Happiness and Group Identification

Journal of Happiness Studies

A recent study by Juliet Ruth Helen Wakefield and colleagues published in the Journal of Happiness Studies investigated if group identification (“a sense of belonging to one’s social group, coupled with a sense of commonality among group members”) influences satisfaction with life. Group identification was divided into three categories: family, local community, and group of personal choice (sports group, hobby group, etc.). Over 3000 individuals from Scotland and England participated in the study. The results demonstrated higher levels of identification with the three groups correlated with higher satisfaction with life scores, even after removing potential effects of gender, age, occupation, and nationality. The researchers also found group identification had an additive effect, meaning satisfaction with life was higher for those who identified with more groups. The authors suggest people consider spending more time with social groups as one way of promoting greater satisfaction with life.