Diversity of group memberships predicts well-being: cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence

Sarah J. Charles*, Clifford Stevenson, Juliet R.H. Wakefield, Emanuele Fino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Groups have their health and well-being impacted by satisfying their members’ needs and providing resources to help cope with threats. Multiple group memberships serve to accumulate these benefits and also provide resilience to the effects of group loss. However, the additional well-being benefits of belonging to multiple different types of group remain to be determined. In a preregistered cross-sectional survey in Nottingham, England (Study 1, N = 328), we found that group-type diversity predicted well-being and that this effect was fully serially mediated by increased creative self-efficacy, then reduced loneliness. To confirm our hypothesis in a more robust sample we conducted longitudinal analyses on the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA) dataset (Study 2, N = 5,838) finding that group-type diversity at time one (T1) predicted well-being at T2 (4 years later), even when accounting for wellbeing and loneliness at T1. We discuss the implications for enhancing group-based health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Early online date30 Sept 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC; grant number: AH/X000044/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • group-type diversity
  • loneliness
  • multiple group membership
  • social identity
  • wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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