Loneliness, interpersonal distrust and alexithymia in university students

Pamela Qualter, Stephanie Quinton, Hugh L Wagner, Stephen Lloyd Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Loneliness has been linked to emotional knowledge and interpersonal distrust, but it is unknown whether loneliness is mediated or moderated by these variables. Using self-report measures, the relationship between loneliness, interpersonal distrust, and alexithymia (emotional knowledge) was investigated in undergraduate students (N = 224). Analyses showed a direct relationship between alexithymia and social, family and romantic loneliness. We also found that interpersonal distrust might partly mediate this relationship, and that alexithymia and interpersonal distrust interacted to predict social and family loneliness. These findings suggest that links between the different facets of alexithymia, interpersonal distrust and loneliness are complex and multifaceted and are discussed with regard to interventions for young adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1479
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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