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Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology


Past research has established that loneliness is associated with both self-concept confusion and depression. The present work ties these disparate lines of research together by demonstrating that self-concept confusion mediates the relationship between loneliness and depression. Three studies, one cross-sectional and two longitudinal, supported this hypothesis. Moreover, the model was supported both in samples of dating and married couples and in samples of noncouples. This research contributes to a greater understanding of why people who feel socially disconnected have poor mental health. Understanding this mechanism has important implications for strategies targeting the early prevention of depression and improving mental health outcomes.

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