I will chair a symposium at the upcoming European Association for Social Psychology conference in Granada, Spain in July 2017.
An impressive body of work now shows that strong social connections—and the social identities they afford—have significant health and well-being benefits. Yet practitioners and policy makers are often at a loss for how to translate this research into effective interventions designed to leverage shared identity. This symposium presents five applications of these research findings in significant populations, and interventions built around their conclusions. Haslam introduces a social intervention designed for use in vulnerable populations, Groups 4 Health, that leads to significant improvement in mental health and loneliness at program completion and 6-months later. Bentley discusses the results of a sister intervention designed for application in the educational domain, Groups 4 Education, that leads to greater empowerment and intentions to continue studying among university students. Working with Public Health England, Ntontis presents the results of field research with community residents affected by flooding, finding that shared identities can be the basis of mobilizing social support, contributing to community resilience. Tarrant discusses the results of a group-based intervention designed to increase shared identity among patients experiencing aphasia after a stroke. Finally, Steffens presents a leadership development intervention, the 5R Program, that builds group-based organisational capacity and enhances employees’ well-being. Together, the talks introduce promising interventions with the potential to improve social and health outcomes in a diverse range of domains, from mental health treatment to emergency response, stroke recovery, and educational and organisational support.
1. Groups 4 Health: An intervention to increase social connectedness in clinical samples
Cath Haslam, University of Queensland
2. Groups 4 Education: An intervention to increase social connectedness in academic samples
Sarah Bentley, University of Queensland
3. Developing community resilience through social identities
Evangelos Ntontis, University of Sussex
4. Development and evaluation of a group-based singing intervention in new patient groups
Mark Tarrant, University of Exeter
5. The 5R Program: A leadership intervention to promote engagement and health in organizations
Niklas Steffens, University of Queensland