Khan, SS, Garnett, N, Hult Khazaie, AKD, Liu, J and Gil de Zuniga, H (2019) Opium of the People? National Identification Predicts Wellbeing Over Time. British Journal of Psychology. ISSN 0007-1269

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Social group membership and its social-relational corollaries – e.g., social contact, trust, and support – is prophylactic for health. Research has tended to focus on how direct social interactions between members of small-scale groups (i.e., a local sports team or community group) are conducive to positive health outcomes. The current study provides evidence from a longitudinal cross-cultural sample (N = 6,748; 18 countries/societies) that the prophylactic effect of group membership is not isolated to small-scale groups, and that members of groups do not have to directly interact, or in fact know of each other to benefit from membership. Our longitudinal analyses suggest that national identification (strength of association with the nation state in which an individual resides) predicts lower anxiety and improved health; national identification was in fact almost as positively predictive of health status as anxiety was negatively predictive. The findings indicate that identification with large-scale groups, like small-scale groups, is palliative, and are discussed in terms of globalisation and banal nationalism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted article is available online at
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety, cross‐cultural, cross‐lagged panel modelling, health status, longitudinal, national identity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 09:02
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 01:30

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