Cognitive Models of Loneliness in Women in Early and Middle Adulthood


  • Inna M. Leonova Doctoral Student, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Olha B. Kiz Associate Professor, Department of the Psychology, Faculty Pedagogics and Psychology, Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Ternopil, Ukraine
  • Nataliia A. Dobrovolska Head of Physical Education, Sports and Human Health Department, V. I. Vernadsky Taurida National University, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Kateryna O. Chyzhyk Postgraduate Student, Department of Pedagogical and Age-old Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Lutsk, Ukraine
  • Tamara V. Hovorun Assistant Professor, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences of OP Jindal Global University, Haryana-131001, India



Loneliness tolerance, gender bias, emotional deprivation, positive loneliness, gender stereotypes, dysfunctional beliefs, early maladaptive schemes


The problem of loneliness is caused by a disunity and alienation of modern society, dissatisfaction with the basic social needs for acceptance and support. The fact that the subjective feeling of loneliness does not coincide with the real degree of social isolation determines the need to study the cognitive aspects. The aim of this study is to show the role of cognitive structures in loneliness in women. A survey of 144 women aged 26-55 years was conducted. Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Differential Loneliness Experience Questionnaire, loneliness was measured as a global experience, positive and negative attitudes towards it. Cognitive models were studied using the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, Young Schema Questionnaire, the author’s questionnaire that reveals cultural myths and gender stereotypes about loneliness. A comparative analysis of the groups showed no differences in the perception of loneliness among women with different family situations; it also does not depend on having children and their number. Age was found to be a significant determinant of perceptions of loneliness and family circumstances. Cognitive models influence women’s loneliness to a greater extent than family situation. The publication describes correlations between perceived loneliness and individual dysfunctional attitudes, and builds regression models of predictors of loneliness in different age groups. The study shows the prevalence of cultural stereotypes about the need for marriage and motherhood, and a special female vulnerability in relationships. The construct “tolerance to loneliness” is proposed and described, which reveals the positive potential of this experience for self-knowledge and self-development.


Adamczyk, K. (2016). An investigation of loneliness and perceived social support among single and partnered young adults. Current Psychology, 35, 674–689.

Barreto, M., Victor, C., Hammond. C., Ecclesd, A., Richinsa, M. T., & Qualterd, P. (2021). Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness. Personality and Individual Differences, 169, 110066.

Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and emotional disorders. Meridian.

Bedan, V. B. (2018). Indyvidualno-typolohichni osoblyvosti skhylnosti osobystosti do perezhyvannia samotnosti [Individual typological features of the individual's tendency to experience loneliness] [PhD thesis, South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University n. a. K. D. Ushynsky, Odesa, Ukraine]. Dspace.

Borys, S., & Perlman, D. (1985). Gender differences in loneliness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11(1), 63-74.

Cacioppo S., Grippo A. J., London S., Goossens L., & Cacioppo J. T. (2015) Loneliness: Clinical import and interventions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 238-249.

Cacioppo, J. T., & Patrick, W. (2008). Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection. W.W. Norton & Co.

Essex, M. J., & Nam, S. (1987). Marital status and loneliness among older women: The differential importance of close family and friends. Journal of Marriage and Family, 49(1), 93-106.

Filindash, E. V. (2015). Fenomenolohyia sotsyalno-psykholohycheskoho odynochestva v srede studencheskoi molodezhy [Phenomenology of socio-psychological loneliness among student youth] [PhD thesis, The State University of Management, Moscow, Russia].

Fisher, A. N., & Sakaluk, J. K. (2020). Are single people a stigmatized ‘group’? Evidence from examinations of social identity, entitativity, and perceived responsibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82, 208-216.

Galimzyanova, M. V., Romanova, E. V., & Kasyanik, P. M. (2016). Early maladaptive schemas and schema modes of men and women in different stages of adulthood. The Bulletin of the St. Petersburg University. Series 12: Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogy, 3, 109-125.

Guseinova, N. O. (2014). Samotnist yak resurs osobystisnoho rozvytku [Loneliness as a personal development resource]. International Chelpanov’ Psychological and Pedagogical Reading, 9, 132-138.

Hawkley, L. C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of consequences and mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40(2), 218-227.

Hawthorne, G. (2008). Perceived social isolation in a community sample: its prevalence and correlates with aspects of peoples’ lives. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 43, 140-150.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.

Hovorun, T. V., Kiz, O. B., & Kikinezhdi, O. M. (2019). Genderna terapiia yak innovatsiia u roboti psykholoha z molodym podruzhzhiam [Gender therapy as innovation in the work of a psychologist with a young couple]. In N. I. Tavrovetskaya (Ed.), Innovatsiini tekhnolohii rozvytku psykholohichnykh resursiv osobystosti: kolektyvna monohrafiia [Innovative technologies for the development of psychological resources of the individual: collective monograph] (pp. 7-27). Vyshemyrsky V. S.

Hysinga, M., Petrie, K. J., Bøe, T., Lønningcd, K. J., & Sivertsenefg, B. (2020). Only the lonely: A study of loneliness among university students in Norway. Clinical Psychology in Europe, 2(1), e2781.

Ishmukhametov, I. N. (2006). Psykhometrycheskye kharakterystyky shkalы odynochestva UCLA (versyia 3): yzuchenye studentov vuza [Psychometric characteristics of the UCLA loneliness scale (Version 3): A study of university students]. Computer Modelling and New Technologies, 10(3), 89-95.

Kagan, V. (2000, November 5). Metafyzyka odynochestva [Metaphysics of loneliness]. Nezavysymyi bostonskyi almanakh “Lebed” , 194.

Kahan, J., & Žiaková, E. (2019). Social workers’ competence metatheory in the context of working with addicts at risk of loneliness due to social isolation. Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 9(2), 107-113.'_COMPETENCE_METATHEORY_IN_THE_CONTEXT_OF_WORKING_WITH_ADDICTS_AT_RISK_OF_LONELINESS_DUE_TO_SOCIAL_ISOLATION

Käll, A., Jägholm, S., Hesser, H., Andersson, F., Mathaldi, A., Tiger, B. et al. (2020). Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy for loneliness: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 51(1), 54-68.

Kasyanik, P. M. & Romanova, E. V. (2016). Dyahnostyka rannykh dezadaptyvnykh skhem [Diagnostics of early maladaptive schemes]. Polytechnic University Publishing.

Kiseleva, K. (2013). Kohda vybyraiut odynochestvo [When people choose loneliness].

Kiz, O. B. (2017). Gender correlation of family being as a condition of the life realization of future married couple. Sciences of Europe 2(22), 43-55.

Korchagina, S. G. (2008). Psykholohyia odynochestva [Psychology of loneliness]. The Psychological-Social Institute of Moscow.

Kozlov, N. I. (2013). Zhenskoe odynochestvo [Women’s loneliness]. Psychologus.

Kryukova, T. L, & Ronch, A. M. (2012). Determynanty odynochestva y sovladanyia s nym v supruzheskykh otnoshenyiakh [Determinants of loneliness and coping with it in marital relationships]. The Bulletin of the Kostroma State University named after N. A. Nekrasov. Series: Pedagogy, Psychology, Social Work, 18(4), 129-135.

Kryukova, T. L. (2016). Kohnytyvnaia psykholohyia sovladanyia s odynochestvom [Cognitive psychology of coping with loneliness]. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 9(49), 1.

Leonova, I. M. (2020). Specific features of experiencing the feeling of loneliness by women from different social groups. Ukrainian Psychological Journal, 1(13), 139-156.

Long, C. R., & Averill, J. R. (2003). Solitude: An exploration of benefits of being alone. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 33(1), 21-44.

Manakova, E. A. (2018). Oprosnyk perezhyvanyia odynochestva [Questionnaire of experiencing loneliness]. Siberian Journal of Psychology, 69, 149-171. or

Melnichuk, A. S., Kozlovskaya, S. N., & Nikiforova, O. Y. (2018). Vzaymosviaz perezhyvanyia odynochestva y yrratsyonalnykh ubezhdenyi o mezhlychnostnykh otnoshenyiakh u studentov [The relationship between the experience of loneliness and irrational beliefs about interpersonal relationships among students]. Akmeologiya, 4, 13-18.

Moustakas, C. (1972). Loneliness and love. Prentice-Hall.

Napryeyenko, O., Napryeyenko, N., Marazziti, D., Loganovsky, K., Mucci, F., Loganovskaja, T., & Tsekhmister, Y. (2019). Depressive syndromes associated with alcohol dependence. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 16(5-6), 174-180.

Neumoeva, E. V. (2005). Odynochestvo kak psykhycheskyi fenomen y resurs razvytyia lychnosty v yunosheskom vozraste [Loneliness as a mental phenomenon and a resource for personality development in adolescence] [PhD thesis, Tyumen State University, Tyumen, Russia]. Dissercat.

Oleinik, N. O. (2018). Spetsyfika funktsionuvannia struktury perezhyvannia samotnosti v rannomu ta serednomu doroslomu vitsi [The specifics of the function of the structure of experiencing self-reliance in the early and middle adulthood]. In V. O Y. Blynova (Ed.), Sotsiokulturni ta psykholohichni vektory stanovlennia osobystosti [Socio-cultural and psychological vectors of the personality formation] (pp. 253-278). Vyshemyrsky V. S.

Osin, E. N., & Leontyev, D. A. (2013). Dyfferentsyalnyi oprosnyk perezhyvanyia odynochestva: struktura y svoistva [Differential questionnaire of feelings of loneliness: structure and properties]. Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics, 10(1), 55-81.

Perlman, D., & Peplau, L. (1998). Loneliness. In H. S. Friedman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of mental health, Vol. 2 (pp. 571-581). Academic Press.

Pressman, S. D., Cohen, S., Miller, G. E., Barkin, A., Rabin, B.S., & Treanor, J. J. (2005). Loneliness, social network size, and immune response to influenza vaccination in college freshmen. Health Psychology, 24(3), 297-306.

Richard, A., Rohrmann, S., Vandeleur, C. L., Schmid, M., Barth, J., & Eichholzer, M. (2017). Loneliness is adversely associated with physical and mental health and lifestyle factors: Results from a Swiss national survey. PLoS ONE, 12(7), e0181442.

Rokach, A. (2018). The effect of gender and culture on loneliness: A mini review. Emerging Science Journal, 2(2), 59-64.

Rokach, A., Bacanli, H., & Ramberan, G. (2000). Coping with loneliness: A cross-cultural comparison. European Psychologist, 5(4), 302-311.

Russell, D. W. (1996). UCLA loneliness scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor structure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66(1), 20-40.

Sadler, W., & Johnson, T. B. (1980). From loneliness to anomie. In J. Hartog, J. Audy, & Y.A. Cohen (Eds.), The anatomy of loneliness (pp. 34-64). International University Press.

Seepersad, S., Choi, M.-K., & Shin, N. (2008). How does culture influence the degree of romantic loneliness and closeness? The Journal of Psychology, 142(2), 209-216.

Shamionov, R. M., & Grigoryev, A. V. (2019). The image of socially active individual in the representations of student youth. International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education, 7(1), 15-20.

Shitova, N. V. (2009). Sotsyalno-psykholohycheskye osobennosty odynokykh zhenshchyn [Socio-psychological features of single women] [PhD thesis, Kursk State University, Kursk, Russia]. Dissercat.

Storr, A. (2005). Solitude: A return to the self. Free Press.

Tornstam, L. (1993). Loneliness in marriage. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 9(2), 197-217.

Tsvetkova, N. A. (2014). Personal characteristics of single women seeking psychological help. Woman in Russian Society, 3(72), 61-72.

Weiss, R. S. (1973). Loneliness: The experience of emotional and social isolation. The MIT Press.

Young, J. E. (1982). Loneliness, depression and cognitive therapy: theory and application. In L. A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy (pp. 1-18). Wiley.

Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner’s guide. Guilford Press.

Zakharova, M. L. (2013). Shkala dysfunktsyonalnykh otnoshenyi kak metod yssledovanyia kohnytyvnykh yskazhenyi [The dysfunctional relationship scale as a method for studying cognitive biases]. In A. G. Berdnikova, N. V. Dmitrieva, S. Y. Ivanova, T. N. Levan, T. V. Pavlovets, & S. D. Yakusheva (Eds.), Lychnost, semia y obshchestvo: voprosy pedahohyky y psykholohyy: sbornyk statei po materyalam XXIX mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-praktycheskoi konferentsyy [Personality, family and society: the questions of pedagogy and psychology: the collection of materials of the XXIX international scientific practical conference] (pp. 68-76). SiBAK.

Zavorotnykh, E N. (2009). Sotsyalno-psykholohycheskye osobennosty odynochestva kak subektyvnoho perezhyvanyia [Socio-psychological features of loneliness as a subjective experience] [PhD thesis, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia] Dissercat.




How to Cite

Leonova, I. M. ., Kiz, O. B. ., Dobrovolska, N. A. ., Chyzhyk, K. O. ., & Hovorun, T. V. . (2021). Cognitive Models of Loneliness in Women in Early and Middle Adulthood. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 12(4), 107-138.

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now