Project Title: Do multiple meaningful groups promote resilience to stressors?
Summary: Stress is a fact of life. Given its ubiquity, and potential consequences, identifying factors that can help people to respond in resilient ways to stress is a priority. Having many (versus a few) social connection(s) has been identified as one important factor in resilient responses to stress. However, what these connections give that influences resilience, and why this is tied to their number, is still not well understood. Drawing on the social identity approach to health and well-being, and the literature on meaning, I contend that the meaning gained from social connections is what buffers people against the negative consequences of stress and imbues them with the strength to take on, and bounce back from, stressful challenges. My PhD will focus on one type of social connection, group memberships, to investigate whether and how the meaning derived from multiple group memberships helps to explain why social connections promote resilient responses to stressors in everyday life.