Document Type

Honors Project


Advisor: Jaine Strauss, Department of Psychology at Macalester College


Loneliness is an increasingly widespread concern for many individuals, especially college students and young adults, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loneliness can negatively impact health and well-being; however, many interventions are not successful in reducing loneliness. One possible intervention may be a resilience practice. Namely, self-compassion may reduce feelings of loneliness because it provides a way to connect with oneself and support well-being. This study aimed to examine the impact of a self-compassion intervention on feelings of loneliness and well-being in college students. It utilized a self-compassion writing intervention compared to a control self-affirmation writing intervention and examined both state or momentary feelings, as well as general or long-term feelings. The interventions did not affect general loneliness, but participants in both conditions experienced an increase in general well-being. Further, both conditions experienced decreased state loneliness, increased state self-compassion, and increased state well-being. The self-compassion intervention had a distinct impact on state well-being. These results support past research that long-term loneliness is difficult to alter. They also provide a new way to impact short-term feelings of loneliness in a cost- and time-effective manner.



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