A Skill Deficit Approach to Loneliness

  • Richard R. Bootzin
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 7)


Issues regarding aloneness and loneliness have become increasingly prevalent in recent years as our society has become more urbanized and mobile and as families have become less stable. In this paper, I first discuss some consequences of aloneness, then briefly survey different approaches to loneliness, and finally describe a skill deficit approach and its implications for prevention and treatment.


Social Network Social Skill Social Isolation Skill Deficit Pleasant Event 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bandura, A. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 1977, 84, 191–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Johnson, S. M. First person singular: Living the good life alone. New York: Lippincott, 1977.Google Scholar
  3. Lewinsohn, P. M., & Graf, M. Pleasant activities and depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1973, 41, 261–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lopata, H. Z. Loneliness: Forms and components. In R. S. Weiss (Ed.), Loneliness: The experience of emotional and social isolation. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  5. Lynch, J. J. The broken heart: The medical consequences of loneliness. New York: Basic Books, 1977.Google Scholar
  6. Lynch, J. J., & McCarthy, J. F. The effect of petting on a classically conditioned emotional response. Behavioural Research and Therapy, 1967, 5, 55–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. MacPhillamy, D. J., & Lewinsohn, P. M. Depression as a function of desired and obtained pleasure. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1974, 83, 651–657.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. MacPhillamy, D. J., & Lewinsohn, P. M. Manual for the pleasant events schedule. Unpublished manuscript, University of Oregon, 1976.Google Scholar
  9. Meichenbaum, D. H. Cognitive behavior modification. New York: Plenum Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  10. Moustakas, C. Loneliness. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1961.Google Scholar
  11. Office of the Surgeon General. Neuropsychiatry in World War II, Vol 2: Overseas theaters. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973.Google Scholar
  12. Russell, D., Peplau, A., & Ferguson, M. Developing a measure of loneliness. Journal of Personality Assessment, 1978, 42, 290–294.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schachter, S. The psychology of affiliation. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  14. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Population characteristics: Households and families by type. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977.Google Scholar
  15. Weiss, R. S. Loneliness: The experience of emotional and social isolation. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  16. Zimbardo, P. G. Shyness. Menlo Park, Calif.: Addison-Wesley, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard R. Bootzin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Personalised recommendations