Indirect Effects of Loneliness on Substance Use through Stress

Chris G Segrin, Melissa McNelis, Corey A. Pavlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Loneliness is associated with a range of physical health problems, and health behaviors (e.g., alcohol use) have been specified as one factor that explains the compromised health of lonely people. Accordingly, in this investigation, we sought to test direct and indirect (through stress) effects of loneliness on substance use (i.e., alcohol consumption, drinking problems, and prescription medication use) over the course of 1 year in a 2-wave longitudinal study. These effects were tested in a sample of 210 young adults who completed self-report measures of loneliness and substance use at time 1 and then completed measures of stress and substance use at time 2. The results showed that loneliness did not have prospective direct effects on substance use, but that it did have significant indirect effects, through increased stress, on all indicators of substance use. These findings highlight the important role of stress in potentially compromising the health of lonely people by increasing their propensity to engage in health risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 4 2017

Fingerprint

Loneliness
Health
health behavior
Alcohol Drinking
medication
Alcohols
health
Health risks
Health Behavior
Medical problems
Risk-Taking
health risk
alcohol consumption
risk behavior
Self Report
Prescriptions
Longitudinal Studies
young adult
Young Adult
longitudinal study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

Indirect Effects of Loneliness on Substance Use through Stress. / Segrin, Chris G; McNelis, Melissa; Pavlich, Corey A.

In: Health Communication, 04.02.2017, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Segrin, Chris G ; McNelis, Melissa ; Pavlich, Corey A. / Indirect Effects of Loneliness on Substance Use through Stress. In: Health Communication. 2017 ; pp. 1-6.
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