Investigating predictors and health-related outcomes of veterans' group identification

McIntosh, J.S.A., 2022. Investigating predictors and health-related outcomes of veterans' group identification. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Military service, veterancy, and the transition to civilian life are most often conceptualised in psychology as an interpersonal and individual phenomena and processes. Consequently, the social identity element of the transition to civilian life and its attendant issues, such as alcoholism, drug use, PTSD symptomology, and loneliness, have been understudied. The present project applies the Social Identity Approach (SIA; e.g., Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and the Social Identity Approach to Health (SIAH; e.g., Haslam et al., 2018) to address three main research questions: 1) To what extent can established SIAH patterns of group belonging, social support, and health/wellbeing be observed in the veteran population?, 2) How do veterans’ organisation members understand social identity and its relationship to health/wellbeing?, and 3) What are the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between antecedents of group identification its health-related outcomes in veterans who are members of veterans' organisations?

A three-study mixed method approach was used to address these research questions. Study 1 utilised an existing dataset and proxy measures to look for established Social Identity patterns in an existing dataset which included veterans (Health and Retirement Survey). The analysis showed the same data patterns as indicated in previous non-veteran samples, grounding the thesis in both the SI and veteran domains. Study 2 qualitatively explored the experiences of social identity-related processes and outcomes in both veteran and non-veteran members (N= 22) of the Royal British Legion (RBL). Study 3 was a cross-sectional (N= 144) and longitudinal (N= 27) exploration of the relationship between group identifications and mental health/wellbeing. Alongside this it examined the previously identified antecedents of identification from both the existing SI literature and the results from study 2. Overall, findings suggest that veterans’ groups show the same beneficial effects as other SI groups, that superordinate identification is the better predictor of health benefits than subordinate, and that prototypicality, empowerment, and involvement are strong predictors of identification, and should be the focus going forward when exploring how to enhance identification and improve health and wellbeing.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: McIntosh, J.S.A.
Date: June 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 07 Mar 2023 11:29
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 11:29

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