Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Donelson R. Forsyth


This thesis tests Robert S. Weiss's 1973 theory of loneliness, which claims two types of loneliness: emotional and social. Emotional loneliness is the affective reaction to the absence of a close attachment bond. Social loneliness stems from inadequate integration into a social network. Undergraduate residents of a university dormitory completed questionnaires on loneliness, attachment, personality, and relationships with other dorm residents. Patterns of relational ties among participants were evaluated using social network analysis, specifically density, tie strength, and four forms of centrality. Results reveal that, while controlling for neuroticism, the network measure of outdegree and the two attachment dimensions accounted for more than half the variance in loneliness, R = .73. None of the three predictors intercorrelated significantly. A portion of loneliness is derived from one's internal attachment security and a separate portion is derived from the external features of one's social network integration.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons