Counteracting loneliness: on the restorative function of nostalgia

Psychol Sci. 2008 Oct;19(10):1023-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02194.x.


Four studies tested whether nostalgia can counteract reductions in perceived social support caused by loneliness. Loneliness reduced perceptions of social support but increased nostalgia. Nostalgia, in turn, increased perceptions of social support. Thus, loneliness affected perceived social support in two distinct ways. Whereas the direct effect of loneliness was to reduce perceived social support, the indirect effect of loneliness was to increase perceived social support via nostalgia. This restorative function of nostalgia was particularly apparent among resilient persons. Nostalgia is a psychological resource that protects and fosters mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Affect*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Life Change Events
  • Loneliness / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Motivation
  • Personality Inventory
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • Social Perception*
  • Social Support*