The mental well-being of Involuntary Celibates

Thomas W. Delaney, Thomas V. Pollet, Clare Cook*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incels (Involuntary celibates) are men who consider their lack of a sexual or romantic relationship key to their identity. We are continuing to learn about the low levels of wellbeing that exist amongst incels; the extent to which they differ in this respect from the general population and whether scales commonly used for psychological well-being can be used for this group. Using a sample of 72 incels and 72 controls from the ‘open psychometrics’ dataset, matched for age and nationality, we examined the structure of a commonly used measure for Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS) using Structural Equation Modelling and independent samples t-tests. We investigate if incels differ from a control group with regard to their mental health. Our analyses supported residual invariance, suggesting we could compare the groups. Incels were found to score higher on depression than controls, but the two groups did not significantly differ on reported anxiety and stress. We call for further work on incels, especially where clinically relevant measures are used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112474
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date6 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Nov 2023

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