"Discovering cultural risk factors for loneliness: A multi-method, cross-cultural investigation of distinct antecedents of loneliness in collectivistic and individualistic cultures"
University of Groningen - Department of Psychology
Luzia C. Heu
Prof. dr. Martijn van Zomeren
Dr. Nina Hansen
1 September 2016 - 31 August 2020
University of Groningen
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.