AS CORRELATES OF HOPELESSNESS, ATTACHMENT ANXIETY AND SOCIAL ISOLATION

ABSTRACT

The research looked at attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair. The survey design and purposive sample approach were used to recruit 450 Babcock University students from the Iperu Remo region of Ogun State for the research. For data collection from respondents, a well-designed questionnaire that was rated valid and trustworthy was employed. The Pearson correlation analysis was used to assess the data collected from the questionnaire administration. Descriptive statistical approaches such as tables, percentages, frequency, and mean were used to examine the research.

 

In addition, Pearson Correlation Analysis was used to determine the degree of association between attachment anxiety and social isolation and despair. According to the findings of the research, there is a positive and significant association between social isolation and despair (r=0.772; p0.05). Attachment anxiety and despair had a positive and significant association (r=.896; p0.05). Social isolation and attachment anxiety and despair had a positive and significant link (r=0.772; p0.05). According to the research, attachment anxiety and social isolation are highly associated with despair. According to the findings, Babcock University’s administration should help students grasp the significance of social isolation.

 

Management at Babcock University should aim to educate students on how to prevent attachment anxiety, which may lead to despondency. Babcock University administration should endeavor to educate the student on how to be optimistic among other students participating in the first-year experience plan. Departments at Babcock University need an urgent reassessment. Department heads and teachers at Babcock University must become contextually relevant to students.

 

CHAPTER ONE 1.1. THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND

 

Human well-being in general, and despair in particular, have been prominent subjects in contemporary conversations in the Western world. Human social integration and engagement in society are seen as indications of productive aging, and policies aiming at attaining the objective of successful’ aging include measures to alleviate despondency. One of the most crucial characteristics of a healthy personality is the capacity to form intimate connections with others. People’s psychological and social development processes are significantly influenced by close interactions. Attachment theory holds that the quality of one’s closest connections starting in infancy set the scene for later development.

 

When these connections are stable, they encourage self-reliance, confident exploration of the environment, and resilience in the face of life’s stressors and disasters (Bowlby, 1979). Lack of stable connection, on the other side, may lead to issues managing emotions and connecting to others, making one vulnerable to psychological anguish, loneliness, and depression (Ouellette & DiPlacido, 2012). A World Health Organization report (World Health Organization, 2014) summarized key risk factors for hopelessness, such as isolation, relationship conflict or loss, previous suicide attempt, mental disorder, harmful use of alcohol, loss of employment, financial problems, chronic pain, family history of suicide, genetic and biological factors, and influences from a broader systemic level, such as access to means and the availability of appropriate health care. The paper went on to say that sensitivity to despair is most likely the outcome of a combination of risk factors. Suicide psychology theories have emphasized hopelessness.

 

Initially, the phrase was used generically to represent widespread negative future expectations and emotions of sadness (Menninger, 2005). Later, a scale was developed and validated in an effort to measure ‘hopelessness.’ Beck’s ‘Hopelessness Scale’ (Beck, Brown, Berchick, Stewart, & Steer, 2010) includes 20 specific measurements and topics such as ‘Feelings About the Future,’ ‘Loss of Motivation,’ and ‘Future Expectations.’ Theories concerning the connection between despair and suicide have also evolved. Menninger defined despair, in its broadest meaning, as a basic characteristic of suicide in 2005. Beck went on to discover that suicide intent was more closely linked to despair than depression (Beck et al., 2010).

 

The ‘Cry of Pain’ model (Williams & Pollock, 2000) and the Schematic Appraisal Model of Suicide (Johnson, Cohen, Gould, Kasen, Brown, & Brook, 2008) both highlight the importance of despair in the development of suicidal behavior. For example, the ‘Cry of Pain’ model contains a particular prediction that emotions of defeat may rise to sentiments of imprisonment, which can lead to despair when projected into the future. Another new model of suicide behavior focuses on the progression of suicidal thoughts to suicidal acts, taking into consideration risk factors at each step, including those related to optimistic future thinking (O’Connor, 2011). Attachment is defined as behavior elicited by proximity to or estrangement from a chosen and/or distinctive person. Attachment behavior is present not just in infancy but also in childhood, adolescence, and maturity. The absence of a close bond influences attachment style.

 

Hopelessness and sadness are widespread among persons who have significant attachment anxiety over abandonment, often known as a negative self-model. As a result, attachment type will account for a considerable variation in despair and depression. Testable hypotheses are more readily obtained now that attachment is clearly established as the foundation of despair in Weiss’ (1974) theory. People who lose their connection figures, for whatever cause, should feel despondent and depressed. A love relationship is the most prevalent kind of connection among adults, while a “best friend” may also be an attachment figure. The lack of either should be indicative of depression. Finally, the incidence of despair should differ by attachment type, with insecure attachment patterns being more prone to suffer depression. According to Hazan and Shaver (2007), persons who are securely attached have the least level of depression, whereas those who are insecure-anxious/ambivalent-attached have the most. Attachment (measured as a social provision) was shown to be a very significant predictor of emotional isolation by Russell et al. (2014).

 

Hopelessness was identified as a critical psychological risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behavior in a recent study (O’Connor & Nock, 2014). Hopelessness has been linked to the commencement of self-harm (Milnes, David, & Blenkiron, 2002), the likelihood of recurring self-harm (McMillan, Gilbody, Beresford, & Neilly, 2007), and suicide (Beck et al., 2010). A comprehensive worldwide evaluation of case-control and cohort studies found that despair was related to a more than twofold increase in the probability of suicide among patients with depression (Hawton, Harriss, Hall, Simkin, Bale, & Bond, 2013). Prospective, hospital-based studies of self-harm, on the other hand, have tended to study risk variables in isolation, ignoring their cumulative impact (Larkin, Di Blasi, & Arensman, 2014). Their inclusion may improve comprehension of several already established risk variables (Larkin et al., 2014).

 

One of the underlying elements affecting the predominance of “isolated” persons is whether they live alone. According to a recent National Council on Aging research, an estimated 17% of all Americans over the age of 65 are isolated because they live alone and encounter one or more hurdles due to geography, language, or disability. Furthermore, half of the individuals over 65 are deemed economically insecure (Ortiz, 2011). Furthermore, those with low incomes are thought to be more vulnerable to isolation because they have fewer means to overcome the hurdles associated with isolation. Cornwell, Laumann, and Schumm (2008), on the other hand, concurred that a solitary lifestyle is not a reliable indication of isolation. Several studies have looked into isolation among representative groups of elderly Americans. Theeke (2007) investigated the association between loneliness and health using a representative sample of elderly Americans. Isolation, defined as loneliness, was prevalent in 16.9% of persons over the age of 50, with 8.8% classified as chronically lonely.

 

Cornwell, Laumann, and Schumm (2008) discovered that the average network size in a representative sample of Americans aged 57 to 85 was 3.6 people and that, even after controlling for demographic variables, health status, and life-course stage, the older a person is, the more likely they are to have smaller networks, fewer primary network members, and more distant relationship ties. Although older ages may have a greater frequency of isolation, some adaptations, such as increasing connections with neighbors and friends or usage of technology, may serve as protective factors. This research will use Babcock University as a case study to investigate attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair. 1.2. Problem Identification Attachment anxiety and social isolation are complex difficulties driven by personal, community, and cultural variables that are connected to physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

 

It is characterized as a condition in which a person lacks social involvement, has few social connections, lacks quality and satisfaction in their interactions, and lacks a feeling of belonging (Nicholson, 2012) The following are the primary issues that arise from the above: Both poverty and low income have been linked to an increased risk of despair and social isolation. According to Dutch research, persons with low means are twice as likely to feel lonely and despairing, and six times more likely to be socially isolated (Hortulanus, Machielse, & Meeuwesen, 2007). Australian research found that persons earning less than $600 per week were much more lonely than those earning more than $1,000 per week (Lauder, Mummery, & Sharkey, 2009). The later research also discovered that unemployment is one of the most powerful indicators of despair (ibid). Low-income seniors in Canada are more likely to become socially isolated (National Seniors Council, 2014). According to Canadian research, lower-income Canadians of all ages have a weaker feeling of community belonging and suffer greater social isolation and exclusion than higher-income ones (Stewart, Makwarimba, Reutter, Veenstra, Raphael, & Love, 2009).

 

Subjects in the research who earned more than the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) were 2.31 times more likely than those who earned less to feel a sense of belonging in their community. Participants living in high-poverty neighborhoods are less likely to be socially integrated, according to a major American research comprising 16,044 people (Marcus, Echeverria, Holland, Abraido-Lanza, & Passannante, 2015). The association between low income and social isolation seems to be influenced by a variety of interconnected variables. Inadequate money, for example, limits people’s capacity to build and sustain social support and prohibits them from participating in social activities (Stewart, et al., 2009). Poverty has also been linked to less access to transportation, increased feelings of stigma, and an increased risk of disability and sickness, all of which have been linked to increased susceptibility to social isolation (Nicholson, 2012; National Seniors Council, 2014).

 

Other risk factors for social isolation that may impact low-income Canadians include a lack of cheap and suitable housing and a lack of education (Nicholson, 2012). People who are socially isolated are more likely to suffer from a variety of physical health problems, including decreased mobility, lung disease, arthritis, infectious illness, heart disease, and mortality (Steptoe, Shankar, Demakakos, & Wardle, 2013). Social isolation has also been connected to depression, anxiety, social stigma, dementia, and an increased risk of cognitive decline, as well as other negative effects on mental health and well-being (Nicholson, 2012). Similarly, social isolation may result in poor self-esteem, internalization of guilt, feelings of helplessness, and avoidance of community involvement (Stewart, et al., 2009). A meta-analysis of 148 research found that those with strong social interactions (more engagement in social networks and stronger social support) were 50% less likely to die young than those who did not.

 

Their findings found that the mortality risk linked with social isolation was comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day or heavy drinking, was more dangerous than not exercising, and was twice as dangerous as obesity (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010). Social isolation has also been connected to a variety of risky behavior patterns. According to studies, jobless and socially isolated persons are more likely to smoke, eat fewer fruits and vegetables, be less physically active, and drink more excessively (Andrews, Mueller, Newman, Magwood, Ahluwalia, White, & Tingen, 2014). Social isolation in elderly persons has also been associated with poor nutrition and reduced food intake (Nicholson, 2012). According to the review above, much of the research was done outside of Nigeria, which is a deficit in this present study. As a result, this research will look at attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair in Nigeria. 1.3.

 

The Study’s Objectives The primary goal of this research is to investigate attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair. The specific objectives will be to i. investigate the effect of social isolation on hopelessness among first-year experience scheme students; ii. investigate the effect of attachment anxiety on hopelessness among first-year experience scheme students; and iii. assess the influence of social isolation and attachment anxiety on hopelessness among first-year experience scheme students. 1.4. Research Issues Research questions are interrogative statements that often emerge throughout the process of study; they may be characterized as research goals articulated in an interrogative manner. Study questions are intended to create potential solutions to various parts of the research topic, and they should be presented clearly enough to serve as guides in the discovery, collection, and analysis of relevant data.

 

In order to fulfill the study’s goal, it will aim to offer answers to the following research questions in order to reach a logical conclusion. Will social isolation have a substantial link with despair among first-year experience scheme students? Will attachment anxiety have a significant association with hopelessness among first-year experience scheme students? Will social isolation and attachment anxiety have a substantial association with despair among first-year experience scheme students? 1.5. Hypotheses In order to give this study endeavor justice, the following hypotheses are proposed to serve as guides for the results. Ho: Social isolation will not have a substantial association with pessimism among first-year experience program students. Attachment anxiety will not have a substantial association with despair among students participating in the first-year experiences program, according to Ho. Ho: Social isolation and attachment anxiety will not have a significant link with despair among first-year students. 1.6.

 

Importance of the Research It is strongly believed that by evaluating some of the factors that contribute to loneliness and hopelessness among humans in society, the government, practitioners, private and public sectors, individuals, and the general public will deploy good strategies that will help eradicate or minimize the factors in order to make the society a more and better conducive place to live in. 1.7. Study Scope and Limitations This study will look at how attachment anxiety and social isolation affect despair. Furthermore, the research will look at the reasons of despair and how to treat it. The research will only include individuals from Babcock University in the Iperu Remo region of Ogun State.

 

This is owing to restrictions such as accuracy, cost, and time. 1.8. Operational Terminology Definition Attachment anxiety is related to attachment figures’ rejection and abandonment. Highly anxious people have a persistent hyper-activation of the attachment system as a result of their ongoing uncertainties and worries. Social isolation is defined as a lack of connection with people, limited social contacts, a lack of quality and satisfaction in relationships, and a lack of a feeling of belonging. Suicide has a core component of hopelessness. Loneliness: a circumstance in which a person perceives an uncomfortable or unacceptable absence of (quality of) specific connections.

The research looked at attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair.

The survey design and purposive sample approach were used to recruit 450 Babcock University students from the Iperu Remo region of Ogun State for the research. For data collection from respondents, a well-designed questionnaire that was rated valid and trustworthy was employed. The Pearson correlation analysis was used to assess the data collected from the questionnaire administration. Descriptive statistical approaches such as tables, percentages, frequency, and mean were used to examine the research. In addition, Pearson Correlation Analysis was used to determine the degree of association between attachment anxiety and social isolation and despair.

According to the findings of the research, there is a positive and significant association between social isolation and despair (r=0.772; p0.05). Attachment anxiety and despair had a positive and significant association (r=.896; p0.05). Social isolation and attachment anxiety and despair had a positive and significant link (r=0.772; p0.05).

According to the research, attachment anxiety and social isolation are highly associated to despair. According to the study, Babcock University’s administration should help students understand the meaning of social isolation. Management at Babcock University should aim to educate students on how to prevent attachment anxiety, which may lead to despondency. Babcock University administration should endeavor to educate the student on how to be optimistic among other students participating in the first-year experience plan. Departments at Babcock University need an urgent reassessment. Department heads and teachers at Babcock University must become contextually relevant to students.

1.1. The Study’s Background

Human well-being in general, and despair in particular, have been prominent subjects in contemporary conversations in the Western world. Human social integration and engagement in society are seen as indications of productive aging, and policies aiming at attaining the objective of successful’ aging include measures to alleviate despondency. One of the most crucial characteristics of a healthy personality is the capacity to form intimate connections with others. People’s psychological and social development processes are significantly influenced by close interactions. Attachment theory holds that the quality of one’s closest connections starting in infancy set the scene for later development.

 

When these connections are stable, they encourage self-reliance, confident exploration of the environment, and resilience in the face of life’s stressors and disasters (Bowlby, 1979). Lack of stable connection, on the other side, may lead to issues managing emotions and connecting to others, making one vulnerable to psychological anguish, loneliness, and depression (Ouellette & DiPlacido, 2012).

A World Health Organization report (World Health Organization, 2014) summarized key risk factors for hopelessness, such as isolation, relationship conflict or loss, previous suicide attempt, mental disorder, harmful use of alcohol, loss of employment, financial problems, chronic pain, family history of suicide, genetic and biological factors, and influences from a broader systemic level, such as access to means and the availability of appropriate health care. The paper went on to say that sensitivity to despair is most likely the outcome of a combination of risk factors.

Suicide psychology theories have emphasized hopelessness. Initially, the phrase was used generically to represent widespread negative future expectations and emotions of sadness (Menninger, 2005). Later, a scale was developed and validated in an effort to measure ‘hopelessness.’ Beck’s ‘Hopelessness Scale’ (Beck, Brown, Berchick, Stewart, & Steer, 2010) includes 20 specific measurements and topics such as ‘Feelings About the Future,’ ‘Loss of Motivation,’ and ‘Future Expectations.’ Theories concerning the connection between despair and suicide have also evolved. Menninger defined despair, in its broadest meaning, as a basic characteristic of suicide in 2005.

 

Beck went on to discover that suicide intent was more closely linked to despair than depression (Beck et al., 2010). The ‘Cry of Pain’ model (Williams & Pollock, 2000) and the Schematic Appraisal Model of Suicide (Johnson, Cohen, Gould, Kasen, Brown, & Brook, 2008) both highlight the importance of despair in the development of suicidal behavior. For example, the ‘Cry of Pain’ model contains a particular prediction that emotions of defeat may rise to sentiments of imprisonment, which can lead to despair when projected into the future. Another new model of suicide behavior focuses on the progression of suicidal thoughts to suicidal acts, taking into consideration risk factors at each step, including those related to optimistic future thinking (O’Connor, 2011).

Attachment is defined as behavior elicited by proximity to or estrangement from a chosen and/or distinctive person. Attachment behavior is present not just in infancy but also in childhood, adolescence, and maturity. The absence of a close bond influences attachment style. Hopelessness and sadness are widespread among persons who have significant attachment anxiety over abandonment, often known as a negative self-model. As a result, attachment type will account for a considerable variation in despair and depression. Testable hypotheses are more readily obtained now that attachment is clearly established as the foundation of despair in Weiss’ (1974) theory. People who lose their connection figures, for whatever cause, should feel despondent and depressed. A love relationship is the most prevalent kind of connection among adults, while a “best friend” may also be an attachment figure.

 

The lack of either should be indicative of depression. Finally, the incidence of despair should differ by attachment type, with insecure attachment patterns being more prone to suffer depression. According to Hazan and Shaver (2007), persons who are securely attached have the least level of depression, whereas those who are insecure-anxious/ambivalent-attached have the most. Attachment (measured as a social provision) was shown to be a very significant predictor of emotional isolation by Russell et al. (2014).

Hopelessness was identified as a critical psychological risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behavior in a recent study (O’Connor & Nock, 2014). Hopelessness has been linked to the commencement of self-harm (Milnes, David, & Blenkiron, 2002), the likelihood of recurring self-harm (McMillan, Gilbody, Beresford, & Neilly, 2007), and suicide (Beck et al., 2010). A comprehensive worldwide evaluation of case-control and cohort studies found that despair was related to a more than twofold increase in the probability of suicide among patients with depression (Hawton, Harriss, Hall, Simkin, Bale, & Bond, 2013). Prospective, hospital-based studies of self-harm, on the other hand, have tended to study risk variables in isolation, ignoring their cumulative impact (Larkin, Di Blasi, & Arensman, 2014). Their inclusion may improve comprehension of several already established risk variables (Larkin et al., 2014).

One of the underlying elements affecting the predominance of “isolated” persons is whether they live alone. According to a recent National Council on Aging research, an estimated 17% of all Americans over the age of 65 are isolated because they live alone and encounter one or more hurdles due to geography, language, or disability. Furthermore, half of the individuals over 65 are deemed economically insecure (Ortiz, 2011).

Furthermore, those with low incomes are thought to be more vulnerable to isolation because they have less means to overcome the hurdles associated with isolation. Cornwell, Laumann, and Schumm (2008), on the other hand, concurred that a solitary lifestyle is not a reliable indication of isolation. Several studies have looked into isolation among representative groups of elderly Americans. Theeke (2007) investigated the association between loneliness and health using a representative sample of elderly Americans. Isolation, defined as loneliness, was prevalent in 16.9% of persons over the age of 50, with 8.8% classified as chronically lonely.

Cornwell, Laumann, and Schumm (2008) discovered that the average network size in a representative sample of Americans aged 57 to 85 was 3.6 people and that, even after controlling for demographic variables, health status, and life-course stage, the older a person is, the more likely they are to have smaller networks, fewer primary network members, and more distant relationship ties. Although older ages may have a greater frequency of isolation, some adaptations, such as increasing connections with neighbors and friends or usage of technology, may serve as protective factors.

This research will use Babcock University as a case study to investigate attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair.

1.2. Problem Identification

Attachment anxiety and social isolation are complex difficulties driven by the personal, community, and cultural variables that are connected to physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. It is characterized as a condition in which a person lacks social involvement, has few social connections, lacks quality and satisfaction in their interactions, and lacks a feeling of belonging. (2012) (Nicholson)

The following are the primary issues that arise from the above:

Both poverty and low income have been linked to an increased risk of despair and social isolation. According to Dutch research, persons with low means are twice as likely to feel lonely and despairing, and six times more likely to be socially isolated (Hortulanus, Machielse, & Meeuwesen, 2007). Australian research found that persons earning less than $600 per week were much more lonely than those earning more than $1,000 per week (Lauder, Mummery, & Sharkey, 2009). The later research also discovered that unemployment is one of the most powerful indicators of despair (ibid).

Low-income seniors in Canada are more likely to become socially isolated (National Seniors Council, 2014). According to Canadian research, lower-income Canadians of all ages have a weaker feeling of community belonging and suffer greater social isolation and exclusion than higher-income ones (Stewart, Makwarimba, Reutter, Veenstra, Raphael, & Love, 2009). Subjects in the research who earned more than the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) were 2.31 times more likely than those who earned less to feel a sense of belonging in their community. Participants living in high-poverty neighborhoods are less likely to be socially integrated, according to a major American research comprising 16,044 people (Marcus, Echeverria, Holland, Abraido-Lanza, & Passannante, 2015).

The association between low income and social isolation seems to be influenced by a variety of interconnected variables. Inadequate money, for example, limits people’s capacity to build and sustain social support and prohibits them from participating in social activities (Stewart, et al., 2009). Poverty has also been linked to less access to transportation, increased feelings of stigma, and an increased risk of disability and sickness, all of which have been linked to increased susceptibility to social isolation (Nicholson, 2012; National Seniors Council, 2014). Other risk factors for social isolation that may impact low-income Canadians include a lack of cheap and suitable housing and a lack of education (Nicholson, 2012).

People who are socially isolated are more likely to suffer from a variety of physical health problems, including decreased mobility, lung disease, arthritis, infectious illness, heart disease, and mortality (Steptoe, Shankar, Demakakos, & Wardle, 2013). Social isolation has also been connected to depression, anxiety, social stigma, dementia, and an increased risk of cognitive decline, as well as other negative effects on mental health and well-being (Nicholson, 2012). Similarly, social isolation may result in poor self-esteem, internalization of guilt, feelings of helplessness, and avoidance of community involvement (Stewart, et al., 2009). A meta-analysis of 148 research found that those with strong social interactions (more engagement in social networks and stronger social support) were 50% less likely to die young than those who did not. Their findings found that the mortality risk linked with social isolation was comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day or heavy drinking, was more dangerous than not exercising, and was twice as dangerous as obesity (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).

Social isolation has also been connected to a variety of risky behavior patterns. According to studies, jobless and socially isolated persons are more likely to smoke, eat fewer fruits and vegetables, be less physically active, and drink more excessively (Andrews, Mueller, Newman, Magwood, Ahluwalia, White, & Tingen, 2014). Social isolation in elderly persons has also been associated with poor nutrition and reduced food intake (Nicholson, 2012).

According to the review above, much of the research was done outside of Nigeria, which is a deficit in this present study. As a result, this research will look at attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair in Nigeria.

1.3. The Study’s Objectives

The primary goal of this research is to investigate attachment anxiety and social isolation as predictors of despair. The particular goals will be to; i. investigate the impact of social isolation on pessimism among first-year experience students; ii. examine the impact of attachment anxiety on despair among first-year experience students; iii. examine the impact of social isolation and attachment anxiety on despair among first-year experience students.

Research questions are interrogative statements that often emerge throughout the process of study; they may be characterized as research goals articulated in an interrogative manner. Study questions are intended to create potential solutions to various parts of the research topic, and they should be presented clearly enough to serve as guides in the discovery, collection, and analysis of relevant data. In order to fulfill the study’s goal, it will aim to offer answers to the following research questions in order to reach a logical conclusion. Will social isolation have a substantial association with despondency among first-year experience scheme students? / Will attachment anxiety have a substantial association with despair among first-year experience scheme students? Will social isolation and attachment anxiety have a substantial association with despair among first-year experience scheme students?

To give this study endeavor justice, the following hypotheses are proposed to serve as guides for the results.