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The reciprocal relationship between social identification and social support over time: A four-wave longitudinal study
British Journal of Social Psychology  (IF6.92),  Pub Date : 2022-06-27, DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12553
Jan Häusser, Sascha Abdel Hadi, Charlene Reichelt, Andreas Mojzisch

It has been argued that the positive effect of a shared social identity on health and well-being critically hinges on the interplay between social identity and social support. This interplay, however, is poorly understood. Building on Haslam et al., we argue that their relationship can be conceptualized as being reciprocal and dynamic with each variable influencing the other. The present study is the first to examine how the reciprocal relationship between social identification and perceived social support unfolds over time. In a sample of university freshmen (NT1 = 172), we examined this reciprocal relationship in a four-wave survey study spanning over a period of 13 months. In line with Haslam et al., the results revealed a self-reinforcing cycle with social identification at T1 being positively related to perceived social support at T2, which, in turn, was positively related to social identification at T3, which predicted perceived social support at T4. In conclusion, our study advances knowledge regarding the interplay between social identity and social support over time and, hence, contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the social cure effect.