British Psychology Society Textbook of the Year 2020

Why do people who are more socially connected live longer and have better health than those who are socially isolated?

Why are social ties at least as good for your health as not smoking, having a good diet, and taking regular exercise?

Why is treatment more effective when there is an alliance between therapist and client?

Until now, researchers and practitioners have lacked a strong theoretical foundation for answering such questions. This ground-breaking book fills this gap by showing how social identity processes are key to understanding and effectively managing a broad range of health-related problems.

Integrating a wealth of evidence that the authors and colleagues around the world have built up over the last decade, The New Psychology of Health provides a powerful framework for reconceptualising the psychological dimensions of a range of conditions – including stress, trauma, ageing, depression, addiction, eating behaviour, brain injury, and pain.

Alongside reviews of current approaches to these various issues, each chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the ways in which theory and practice can be enriched by attention to social identity processes. Here the authors show not only how an array of social and structural factors shape health outcomes through their impact on group life, but also how this analysis can be harnessed to promote the delivery of ‘social cures’ in a range of fields.

This is a must-have volume for service providers, practitioners, students, and researchers working in a wide range of disciplines and fields, and will also be essential reading for anyone whose goal it is to improve the health and well-being of people and communities in their care.

chapter 2|24 pages

The social identity approach to health

chapter 3|27 pages

Social status and disadvantage

chapter 4|21 pages


chapter 5|20 pages


chapter 6|27 pages

Trauma and resilience

chapter 7|26 pages


chapter 8|18 pages


chapter 9|28 pages


chapter 10|24 pages

Eating behaviour

chapter 11|25 pages

Acquired brain injury

chapter 12|26 pages

Acute pain

chapter 13|29 pages

Chronic mental health conditions

chapter 14|25 pages

Chronic physical health conditions

chapter 15|14 pages

Unlocking the social cure: Groups 4 Health

chapter Appendix|34 pages

Measures of identity, health, and well-being