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Keywords:

  • Loneliness;
  • change;
  • alcoholism

In order to study the changing nature of loneliness in a prospective design, 78 alcoholics were examined twice with an interval of two years. Change scores in loneliness were correlated with change scores in social network, psychological well-being, life-satisfaction, activities, adaptation to one's work and non-work situation, psychiatric symptoms and alcohol consumption. In addition, a step-wise multiple regression analysis with loneliness change as the dependent variable was performed. Change in loneliness was accompanied by changes in well-being (especially indolence, self-esteem and perceived treatment from others), mood-related psychiatric variables and satisfaction with autonomy and life as a whole. However, other variables, like satisfaction with one's social network and a number of non-cyclic psychiatric disorders, did not change along with loneliness, despite stable cross-sectional links. The discrepancy between the cross-sectional and the longitudinal correlation patterns may be indicative of different forms of loneliness in regard to temporal stability.