Social identity reduces depression by fostering positive attributions

Cruwys, Tegan, South, Erica I., Greenaway, Katharine H. and Haslam, S. Alexander (2014) Social identity reduces depression by fostering positive attributions. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6 1: 65-74. doi:10.1177/1948550614543309


Author Cruwys, Tegan
South, Erica I.
Greenaway, Katharine H.
Haslam, S. Alexander
Title Social identity reduces depression by fostering positive attributions
Journal name Social Psychological and Personality Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1948-5506
1948-5514
Publication date 2014-07-30
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1948550614543309
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 65
End page 74
Total pages 10
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Subject 3207 Social Psychology
3203 Clinical Psychology
Abstract Social identities are generally associated with better health and in particular lower levels of depression. However, there has been limited investigation of why social identities protect against depression. The current research suggests that social identities reduce depression in part because they attenuate the depressive attribution style (internal, stable, and global; e.g., “I failed because I’m stupid”). These relationships are first investigated in a survey (Study 1, N = 139) and then followed up in an experiment that manipulates social identity salience (Study 2, N = 88). In both cases, people with stronger social identities were less likely to attribute negative events to internal, stable, or global causes and subsequently reported lower levels of depression. These studies thus indicate that social identities can protect and enhance mental health by facilitating positive interpretations of stress and failure. Implications for clinical theory and practice are discussed.
Formatted abstract
Social identities are generally associated with better health and in particular lower levels of depression. However, there has been limited investigation of why social identities protect against depression. The current research suggests that social identities reduce depression in part because they attenuate the depressive attribution style (internal, stable, and global; e.g., “I failed because I’m stupid”). These relationships are first investigated in a survey (Study 1, N = 139) and then followed up in an experiment that manipulates social identity salience (Study 2, N = 88). In both cases, people with stronger social identities were less likely to attribute negative events to internal, stable, or global causes and subsequently reported lower levels of depression. These studies thus indicate that social identities can protect and enhance mental health by facilitating positive interpretations of stress and failure. Implications for clinical theory and practice are discussed.
Keyword Depression
Social identity
Multiple group membership
Attribution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID FL110100199
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 30 July 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 16 Jul 2014, 21:09:39 EST by Tegan Cruwys on behalf of School of Psychology