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Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms.
Ann Behav Med 2010; 40(2):218-27AB

Abstract

As a social species, humans rely on a safe, secure social surround to survive and thrive. Perceptions of social isolation, or loneliness, increase vigilance for threat and heighten feelings of vulnerability while also raising the desire to reconnect. Implicit hypervigilance for social threat alters psychological processes that influence physiological functioning, diminish sleep quality, and increase morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this paper is to review the features and consequences of loneliness within a comprehensive theoretical framework that informs interventions to reduce loneliness. We review physical and mental health consequences of loneliness, mechanisms for its effects, and effectiveness of extant interventions. Features of a loneliness regulatory loop are employed to explain cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences of loneliness and to discuss interventions to reduce loneliness. Loneliness is not simply being alone. Interventions to reduce loneliness and its health consequences may need to take into account its attentional, confirmatory, and memorial biases as well as its social and behavioral effects.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. hawkley@uchicago.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20652462

Citation

Hawkley, Louise C., and John T. Cacioppo. "Loneliness Matters: a Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms." Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 40, no. 2, 2010, pp. 218-27.
Hawkley LC, Cacioppo JT. Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Ann Behav Med. 2010;40(2):218-27.
Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 40(2), pp. 218-27. doi:10.1007/s12160-010-9210-8.
Hawkley LC, Cacioppo JT. Loneliness Matters: a Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms. Ann Behav Med. 2010;40(2):218-27. PubMed PMID: 20652462.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Loneliness matters: a theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. AU - Hawkley,Louise C, AU - Cacioppo,John T, PY - 2010/7/24/entrez PY - 2010/7/24/pubmed PY - 2011/1/21/medline SP - 218 EP - 27 JF - Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine JO - Ann Behav Med VL - 40 IS - 2 N2 - As a social species, humans rely on a safe, secure social surround to survive and thrive. Perceptions of social isolation, or loneliness, increase vigilance for threat and heighten feelings of vulnerability while also raising the desire to reconnect. Implicit hypervigilance for social threat alters psychological processes that influence physiological functioning, diminish sleep quality, and increase morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this paper is to review the features and consequences of loneliness within a comprehensive theoretical framework that informs interventions to reduce loneliness. We review physical and mental health consequences of loneliness, mechanisms for its effects, and effectiveness of extant interventions. Features of a loneliness regulatory loop are employed to explain cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences of loneliness and to discuss interventions to reduce loneliness. Loneliness is not simply being alone. Interventions to reduce loneliness and its health consequences may need to take into account its attentional, confirmatory, and memorial biases as well as its social and behavioral effects. SN - 1532-4796 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20652462/Loneliness_matters:_a_theoretical_and_empirical_review_of_consequences_and_mechanisms_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/abm/article-lookup/doi/10.1007/s12160-010-9210-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -