Within-person associations between personality traits and loneliness controlling for negative affect

TitleWithin-person associations between personality traits and loneliness controlling for negative affect
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsJoshanloo, M
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
ISSN Number0191-8869
KeywordsBig Five, Loneliness, longitudinal, Negative affect, personality trait, RI-CLPM

Despite cross-sectional evidence of significant associations between loneliness and the Big Five personality traits, elucidating the directionality of these associations requires further longitudinal investigation. To address this gap, the present study examined the longitudinal relationship between loneliness and personality traits, controlling for negative affect. Data were drawn from the Health and Retirement Study collected in 2012, 2016, and 2020 (N = 9671). The random intercept cross-lagged panel model was used, enabling the examination of within-person associations. Results showed that loneliness predicted subsequent declines in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Furthermore, neuroticism was found to be a positive predictor of future loneliness, whereas the other personality traits were negative predictors. In addition, negative affect had bidirectional associations with neuroticism and predicted future loneliness. Overall, these results show that these variables are unidirectionally or bidirectionally linked at the within-person level. These findings also highlight the need for multifaceted interventions that include a range of approaches, such as promoting positive personality traits, managing negative affect, and enhancing social skills.

Citation KeyJOSHANLOO2024112609