Publication in British Journal of Clinical Psychology

My colleagues and I recently had a paper published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology. Our paper, ‘On the reciprocal effects between multiple group identifications and mental health: A longitudinal study of Scottish adolescents’ is my fourth publication from my PhD research, and I would like to once again, thank the pupils and staff who contributed to it.

Our paper examines the link between social group identifications and mental health outcomes in high school students. We found that greater number of high group identifications predicted better mental health outcomes amongst students. However, we also found that better mental health also predicted greater number of high group identifications, suggesting that there is a cyclical relationship between both variables.

The findings highlight the importance of conceptualizing the link between group identification and mental health as cyclical, rather than unidirectional. This reconceptualization has implications for mental health promotion strategies, as it highlights the importance of attempting to turn a potentially ‘vicious cycle’ of social disidentification and mental ill health into a ‘virtuous cycle’ of social identification and mental health.

To view the paper, please see:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H., & Sani, F. (2017). On the reciprocal effects between multiple group identifications and mental health: A longitudinal study of Scottish adolescents. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, DOI:10.1111/bjc.12143.

Publication in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology

Along with my colleagues Juliet Wakefield, and Fabio Sani, I have recently had a paper published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. Our paper, entitled ‘Greater Number of Group Identifications is Associated with Healthier Behaviour in Adolescents’, investigated the relationship between group identification (with the family, school, and friendship groups) and adolescent health behaviour (smoking, binge drinking, and cannabis use).

We found that identification with the family and school groups predicted reduced odds of substance use, whereas identification with the friend group predicted increased odds of substance use. Furthermore, the greater the number of social groups with which the participant strongly identified, the lower the odds that he/she participated in negative health behaviours. In contrast, merely having contact (rather than identifying strongly) with these groups increased the odds of participation in these behaviours.

We took our findings to suggest that group identification influences behaviour to the extent that it encourages adherence to group norms.

To read the paper in full, please see:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H., & Sani, F. (2016). Greater Number of Group Identifications is Associated with Healthier Behaviour in Adolescents. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34 (2), 291-305. DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12141.

Publication in Psychiatry Research

I am delighted that my first paper from my PhD research has been accepted for publication in Psychiatry Research. I must extend thanks to my colleagues and co-authors Fabio Sani and Juliet Wakefield, for their expertise, help and support.

Our paper entitled ‘Identification with Social Groups is Associated with Mental Health in Adolescents: Evidence from a Scottish Community Sample’, investigates whether there is a link between mental health symptoms and identification with a variety of groups (family, school and friends) in an adolescent sample.

Higher identification with each group predicted better mental health. There was also an additive effect of group identification, with the odds of reporting psychiatric disturbance decreasing for every additional group with which participants identified strongly. These effects held even when age, gender, and group contact were controlled for.

Our findings have implications for the prevention and treatment of mental problems, offering an alternative to traditional ways of viewing mental illness in adolescence and beyond.

To view the paper in full, please see:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H, & Sani, F. (2015). Identification with Social Groups is Associated with Mental Health in Adolescents: Evidence from a Scottish Community Sample. Psychiatry Research, 228, 340-346. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.088.

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