Social identity makes group-based social connection possible: Implications for loneliness and mental health

S. Alexander Haslam*, Catherine Haslam, Tegan Cruwys, Jolanda Jetten, Sarah V. Bentley, Polly Fong, Niklas K. Steffens

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This review argues that a distinctly positive form of social connection is made possible by the social identities that people derive from psychologically meaningful group memberships. These connections have important implications for mental health by virtue of their distinct capacity to furnish people with a sense of collective meaning, purpose, support, and efficacy. This analysis suggests that loneliness and its toxic effects arise in part from the challenges of achieving this distinct form of social connection in contemporary society. However, it also suggests that a good way to tackle loneliness and support mental health is by building, restoring, and sustaining social identities through meaningful group-based connections. We conclude by reflecting on the success of interventions that do precisely this — most notably GROUPS 4 HEALTH.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-165
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
    Volume43
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Social identity makes group-based social connection possible: Implications for loneliness and mental health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this