Social identification moderates cognitive health and well-being following story- and song-based reminiscence

Haslam, Catherine, Haslam, S. Alexander, Ysseldyk, Renate, McCloskey, Lauren-Grace, Pfisterer, Kaylen and Brown, Susan G. (2014) Social identification moderates cognitive health and well-being following story- and song-based reminiscence. Aging and Mental Health, 18 4: 425-434. doi:10.1080/13607863.2013.845871

Author Haslam, Catherine
Haslam, S. Alexander
Ysseldyk, Renate
McCloskey, Lauren-Grace
Pfisterer, Kaylen
Brown, Susan G.
Title Social identification moderates cognitive health and well-being following story- and song-based reminiscence
Journal name Aging and Mental Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1360-7863
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13607863.2013.845871
Volume 18
Issue 4
Start page 425
End page 434
Total pages 10
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Reminiscence is a popular intervention for seniors, but, with mixed evidence supporting its efficacy, questions have been raised about the mechanisms underlying improvement. The present paper addresses this question by investigating the degree to which health effects depend on the development of a shared sense of group identification. This is examined in the context of traditional story-based reminiscence as well as novel forms of song-based reminiscence.

Method: As the focus of a manualized intervention, 40 participants were randomly assigned to secular song (n = 13), religious song (n = 13), or standard story reminiscence (n = 14) groups. These were run over six weeks with cognitive performance, anxiety, and life satisfaction measured before and after the intervention. Measures of group fit were included to examine whether social identification contributed to outcomes.

Results: No evidence of change emerged over time as a function of intervention form alone, but analysis of identification data revealed significant interactions with the type of reminiscence group. Specifically, initial fit with the story reminiscence group was associated with enhanced cognitive outcomes and greater life satisfaction, while fit with the religious song reminiscence group was associated with greater life satisfaction and less anxiety.

Conclusion: These findings show that group identification is a key moderator through which reminiscence promotes health outcomes. Implications for theory and practice highlight an inherent limitation in randomized controlled trials insofar as they may compromise participants' group identification.
Keyword Cognition
Social identity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 16 October 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 15 Nov 2013, 19:59:15 EST by Catherine Haslam on behalf of School of Psychology