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Psychologist
Reference:

Psychological characteristics of single women in early adulthood

Shabaeva Antonina Vladimirovna

PhD in Psychology

Docent, the department of General and Educational Psychology, Bashkir State Pedagogical University named after M. Akmulla

450008, Russia, respublika Bashkortostan, g. Ufa, ul. Oktyabr'skoi Revolyutsii, 3-a

tameanka@mail.ru

 

 
Mitina Galina Vladimirovna

PhD in Philosophy

Docent, the department of ge and Social Psychology, Bashkir State Pedagogical University named after M. Akmulla

450008, Russia, respublika Bashkortostan, g. Ufa, ul. Oktyabr'skoi Revolyutsii, 3-a

mgv79@mail.ru

 

 
Shaikhatarova Tat'yana Valentinovna

Master's degree, Department of Age and Social Psychology, Bashkir State Pedagogical University named after M. Akmulla

450008, Russia, respublika Bashkortostan, g. Ufa, ul. Oktyabr'skoi Revolyutsii, 3-a

tanya.shaykh@mail.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8701.2022.2.37648

Review date:

07-03-2022


Publish date:

25-04-2022


Abstract: The subject of the study was the psychological characteristics of single women with different types of loneliness experiences during early adulthood. The empirical object of the study was a sample of women aged 18 to 44 years in the number of 126 people who were not in a relationship, which were divided into three groups depending on age: 40 people from 18 to 27 years, 66 people from 28 to 36 years and 20 people from 37 to 44 years. Within the framework of the research program, methods were used to diagnose the level and type of loneliness experienced and psychological characteristics. Pearson correlation analysis and the Kraskel-Wallis criterion were used to process the data. The materials and conclusions based on them add to the scientific arsenal of knowledge about the psychological characteristics of single women in early adulthood. The main conclusions of the study include the following provisions: 1. Women in early adulthood have a high level of subjective experience of loneliness; 2. The predominant type of loneliness in women in early adulthood is a dissociated type of loneliness; 3. The study participants fall under the criteria of a self-actualizing personality; 4. There is a relationship between the personal characteristics of single women and the types of loneliness experienced 5. Women in the age group from 37 to 44 years are more emotionally stable, active, serene, calm and see life more holistically.


Keywords: anxiety, flexibility of behavior, self-acceptance, self-respect, early adulthood, self-actualization, psychological features, female loneliness, loneliness, emotional instability
This article is automatically translated. You can find full text of article in Russian here.

Loneliness occupies a very important place in human life. This phenomenon has received special attention in post-industrial society. At that time, there were drastic changes both in social institutions and in the picture of the world of many people. The reason for this was both a large-scale transformation of the institution of the family, as well as an increase in economic well-being and the individualization of society.

Currently, the scientific community has not formed a clear description of the group "single women". If we look at this concept from the point of view of demographic interpretation, then such segments of the population as widows, divorced, women who have never been married, and women who have separated from their spouses, but without a divorce, fall here.Hence, it can be concluded that the main criterion for determining the social group "single women" is marital status whether or not a woman is in a marital relationship [9].

Due to the fact that in Russia the dominant form of relations between a man and a woman is a registered marriage, female loneliness belongs to the category of big social problems. Even if a woman is currently engaged in arranging her career, in the future she sees herself as being in a marital relationship. In Russia, a woman's life success is still assessed by the presence of a family.

Currently, quite a lot of research has been conducted in Russia on the topic of loneliness, but there are a large number of issues that have either not been considered at all or have been studied insignificantly.

In her research, Detochenko L.S. conducted a comparative analysis of the level of loneliness experience among men and women, as a result of which she came to the conclusion that women experience a state of loneliness much harder relative to men [1].

Puzanova Zh.V. writes that the most important result in the study of loneliness is the proof of a firm connection between loneliness and the level of self-esteem, although she notes that the exact causes of this phenomenon are not yet known [7,8].

I.R. Murtazina conducted a study on the relationship between loneliness and psychological well-being in men and women. According to the results of the study, the author came to the conclusion that a pronounced experience of loneliness strongly interacts with a low level of psychological well-being of the individual [5].

One of the latest studies on the psychological characteristics of single women is the work of I.V. Koltsova. In her work, the author studied three components of loneliness (emotional, cognitive, behavioral) in socially lonely women aged 30 to 40 years. According to the results of this study, it was revealed that socially lonely women experience an average level of personal anxiety, but their indicators of situational anxiety and frustration were high [3].

Despite the above-mentioned modern research, there is a lack of research in domestic and foreign psychology aimed at studying the relationship between psychological characteristics and the type of loneliness experienced by women. This fact is a significant reason for studying this issue.

The subject and purpose of the study . The lack of information on the issue under study allowed us to formulate the purpose of the study to study the psychological characteristics and types of loneliness experienced by women during early adulthood. The subject of the study was the psychological characteristics of single women with different types of loneliness experiences during early adulthood. The empirical object of the study was a sample of 126 women aged 18 to 44 years, who were divided into three groups depending on age: 40 people from 18 to 27 years, 66 people from 28 to 36 years and 20 people from 37 to 44 years. At the time of the study, all the study participants were not in a relationship. Widows, single mothers and divorced women were included in the sample.

Methods and methods of research . In accordance with the purpose of the work, a research program was developed, within which the following methods were used: 1. D. Russell and M. Ferguson's method of subjective feeling of loneliness [10]; 2. S.G. Korchagina's Diagnostic questionnaire Loneliness [4]; 3. E. Shostrom's Self-actualization Test (SAT) [6]; 4. Kettel's test, 16 PF, form C [2].

The data obtained by each of the methods of empirical research were tested for differences using the Kraskel-Wallis criterion and correlations using correlation analysis by the Pearson criterion ?2 in the IBM SPSS Statistics 22.0 computer program package.

The results of the study. At the first stage of the empirical study, the indicators of the level of subjective feeling of loneliness in single women during early adulthood were considered. Data on the method of subjective feeling of loneliness by D. Russell and M. Ferguson are presented in Table 1 and in Figure 1.

Table 1

Russell - Ferguson 's Level of Loneliness

Criteria

Average values

Asymptotic knowledge.

Chi-square

18-27 years old

28-36 years old

37-44 years old

1

The level of loneliness

46,1

47,8

41,6

0,073

5,238

Note: the differences are significant with remp. < 0.05

Fig. 1. The level of loneliness in women during early adulthood

The indicators for the subjective feeling of loneliness in all three samples correspond to a high level. There were no significant differences between the samples according to the Kraskel-Wallis H-criterion.

Next, we conducted a study of the type of loneliness experienced according to the questionnaire of S.G. Korchagina. The results obtained are presented in Table 2 and Figure 2.

Table 2

View of solitude by S.G. Korchagina

Criteria

Average values

Asymptotic knowledge.

Chi-square

18-27 years old

28-36 years old

37-44 years old

1

Diffuse

5,9

5,7

5,1

0,250

2,775

2

Alienating

7,6

8,3

7,3

0,087

4,878

3

Dissociated

9,3

8,9

7,3

0,017

8,122

Note: the differences are significant with remp. < 0.05

Fig. 2. The type of loneliness in single women during early adulthood

Note: 1- diffuse; 2 alienating; 3 dissociated

The predominant type of loneliness in all three samples is Dissociated loneliness. The average values in the sample from 18 to 27 years were 9.3 points, for the group from 28 to 36 - 8.9 points and 7.3 points for subjects aged 37 to 44 years. This indicates the pronounced processes of identification and identification with the interlocutor together with unlimited trust in him. Over time, there is a complete and unconditional alienation of the object of identification, while the subject experiences an acute and clearly conscious state of loneliness, causing painful sensations. With dissociated loneliness, anxiety, excitability and demonstrativeness of character are observed.

Next in terms of severity in the samples is Alienating loneliness. The average values in the samples from 18 to 27 and from 37 to 44 years were 7.3 points each, in the sample from 28 to 36 years - 8.6 points. Subjects may show a tendency to isolate or completely alienate themselves from other people, norms and values of their environment. There may also be a loss of significant interpersonal connections, loss of intimacy and privacy in communication. Experiencing alienating loneliness, feelings of loss, one's own uselessness may manifest.

The last type of loneliness highlighted by S.G. Korchagina is Diffuse loneliness. The average value for the sample from 18 to 27 years was 5.9 points, for the sample from 28 to 36 years - 5.7 and for the group from 37 to 44 years - 5.1 points. The study participants with a pronounced communicative orientation experience suspicion, distrust of the interlocutor in interpersonal communication. In a state of acute diffuse loneliness, a person strives to the people around him with the desire to find confirmation of the significance of existence. They react acutely to stress, to reduce which they use the search for sympathy and support.

Significant differences between the samples were revealed by the dissociated type of loneliness, from which it can be concluded that women aged 18 to 36 years are more anxious, excitable, they have a more pronounced demonstrativeness of character and confrontation in conflicts than women in the sample from 37 to 44 years.

Next, we analyzed the results of the self-actualization test of E. Shostrom's SAT. The results obtained are presented in Table 3 and Figure 3.

Table 3

Results of the SAT self-actualization test

Scale

Average values

Asymptotic knowledge.

Chi-square

18-27 years old

28-36 years old

37-44 years old

1

Support

54

52,9

59,6

0,231

2,930

2

Orientation in time

47,6

50,4

56,4

0,005

10,707

3

Value orientation

49,9

49,1

54,7

0,313

2,320

4

Flexibility of behavior

50,4

52,4

57,7

0,178

3,447

5

Sensitivity to self

53,7

51,6

49,8

0,254

2,742

6

Spontaneity

55,7

53,8

59

0,225

2,982

7

Self-respect

54,4

54,8

59

0,360

2,041

8

Self-acceptance

53,6

54

59,3

0,197

3,249

9

Ideas about human nature

50,2

51,6

53,8

0,305

2,372

10

Synergy

46,2

48,2

49,6

0,556

1,174

11

Acceptance of aggression

48,8

49

49,4

0,996

0,008

12

Contact

57

56,6

58

0,952

0,099

13

Cognitive needs

45,2

45,5

45,9

0,903

0,203

14

Creativity

51,9

49,7

56,6

0,056

5,763

Note: the differences are significant with remp. < 0.05

Fig. 3. Results of self-actualization test in single women during early adulthood

Note: 1- support; 2 orientation in time; 3 value orientation; 4 flexibility of behavior; 5 sensitivity to oneself; 6 spontaneity; 7 selfesteem; 8 self-acceptance; 9 - ideas about human nature; 10 synergy; 11 acceptance of aggression; 12 contact; 13 cognitive needs; 14 creativity.

According to the results of the SAT E. Shostrom selfactualization test, on the "Support" scale, the sample from 18 to 27 years scored 54 points, from 28 to 36 years 52.9 and from 37 to 44 years - 59.6 points. This testifies to the relative independence in their actions and the desire to be guided in their lives by their own goals.

The results on the "Orientation in Time" scale indicate that the subjects experience the present moment in its entirety and feel the continuity of the past, present and future, that is, they see life as a whole (47.6; 50.4; 56.4).

According to the "Value orientation" scale, it can be concluded that all subjects adhere to the ideals and values according to which self-actualizing personalities live (49,9; 49,1; 54,7).

The results on the "Flexibility of behavior" scale indicate that the subjects in all three samples are able to react quickly to a changing situation, and are reasonable when applying some standard principles (50.4; 52.4; 57.7).

The data on the "Sensitivity to Self" scale indicate a high sensitivity to one's own experiences and needs compared to others (53.7; 51.6; 49.8).

According to the scales of "Spontaneity" (55,7; 53,8; 59), " Self-esteem" (54,4, 54,8; 59) and "Self-acceptance" (53,6; 54; 59,3) all three samples showed results within the average, which indicates a tendency to express feelings in ill-conceived actions in advance, high self-esteem and acceptance of oneself in spite of his weakness.

The average scores of all the subjects on the scales "Idea of human nature" (50.2; 51.6; 53.8) and "Synergy" (46.2; 48.2; 49.6), indicate that they believe that good and evil, selflessness and greed, insensitivity and sensitivity coexist in human nature, as well as they are able to meaningfully connect contradictory life phenomena.

The results on the scales "Acceptance of aggression" (48.8; 49; 49.4) and "Contact" (57; 56.6; 58) in all three samples indicate that the subjects understand that aggression and anger are inherent in human nature, can quickly and easily come into contact, while relationships with people are not superficial.

The data on the results of the study on the scales "Cognitive needs" (45.2; 45.5; 45.9) and "Creativity" (51.9; 49.7; 56.6), indicate that the subjects have developed needs for acquiring knowledge about the world and creative orientation.

Significant differences were found on the "Orientation in time" scale between the groups from 18 to 36 years (47.6; 50.4) and the group from 37 to 44 years (56.4).In all samples, these values fall within the range of the mental and statistical norm (from 45 to 60 points), but in the group from 37 to 44 years, the result is closer to the upper limit of the norm, from which it can be concluded that the subjects from this group see life more holistically.

To diagnose the personality traits of single women, we used the Kettel test. The results are presented in Table 4 and Figure 4.

Table 4

Kettel Test Results

Factor

Average values

Asymptotic knowledge.

Chi-square

18-27 years old

28-36 years old

37-44 years old

1

A "closeness-sociability"

5,55

4,53

5,65

0,016

8,218

2

With "emotional instability-stability"

5,45

5,42

7,55

0,000

18,697

3

About "calmness-anxiety"

6,45

6,02

4,85

0,047

6,099

4

F1 "low anxiety -high anxiety"

5,45

5,33

3,95

0,022

7,662

Fig. 4. Kettel test results

Note: 1 A "closeness sociability"; 2 B "intelligence"; 3 C "emotional instability stability; 4th "subordination dominance"; 5 F "restraint expressiveness"; 6 G "low normativity of behavior high normativity of behavior"; 7 H "timidity courage"; 8 I "rigidity sensitivity"; 9 L "credulity suspicion"; 10 M "practicality dreaminess"; 11 N "straightforwardness diplomacy"; 12 O "calm anxiety"; 13 Q1 "conservatism radicalism"; 14 Q2 "conformism nonconformism"; 15 Q3 "low selfcontrol high selfcontrol"; 16 Q4 "relaxation tension"; 17 MD; 18 F1 "low anxiety high anxiety"; 19 F2 "introversion - extroversion"; 20 - F3 "sensitivity balance"; 21 F4 "conformity independence".

According to the results of the Kettel test for factor A "closeness-sociability", samples from 18 to 27 and from 37 to 44 years showed values above 5.5 points (A+), which suggests that these women prefer working with people, social approval, like to keep up with the times and are easy to communicate. The subjects from the sample are 28-36 years old, the average values for factor A are below 5.5 points (A-), which indicates their restraint and isolation.

According to the "intelligence" factor in all three samples, the average values are higher than 5.5 points (B +), from which we can conclude about the development of abstract thinking, efficiency, intelligence and rapid learning of the subjects. The subjects also have a fairly high level of general culture.

According to factor C "emotional instability emotional stability" in all three samples, the average values are in the range of C+, which indicates the emotional stability of the subjects and endurance. These women soberly assess reality and are active.

According to the factor E "subordination dominance", all subjects have average values in the range E-. It follows that these women are modest, submissive, soft, compliant, malleable and adaptable.

According to the factor F "restraint expressiveness", the first two samples from 18 to 26 years and from 28 to 37 years have average values in the range F -, which indicates their sobriety, caution, seriousness and taciturnity. The sample is from 37 to 44 years old, the average values are in the F+ range. These women are impulsively lively, funny and full of enthusiasm.

According to factor G "low normativity of behavior high normativity of behavior", all three samples have average values in the range G-. From this we can conclude that these women know how to take advantage of the moment, look for benefits in a situation, avoid the rules and feel unassuming.

According to the factor H "timidity courage" in all three samples, the average values are in the range H-, which indicates the subjects as shy, reserved, insecure, fearful and timid personalities.

According to the factor I "stiffness sensitivity" in all subjects, the average values are in the range I+. From this we can conclude that these women are weak, dependent, insufficiently independent and sensitive.

According to the factor L "credulity suspicion" in all three samples, the average values are in the range L-. This means that the subjects are gullible, not jealous and get along.

According to the factor M "practicality dreaminess", the average values of all subjects are in the range M+. The subjects have a developed imagination, are immersed in internal needs and take care of practical issues.

According to the factor N "straightforwardness - diplomacy", the average values of all three samples are in the range N-. This means that the participants of the study are direct, natural, artless and sentimental.

According to the factor O "calmness anxiety" in samples from 18 to 27 and from 28 to 36 years old, the average values are in the range O+. This suggests that the subjects are prone to anxiety, depression and anxiety. In the sample aged 37 to 44 years, the average values are in the range O-. This speaks of their serenity, trustfulness and calmness.

According to the Q1 "conservatism radicalism" factor, the average values of all three samples are in the Q1+ range. From this we can conclude that all the subjects are experimenting, think critically and freely and have an analytical mindset.

According to the Q2 factor "conformism nonconformism" in samples from 18 to 27 and from 28 to 36 years, the average values are in the range Q2-. These results indicate a dependence on the group and the statement. Women from the sample from 37 to 44 years old are self-satisfied, enterprising and offer their own solution.

According to the Q3 factor "low selfcontrol - high self-control" in all three samples, the average values are in the range Q3-. The subjects are internally undisciplined and conflicted.

According to the factor Q4 "relaxation tension" in all three samples, the average values are in the range Q4-. Consequently, the subjects are relaxed and unfruitful.

According to the F1 factor "low anxiety high anxiety" in all three samples, the average values are in the range F1-. The study participants are satisfied with what they have and can achieve what they think is important.

According to the factor F2 "introversion extroversion", the average values of all three samples are in the range F2 -. From this we can conclude that women have a tendency to dryness and frozen interpersonal contacts.

According to the factor F3 "sensitivity balance" in all three samples, the average values are in the range F3 -. This suggests that the subjects may experience difficulties in connection with the emotionality manifested in everything.

According to the factor F4 "conformity independence" in samples from 18 to 27 and from 28 to 36 years, the average values are in the range F4 -. The personality of these women is prone to passivity, dependence on the group, needs the support of others and orients their behavior in the direction of those people who provide them with such support. The women from the sample from 37 to 44 years old have a sharp aggressive and independent personality. They try to choose situations where such behavior is tolerated.

Significant differences between the samples were revealed by factor A "closeness sociability": women from the sample from 28 to 36 years (4.53) are more restrained and isolated, unlike women from the samples from 18 to 27 (5.55) and from 37 to 44 years (5.65). According to the factor C "emotional instability stability", the subjects from the sample from 37 to 44 years old (7.55) are more emotionally stable, active and more soberly assess reality. There are also significant differences in the factor of "calmness anxiety": women from the sample from 37 to 44 years old (4.85) are serene, trusting and calm.

At the next stage of the empirical study, a correlation analysis of the interrelationships of psychological characteristics and the type of loneliness experienced in women during early adulthood was carried out.

As a result of studying the relationship between psychological characteristics and the type of loneliness experienced in women during early adulthood, the following correlations were obtained, presented in Table 5.

Table 5

Correlation analysis of psychological characteristics and the type of loneliness experienced in women during early adulthood

Indicators

Selection

Correlation coefficient

Flexible and Diffuse appearance

18-27 years old

-0,520*

F1 "low anxiety high anxiety" and Dissociated view

18-27 years old

0,556*

Value orientation and Diffuse view

28-36 years old

-0,571*

F1 "low anxiety high anxiety" and Diffuse appearance

28-36 years old

0,574*

Value orientation and Dissociated view

28-36 years old

-0,564*

Time orientation and Dissociated view

28-36 years old

-0,511*

Contact and Diffuse appearance

37-44 years old

-0,592*

F4 "conformity independence" and Diffuse form

37-44 years old

-0,630*

F2 "introversion-extroversion" and Alienating appearance

37-44 years old

-0,588*

H "timidity courage" and Alienating appearance

37-44 years old

-0,571*

L "credulity suspicion" and Alienating appearance

37-44 years old

0,651*

At * the correlation is significant at the level of 0.05 (two-sided)

In a sample from 18 to 27 years old, two correlations were revealed: a positive one between "low anxiety high anxiety" and a dissociated type of loneliness, and a negative one between flexibility and Diffuse type of loneliness.

In a sample from 28 to 36 years old, 4 relationships were found: one positive and three negative. There was a positive relationship between "low anxiety high anxiety" and a diffuse kind of loneliness, a negative relationship between value orientation and a Diffuse kind, as well as between the indicators of time orientation and value orientation and a Dissociated kind of loneliness.

In a sample from 37 to 44 years old, five relationships were revealed: one positive and four negative. There is a positive relationship between "credulity suspicion" and an alienating kind of loneliness, negative relationships between the indicators "conformity independence", contact and Diffuse kind and "introversion-extroversion", "timidity courage" and an alienating kind of loneliness.

Novelty and scope of the results . Based on the results of an empirical study, scientific facts were obtained about the existence of a relationship between psychological characteristics and the type of loneliness experienced by women during early adulthood; materials and conclusions based on them replenish the scientific arsenal of knowledge about the psychological characteristics of single women during early adulthood.

Summing up the above, we can formulate the following conclusions:

1. Women in early adulthood have a high level of subjective experience of loneliness.

2. The predominant type of loneliness in women during early adulthood in all three samples is a dissociated type of loneliness.

3. The study participants from all three samples fall under the criteria of a self-actualizing personality. It should also be noted that women from the sample from 37 to 44 years old see life more holistically than other participants.

4. Women in the age group from 37 to 44 years are more emotionally stable, active, serene, calm and see life more holistically, unlike the sample aged 18 to 36 years.

5. A positive relationship is observed between the personal characteristics of single women, such as "Low anxiety high anxiety" and diffuse and dissociated types of experienced loneliness; between "Credulity suspicion" and alienating appearance. A negative relationship was revealed between such indicators as "Flexibility", "Value orientation", "Contact", "Conformity independence" and a diffuse kind of loneliness; "Value orientation", "Orientation in time" and a dissociated view; between the alienating kind of loneliness experience and the scales "Introversion extroversion" and "Timidity courage."



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