The relationship between group identification and satisfaction with life in a cross-cultural community sample

Juliet Ruth Helen Wakefield (Lead / Corresponding author), Fabio Sani, Vishnu Madhok, Michael Norbury, Pat Dugard, Carlo Gabbanelli, Mario Arnetoli, Giampiero Beconcini, Lucia Botindari, Franco Grifoni, Paola Paoli, Fabio Poggesi

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A variety of studies have shown that group identification (a sense of belonging to one’s social group, coupled with a sense of commonality with the group’s members) is linked to high levels of satisfaction with life (SWL). The aim of the present study was to support and extend this literature by: (1) investigating the link between group identification and SWL with a large cross-cultural community sample; (2) examining whether the relationship is moderated by nationality; and (3) considering whether SWL is enhanced by possessing multiple group identifications simultaneously. Utilizing data from Wave 1 of the Health in Groups project, 3829 participants from both Scotland and Italy completed a questionnaire assessing their identification with their family, their local community, and a group of their choice, as well as their level of SWL. Higher identification with each group predicted higher SWL. Nationality was a marginal moderator of the relationship between family identification and SWL, with the relationship being stronger for Italian participants than for Scottish participants. There was also an additive effect of group identification, with a positive relationship between the number of groups with which participants identified and their SWL. These effects were obtained even after controlling for gender, age, employment status, nationality, and extent of contact with each group. The implications for healthcare professionals and their patients are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-807
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Social identity
  • Group memberships
  • Wellbeing
  • Social cure
  • Scottish
  • Italian


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