Social Indicators Research

, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 963–980 | Cite as

Loneliness and Subjective Well-Being Among Chinese Undergraduates: The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy

  • Yidong Tu
  • Shuxia ZhangEmail author


Previous studies have shown a negative relationship between loneliness and one’s subjective well-being. However, it has not been fully examined within the Chinese context which highlights the importance of social relationship and interpersonal harmony for one’s life, and the mechanism between them has not been thoroughly explored. Based on social cognitive theory, this study examined the main effects of loneliness on individuals’ stress, depression, and life satisfaction, as well as the mediating effect of self-efficacy between them. Survey data were obtained from 444 Chinese undergraduates. The results of multiple regressions revealed that loneliness was negatively correlated with life satisfaction and positively correlated with stress and depression. Moreover, self-efficacy partially mediated the relationship between loneliness and stress, as well as depression, and fully mediated the relationship between loneliness and life satisfaction. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Loneliness Self-efficacy Stress Depression Life satisfaction Subjective well-being 



This research is supported by 2014–2015 International Scholar Exchange Fellowship program of Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies and National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 71402127).


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementWuhan UniversityWuhan CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of BusinessRenmin University of ChinaBeijing CityPeople’s Republic of China

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