Одиночество как экзистенциальный вызов: эмпирическая типология индивидуальных реакций
The paper analyses the phenomenon of solitude treated not only in terms of negative experience of the lacking social ties, but rather as a positive condition of self-development. The association of solitude with general developmental conditions, various forms of subjective experience of solitude, and autocommunicative mechanisms of its impact on personality development are discussed.
An original instrument, Multidmensional Inventory of Loneliness Experience (MILE) is presented. The inventory is based on the authors’ theoretical model of personal attitude towards loneliness. According to this model, acceptance of loneliness as an existential given opens a possibility to appreciate situations of solitude and to use their resources in a productive way that leads to deeper self-awareness and personal growth. Conversely, non-acceptance or fear of loneliness leads to avoidance of solitude by continuous search for social contacts which turns into avoidance of self-encounter and becomes an obstacle for personal growth. MILE contains 40 statements (a shorter version of 24 statements is also presented) grouped into 3 scales measuring the intensity of experienced loneliness and two attitudes towards loneliness, namely, positive solitude and dependence on communication. Three online samples were used, with over 2,500 respondents overall. The structural validity of the instrument was demonstrated using structural equation modeling, and the resulting scales were reliable (α in the .81-.90 range). Convergent and discriminant validity was supported by predictable associations with measures of subjective well-being, life meaning, extraversion, affiliation motivation, and alienation. Using person-oriented approach methodology and cluster analysis, 4 distinct patterns of perceived loneliness were described.