LONELINESS, A MENTAL HEALTH INDICATOR IN MEXICAN ADULTS
 
Montero, M., National University of Mexico, Mexico
 
In an attempt to document the characteristics of the experience of loneliness and its possible influence on health and the psychological functioning of adult Mexican it was developed the Multifaceted Loneliness Inventory (IMSOL) through of six field studies. A total of 1,613 subjects aged from 15 to 61, living in Mexico City, were interviewed. The factorial structure of the IMSOL was obtained and ratified, and construct validity was documented with convergence (depression) and divergence (self-esteem) measures with respect to the focal variable (loneliness). IMSOL comprises two sections, with high reliability indexes (from ? .72 to ? .94) that can be handled independently: on the one hand, the assessment of the feeling of loneliness measured in terms of the frequency with which deficits in sources of affection are perceived (with four subscales) and on the other, coping behaviors associated with loneliness (with six subscales). The theoretical and empirical use of the IMSOL was confirmed through a differential impact assessment, using structural equations, of the experience of loneliness by sex in relation to alcohol consumption. The results indicated that loneliness is inversely correlated with self-esteem and directly with depression in both men and women. In women there is a greater tendency to associate episodes of loneliness with depression and a grater tendency than in men to drink alcohol when they feel lonely.