Greater number of group identifications is associated with healthier behaviour: evidence from a Scottish community sample

Sani, F., Madhok, V., Norbury, N., Dugard, P. and Wakefield, J.R.H. ORCID: 0000-0001-9155-9683, 2015. Greater number of group identifications is associated with healthier behaviour: evidence from a Scottish community sample. British Journal of Health Psychology, 20 (3), pp. 466-481. ISSN 2044-8287

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Abstract

Objectives: This paper investigates the interplay between group identification (i.e., the extent to which one has a sense of belonging to a social group, coupled with a sense of commonality with in-group members) and four types of health behaviour, namely physical exercise, smoking, drinking, and diet. Specifically, we propose a positive relationship between one's number of group identifications and healthy behaviour.

Design: This study is based on the Scottish portion of the data obtained for Wave 1 of the two-wave cross-national Health in Groups project. 1824 patients from 5 Scottish General Practitioner (GP) surgeries completed the Wave 1 questionnaire in their homes.

Methods: Participants completed measures of group identification, group contact, health behaviours and demographic variables.

Results: Results demonstrate that the greater the number of social groups with which one identifies, the healthier one’s behaviour on any of the four health dimensions considered.

Conclusions: We believe our results are due to the fact that group identification will generally i) enhance one's sense of meaning in life, thereby leading one to take more care of oneself, ii) increase one's sense of responsibility toward other in-group members, thereby enhancing one’s motivation to be healthy in order to fulfil those responsibilities, and iii) increase compliance with healthy group behavioural norms. Taken together, these processes amply overcompensate for the fact that some groups with which people may identify can actually prescribe unhealthy behaviours.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Group identifications and health behaviour
Publication Title: British Journal of Health Psychology
Creators: Sani, F., Madhok, V., Norbury, N., Dugard, P. and Wakefield, J.R.H.
Publisher: John Wiley
Place of Publication: Chichester
Date: September 2015
Volume: 20
Number: 3
ISSN: 2044-8287
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1111/bjhp.12119DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:18
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2018 13:46
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11012

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