A growing body of research shows that social networks and identities have a profound impact on mental and physical health. With such mounting evidence of the importance of social relationships in protecting health, the challenge we face is explaining why this should be the case. What is it that social groups offer that appears to be just as beneficial as a daily dose of vitamin C or regular exercise?

This edited book brings together the latest research on how group memberships, and the social identities associated with them, determine people’s health and well-being. The volume provides a variety of perspectives from clinical, social, organisational and applied fields that offer theoretical and empirical insights into these processes and their consequences. The contributions present a rich and novel analysis of core theoretical issues relating to the ways in which social identities, and factors associated with them (such as social support and a sense of community), can bolster individuals’ sense of self and contribute to physical and mental health. In this way it is shown how social identities constitute a ‘social cure’, capable of promoting adjustment, coping and well-being for individuals dealing with a range of illnesses, injuries, trauma and stressors. In addition, these theories provide a platform for practical strategies that can maintain and enhance well-being, particularly among vulnerable populations.

Contributors to the book are at the forefront of these developments and the book’s strength derives from its analysis of factors that shape the health and well-being of a broad range of groups. It presents powerful insights which have important implications for health, clinical, social and organisational psychology and a range of cognate fields.

part |71 pages

Social identity health and well-being

chapter |17 pages

The case for a social identity analysis of health and well-being

ByJolanda Jetten, S. Alexander Haslam, Catherine Haslam

chapter |17 pages

Group identification social relationships and health

ByFabio Sani

chapter |16 pages

Promoting positive orientation towards health through social identity

ByMark Tarrant, Martin S. Hagger, Claire V. Farrow

chapter |17 pages

How much is social capital worth?

ByJohn F. Helliwell, Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh

part |81 pages

Social identity stigma and coping

chapter |21 pages

In sickness and in health

Influences of social categorizations on health-related outcomes
ByLindsay St. Claire, Claudine Clucas

chapter |17 pages

Not wanting to grow old

A Social Identity Model of Identity Change (SIMIC) analysis of driving cessation among older adults
ByJolanda Jetten, Nancy A. Pachana

chapter |17 pages

Moving toward or away from a group identity

Different strategies for coping with pervasive discrimination
ByNyla R. Branscombe, Saulo Fernández, Angel Gámez, Tracey Cronin

chapter |21 pages

Biological and psychosocial responses to discrimination

ByKimberly Matheson, Hymie Anisman

part |79 pages

Social identity stress and trauma

chapter |18 pages

When other people are heaven when other people are hell

How social identity determines the nature and impact of social support
ByS. Alexander Haslam, Stephen D. Reicher, Mark Levine

chapter |20 pages

Stress and well-being in the workplace

Support for key propositions from the social identity approach
ByRolf van Dick, S. Alexander Haslam

chapter |21 pages

Collective resilience in mass emergencies and disasters

A social identity model
ByJohn Drury

chapter |17 pages

Social cure or social curse?

The psychological impact of extreme events during the Kosovo conflict
ByBlerina Kellezi, Reicher Stephen D.

part |81 pages

Social identity recovery and rehabilitation

chapter |17 pages

Deciding to disclose: The importance of maintaining social relationships for well-being after acquired brain injury

ByJanelle M. Jones, Jolanda Jetten, S. Alexander Haslam, W. Huw Williams

chapter |23 pages

The experience of self in the world

The personal and social contexts of identity change after brain injury
ByFergus Gracey, Tamara Ownsworth

chapter |19 pages

The importance of remembering and deciding together

Enhancing the health and well-being of older adults in care
ByCatherine Haslam, Jetten Jolanda, S. Alexander Haslam, Craig P. Knight

part |27 pages


chapter |25 pages

Advancing the social cure

Implications for theory practice and policy
ByCatherine Haslam, Jolanda Jetten, S. Alexander Haslam