Lonely and thinking about the past: the role of time perspectives, Big Five traits and perceived social support in loneliness of young adults during COVID-19 social distancing
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Institute of Psychology, The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2020-04-20
Final revision date: 2020-07-02
Acceptance date: 2020-07-02
Online publication date: 2020-09-03
Publication date: 2020-10-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(3):175–184
In the spring of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Polish government introduced a policy of social distancing. Being apart from one’s social network had the potential to evoke feelings of loneliness. The aim of the study was to find out how time perspectives might contribute to feeling lonely during the social distancing period, controlling for Big Five personality traits and perceived social support.

Participants and procedure:
The study was online, questionnaire-based and cross-sectional (N = 964) and was conducted among young adults (aged 18-35) at the end of the third week of social distancing in Poland.

The results suggested that the Past-Negative time perspective remained significant predictor of loneliness when controlling for Big Five traits and perceived social support. Emotional stability, extroversion and perceived social support were also significant predictors of low loneliness.

Negative beliefs about the past may contribute to experiencing greater loneliness when being apart from one’s social network.

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