Loneliness correlates in advanced alcohol abusers. I. Social factors and needs

Scand J Soc Med. 1987;15(3):175-83. doi: 10.1177/140349488701500309.


A previous report on 34 alcohol abusers undergoing rehabilitation revealed that, among 86 medical, social and psychological variables, "feelings of loneliness" were most important for the prognosis. The current analysis was performed in order to illuminate the less satisfactory prerequisites regarding external social factors and needs of the lonely alcohol abuser. Ninety-five abusers, the previously mentioned sample included, were examined twice with an approximate interval of two years. The results indicated that there were no simple or obvious correlations to the external social situation (the amount of contacts, social network, etc). Feelings of loneliness were more closely associated with dissatisfaction with the quality of existing relationships, independent of quantity. Furthermore, even in relation to work and activities, the lonely abusers showed a general dissatisfaction with the existing situation, independent of its nature. In addition, the lonely abusers felt dissatisfied in a number of need domains, although they were only inclined to stress the priority of some social needs. To sum up, the lonely abuser showed a recurrent pattern characterized by discontentment and dissatisfaction, in combination with some traces of passivity in essential life-spheres.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Life Style
  • Loneliness*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Environment
  • Social Isolation*
  • Social Support