Relation between loneliness and behavioural disclosure : potential mediators and moderators
Vrablik, Katherine Melanie
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of the research was to examine the relation between loneliness and behavioural disclosure, gender differences in the relation, as well as the potential mediators of that relation (i.e., norm violation, trust, and rejection sensitivity). Participants were 136 undergraduates enrolled in Introductory Psychology (68 dyads including both same-sex and opposite-sex pairs), who were engaged in dyadic conversations in a laboratory. Participants selected 6 topics each from a list of topics varying in level of intimacy, and disclosed to their partner for 2 minutes per topic. Intimacy levels of disclosure were rated. Following the interaction, the students were administered the UCLA Loneliness Scale, an emotional trust scale (Johnson George & Swap, 1982), a generalized trust scale (Rotter, 1967), and the Rejection Sensitivity Scale (Feldman & Downey, 1994). As expected there were gender differences in behavioural disclosure, in which females provided more intimate disclosures than did males. The relation between loneliness and disclosure was also found to be stronger in females. Furthermore, there was evidence to indicate that dyadic effects in disclosure were present. The findings yielded by Solano et al. (1982) were replicated in the current study but only partly. Loneliness was positively correlated with the intimacy of disclosure during the first exchange, but that was not qualified by gender of partner. Also, loneliness was negatively correlated with disclosure during the course of the conversations both at the individual and dyadic level (the first speaker only). As anticipated, loneliness was negatively correlated with the measures of trust and positively correlated with rejection sensitivity, but neither of them were, however, correlated with behavioural disclosure. Thus, neither trust nor rejection sensitivity were found to mediate the lonelinessdisclosure relation. The fîndings also indicated that the lonely individuals’ norm violated disclosure during the first exchange was not a mediator of the loneliness-disclosure relation. The potential for other factors to serve as mediators was discussed.