Greater university identification – but not greater contact - leads to more life satisfaction

Evidence from a Spanish longitudinal study

Juliet Wakefield (Lead / Corresponding author), Fabio Sani, Marina Herrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: A growing body of literature has highlighted the relationship between group identification (a subjective sense of belonging to one’s social group, coupled with a subjective sense of commonality with the group’s members) and wellbeing. However, little of this work is longitudinal, and few studies address reciprocal causality or control for intensity of contact with fellow group members.
Method: We investigated the effect of university identification on satisfaction with life (SWL) over time (and vice versa) in 216 Spanish undergraduates, with seven months between T1 and T2.
Results: While greater university identification T1 predicted higher SWL T2, SWL T1 did not predict university identification T2. University contact T1 was unrelated to SWL T2.
Conclusions: These results show that university identification impacts positively on SWL over time (rather than SWL impacting positively on university identification over time), and this is not reducible to the effects exerted by university contact. The implications for those who work with students are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-344
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Volume10
Issue number2
Early online date6 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018

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Longitudinal Studies
Social Identification
Causality
Students

Keywords

  • group processes
  • life satisfaction
  • social identity
  • social support
  • student
  • well-being

Cite this

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Greater university identification – but not greater contact - leads to more life satisfaction : Evidence from a Spanish longitudinal study. / Wakefield, Juliet (Lead / Corresponding author); Sani, Fabio; Herrera, Marina.

In: Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, Vol. 10, No. 2, 04.07.2018, p. 330-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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