social interaction, social withdrawal, relational/individual well-being, emerging adulthood


As emerging adults navigate numerous changes to their relationships, the ways in which they connect with and move away from others, or how they are socially oriented, may play an important role in their relational and individual well-being. The current study explored holistic types of social orientations (i.e., social motivations, the self in relation to others, other-directed emotions, and actual behaviors) and how they relate to the quality of close relationships, depression, and substance use in a sample of 787 US emerging adult college students. Results from latent profile analysissuggested five types of social orientations, each showing a distinct pattern of moving toward or away from others and links to varying degrees of relational and individual well-being. This study's consideration of multiple aspects of social orientations not only advances current theoretical models of social interaction, but also has important implications for understanding mechanisms that lead to flourishing and floundering in emerging adulthood.

Original Publication Citation

*Jorgensen, N. A., & Nelson, L. J. (2018). Moving toward and away from others: Social orientations in emerging adulthood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 58, 66-76.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor