Groups 4 Health Part I: Evidence that a Social Identity Theory Derived Intervention Reduces the Health Costs of Loneliness

Haslam, C. (University of Queensland), Cruwys, T. (Australian National University), Bentley, S. V. (University of Queensland), Dingle, G. A. (University of Queensland), Chang, M. (University of Queensland), Haslam, S. A. (University of Queensland), Jetten, J. (University of Queensland)

Loneliness is a key public health issue for which various interventions have been trialled, but few directly target the core feature of loneliness—lack of belonging. This is the focus of Groups 4 Health (G4H), a recently developed theory-derived and manualised intervention that directly targets the development and maintenance of social group memberships and associated identifications that promote belonging. In this talk, I will present data from two studies — a pilot study (Study 1) and a randomised controlled trial (Study 2)—investigating the efficacy cy of this program in adults (n = 83, n = 120, respectively) presenting with loneliness associated with psychological distress. Findings from these studies showed that those who received G4H reported significantly fewer symptoms of loneliness (dS1 = -0.86, dS2 = -1.16), social anxiety (dS1 = -0.52, dS2 = -0.53), and depression (dS1 = -0.29, dS2 = -0.67), and a stronger sense of connectedness to multiple groups (dS1 = 0.82, dS2 = 0.96) compared to control conditions. We discuss the value of G4H in providing a viable solution to loneliness and its transdiagnostic potential in recent adaptation of the program for particular contexts (e.g., retirement, addiction recovery).


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Making Good Theory Practical Symposium