Affection Deprivation is Conceptually and Empirically Distinct From Loneliness

Kory Floyd, Colin Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Due in part to its contributions to physical health and mental well-being, the communication of affection has received much empirical attention in recent years and has been argued to be a fundamental human need. Working from that premise, Floyd (2014b) advanced the theoretic construct of affection deprivation, an acute or chronic state in which one fails to receive the level of affection he or she desires from others. Affection deprivation is empirically associated with multiple relational and health-related outcomes, but its focus on being deprived of meaningful communication and connection with others raises a legitimate question about its distinctiveness from loneliness. This article argues for a conceptual distinction between affection deprivation and loneliness, reanalyzing the original data from Floyd (2014b), and analyzing newly collected data, to show that affection deprivation and loneliness are empirically distinct as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-465
Number of pages20
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2017


  • Affection Deprivation
  • Affection Exchange Theory
  • Factor Analysis
  • Loneliness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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