Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

The Dispositional And Situational Correlates Of Positive Solitude (#328)

Martin F Lynch 1 , Jungmin Lee 1
  1. University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States

What are the dispositional and situational correlates of ‘positive solitude,’ the ability to experience joy in and to appreciate the benefits of being alone? The Differential Test of Loneliness, first validated on Russian samples, assesses these two dimensions of positive solitude and has now been adapted for use with English-speaking samples. In an online sample (N = 417, 55% female), composite scores for positive solitude were associated with Big Five traits (negatively with extraversion, positively with agreeableness and openness), and positively with reflection (on the rumination scale) and with trait autonomy (both authorship/self-congruence and interest-taking). Those who reported higher levels of satisfaction of the need for relatedness were more likely to have positive attitudes toward solitude. Although positive solitude was unrelated with the well-being dimensions assessed by the mental health continuum, it was associated positively with low-arousal positive affect and negatively with high-arousal negative affect. Interestingly, positive solitude was also associated with more internal motivation for solitude, when asked to imagine an opportunity to spend time alone later in the day. Discussion focuses on issues related to handling solitude in one’s daily life, with special attention to the possible mediating or moderating role of relatedness, as a basic need.