39 research outputs found

    On the association between greater family identification and lower paranoid ideation among non-clinical individuals: evidence from Cypriot and Spanish students

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    A large literature has provided evidence of the 'social cure': a positive relationship between group identification (a sense of group belonging) and mental wellbeing, commonly measured in terms of levels of depression, anxiety, or stress. However, non-clinical populations may experience other symptoms of mental distress, including paranoia. We hypothesised that since group identification promotes satisfying and supportive relationships (something paranoid individuals appear to lack), there should be a negative relationship between family identification and paranoid ideation. We confirmed this in a cross-sectional study with Cypriot students (N = 108) and in a two-wave longitudinal study with Spanish students (N = 206). The second study also revealed that family identification predicts paranoia over time, but not vice versa. These studies are the first to confirm that family identification is a negative predictor of paranoid ideation, and highlight the need to further explore the effects of group identification on psychotic-like symptoms

    Social isolation predicts frequent attendance in primary care

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    Background. Frequent attenders in primary care have complex physical and mental healthcare needs as well as low satisfaction with their healthcare. Interventions targeting mental health or psychoeducation have not been effective in reducing attendance. Here, we test the proposition that both frequent attendance and poor health are partly explained by unmet social needs (i.e., limited social group support networks). Methods. Study 1 (N=1752) was a large cross-sectional community sample of primary care attenders in Scotland. Study 2 (N = 79) was a longitudinal study of a group of young people undergoing a life transition (moving countries and commencing university) that increased their risk of frequent attendance. Study 3 (N=46) was a pre-post intervention study examining whether disadvantaged adults who joined a social group subsequently had reduced frequency of primary care attendance. Results. All three studies found that low social group connectedness was associated with a higher frequency of primary care attendance. This was not attributable to poorer health among those who were socially isolated. In Study 3, joining a social group led to reduced primary care attendance to the extent that participants experienced a (subjective) increase in their social group connectedness. Conclusions. Unmet social needs among frequent attenders warrant closer consideration. Interventions that target social group connectedness show promise for reducing overutilization of primary care services

    When groups help and when groups harm: origins, developments, and future directions of the 'social cure' perspective of group dynamics

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    A substantial literature supports the important role that social group memberships play in enhancing health. While the processes through which group memberships constitute a ‘Social Cure’ are becoming increasingly well-defined, the mechanisms through which these groups contribute to vulnerability and act as a ‘Social Curse’ are less understood. We present an overview of the Social Cure literature, and then go beyond this to show how the processes underpinning the health benefits of group membership can also negatively affect individuals through their absence. First, we provide an overview of early Social Cure research. We then describe later research concerning the potential health benefits of identifying with multiple groups, before moving on to consider the ‘darker side’ of the Social Cure by exploring how intra-group dynamics can foster Curse processes. Finally, we synthesise evidence from both the Cure and Curse literatures to highlight the complex interplay between these phenomena, and how they are influenced by both intra- and inter-group processes. We conclude by considering areas we deem vital for future investigation within the discipline