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Reference no: EM131349855

Social Identity Reduces Depression by Fostering Positive Attributions

Tegan Cruwys1, Erica I. South1, Katharine H. Greenaway1,and S. Alexander Haslam1


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 ¼ 139) and then followed up in an experiment that manipulates social identity salience (Study 2, N ¼ 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.

Reference no: EM131349855

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