Linking inferiority feelings to subjective happiness: Self-concealment and loneliness as serial mediators

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Akdoğan R., Çimşir E.

PERSONALITY AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES, vol.149, pp.14-20, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 149
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.028
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.14-20
  • Keywords: Subjective happiness, Loneliness, Self-concealment, Inferiority feelings, Self-disclosure, Individual psychology, Adlerian psychology, Social interaction, SATISFACTION, ATTACHMENT, ESTEEM
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Despite recent research associating inferiority feelings with two of the social disruptors of happiness, namely self-concealment (Cimsir & Akdogan, 2019) and loneliness (Akdogan, 2017), neither the nature nor the mechanism of the connection between inferiority feelings and happiness have been investigated. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to test if inferiority feelings are associated with subjective happiness, while proposing a process in which inferiority feelings cause self-concealment, which in turn, causes loneliness, thereby resulting in a decrease in happiness. A serial mediation analysis was conducted via PROCESS, a computational tool for observed variable moderation, mediation and conditional process modeling (Hayes, 2012). The results confirm that self-concealment and loneliness act as serial mediators between inferiority feelings and subjective happiness, meaning that individuals with increased inferiority feelings have a higher tendency toward self-concealment. This, in turn, results in an increase in loneliness and a decrease in happiness. Additionally, a multiple regression analysis revealed that inferiority feelings, loneliness, self-concealment, age and gender significantly explain happiness at a level of 35% (R-2 = 0.35, F (5, 276) = 30.27, p < .001), with loneliness and inferiority feelings being the only significant predictors of subjective happiness.