How does culture influence the degree of romantic loneliness and closeness?

Sean Seepersad, Mi Kyung Choi, Nana Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

A culture promoting a strong desire for romantic relationships can greatly influence feelings of romantic loneliness and of closeness. In this study, the authors hypothesized that when not in a romantic relationship, U.S. young adults experience greater degrees of romantic loneliness because of a high desire for romantic relationships, compared with Korean young adults. The authors also predicted that when in a romantic relationship, U.S. young adults experience greater closeness to their romantic partner than do Korean young adults. Results revealed that in a sample of 227 U.S. and Korean students, U.S. students reported significantly higher levels of romantic loneliness than did Koreans when not in a romantic relationship and significantly lower levels of romantic loneliness when in a stable romantic relationship. U.S. students also reported a greater degree of closeness in romantic relationships than did Korean students. The results suggest that Western cultures' strong emphasis on the importance of romantic relationships may unduly amplify individuals' levels of loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Volume142
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Loneliness
  • Romantic relationships

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