Title: The subjective experience of solitude
Author: Long, Christopher; More, Thomas A.; Averill, James R.
Source: In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 67-76.
Description: Solitude is a frequently cited motive for visiting parks, forests, and wilderness areas. But while visitors frequently say they achieve their solitude goals, most visit in groups of two or more, suggesting a conception that differs from the classical ideal of being profoundly alone with the universe. Moreover, solitude often can be experienced negatively, surrounded by feelings of loneliness and depression. In this paper, we explore both positive and negative solitude experiences as mental states rather than physical conditions. Results suggest that both states occur frequently, perhaps two or three times per week, and both tended to occur while the person was alone, although this was not a requirement. Both were preceded by a sense of stress, and were likely to occur in environments close to home. Women were more likely to experience solitude at home, while men were more likely to achieve it outdoors.
View or Print this Publication (142 KB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
Long, Christopher; More, Thomas A.; Averill, James R. 2007. The subjective experience of solitude. In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 67-76.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility