The relationship between loneliness and the experiences of everyday stress and stressor-related emotion

Jee eun Kang, Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, Stacey Scott, Joshua M. Smyth, Martin J. Sliwinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loneliness influences how people experience and respond to stressors, which may account for its role as a risk factor for morbidity and mortality. The present study was motivated by emerging evidence that affective responses to minor daily events have long-term implications for health and well-being. Specifically, we evaluated how individual differences in loneliness relate to the frequency of everyday stressors and stressor-related negative emotions. A diverse community sample of 255 adults (age 25–65 years) completed ecological momentary assessments (EMA), during which they reported recent stressors and current negative affect (NA) five times a day for 14 days. Multilevel logistic analyses indicated that there was a quadratic association between loneliness and likelihood of reporting stressors, controlling for demographics, social isolation, depressive symptoms, and context (current activities, current location). Multilevel regression indicated that loneliness was unrelated to the concurrent effect of stressors on NA but significantly larger lagged stressor effects were observed among individuals in the low and high ranges of loneliness. These findings suggest that individuals with high levels of loneliness are more likely to experience everyday stressors and have prolonged emotional responses following stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3294
JournalStress and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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