Project Information

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
3584 CS UTRECHT
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Project Information

Project Title
"Discovering cultural risk factors for loneliness: A multi-method, cross-cultural investigation of distinct antecedents of loneliness in collectivistic and individualistic cultures"

Institute
University of Groningen - Department of Psychology

PhD Student
Luzia C. Heu

Supervisor(s)
Prof. dr. Martijn van Zomeren
Dr. Nina Hansen

Period
1 September 2016 - 31 August 2020

Funding
University of Groningen


Summary

Loneliness is an important risk factor for mental and physical health. Culture and, more specifically, the cultural dimensions of collectivism-individualism seem to be highly influential for loneliness, as they determine how social relationships should be organized in a specific society. Although intuitively loneliness may be expected to follow from individualism, loneliness has been found to be higher in collectivistic than individualistic cultures. We therefore examine whether and how individualism and collectivism provide distinct cultural risk factors for loneliness.

Through a multi-culture and multi-method approach, we specifically test whether an actual-expected discrepancy with respect to social relationships reflects a universal driver of loneliness, with a lack of actual social contacts as a key risk factor in individualistic cultures, and the weight assigned to such a discrepancy (i.e., norm deviation) as a key risk factor in collectivistic cultures. 


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