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Abstract

Four studies (total n= 469) examined correlates of loneliness in order to explore explanations for the persistence of loneliness among college students. Self-report and attitude scales, ratings of others following dyadic interactions, and self and other ratings at two points during an extended period of group interactions indicated that lonely students (a) rated themselves more negatively and reported deficits in social skills and self-concept, (b) rated specific others and people-in-general more negatively and were more alienated and externalized, (c) expected others to rate them negatively, but (d) in general were not differentially rated by others except in the initial phase of group interactions and by lonely others following dyadic interactions. Results suggested that loneliness may be perpetuated by its cognitive and affective concomitants, with some evidence for gender differences, whereas inconclusive evidence was found regarding responses of others to the lonely person.