescents exhibit these problems. In the study, 37 male and 47 female early adolescents were administered a loneliness questionnaire and later engaged in structured interactions with male and female peer confederate partners who provided either high or low intimate information. As expected, subjects demonstrated topic-^intimacy continuity with partners by choosing topics and disclosing information higher in intimacy with the partners who provided high as opposed to low intimacy. In partial support of hypotheses, lonely boys chose topics low in intimacy in response to female peers. In contrast to other subjects, lonely boys showed a tendency to disclose less intimate information and, paradoxically, believed that their partners became more familiar with them. Findings were interpreted as indicating that the disclosure skill deficits of lonely boys disrupted the formation of oppQsite-^sex relationships, but not necessarily chumships. It is assumed that lack of awareness regarding low levels of disclosure intimacy with peers is largely responsible for the social skill deficits of these lonely individuals.