Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Social/Personality Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 109 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ronald Friedman

Committee Members

Anna Newheiser, Brendan Gaesser


need satisfaction, social identification, well-being, Social networks, Social groups, Group identity, Well-being

Subject Categories

Social Psychology


A large body of recent literature suggests that social identification leads to better well-being, a relationship that has been coined the “social cure” effect. This positive relationship has been attributed to the satisfaction of global psychological needs, including the needs for self-esteem, belongingness, perceived personal control, and a meaningful existence (Greenaway et al., 2016). However, this line of research has yet to fully to understand what and how group qualities may undermine or bolster this effect, and whether certain group qualities satisfy these needs differentially. Three studies were conducted to examine the influence of group qualities (i.e., group esteem, identity type, and entitativity) on psychological need satisfaction and well-being. Study 1 (n = 495) found identity gain and loss interact with positive and negative group esteem to predict psychological need satisfaction and well-being. Moderated mediation analyses suggested that while positive group identity facilitates the social cure effect, a negative group identity undermines the social cure effect, proposing more is not always better. Study 2 (n = 347) found no differences between role and group identities on the social cure effect. Lastly, Study 3 (n = 443) suggested that more entitative groups facilitate the social cure effect. Together these three studies suggest that when examining specific group qualities, psychological needs and well-being are differentially, rather than globally, satisfied. These studies contribute to understandings of the overlap between the self and the group and how social identification influences the individual.