Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Joanna Schug

Committee Members

Janice Zeman

Heather Sasinowska


Relational mobility is a socio-ecological variable that measures the number of opportunities in a given social context or environment to choose or change interpersonal relationships based on personal needs or preferences (Yuki & Schug, 2012). The current study seeks to examine how international students coming from countries with lower relational mobility perceive personal and societal relational mobility and how these perceptions contribute to their experienced loneliness in high relational mobility contexts. Data was collected from an introductory psychology class through online surveys. Participants consisted of 54 Asian international students (24 males and 30 females; Mage = 20.28 years, SD = 1.34) and 135 American domestic students (62 males and 73 females; Mage = 19.90 years, SD = 0.93). Results showed a significant difference in personal relational mobility but not societal relational mobility between international students and domestic students. Only personal relational mobility was found to be the significant predictor of levels of loneliness among all participants. Additionally, self-esteem, measured as an internal indicator of one’s social value, was another significant predictor of loneliness. Findings suggested that individuals coming from low relational mobility societies experience more difficulties when forming relationships in high relational mobility contexts.

On-Campus Access Only