Exploring the impact of group identity at university on psychological and behavioural outcomes

Elena Spiridon, Jean Davies, Linda Kaye, Rod Nicolson, Bryan Tang, Angel Tan, Heather Ransom

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    With respect to supporting student well-being and success, the current research developed a peer support scheme, built on the principles of Social Identity Theory (SIT). This was targeted towards first year undergraduate psychology students, in which measures of collective identity, sense of belonging, group efficacy, happiness and resilience were obtained, along with attendance and academic attainment. Following one academic year of being part of our peer support scheme, participants (N = 90) completed a questionnaire and consented to their attendance and attainment data to be used. It was found that students’ collective identity was positively related to their sense of belonging, group efficacy beliefs and happiness. Further, the sense of belonging was a reliable predictor of happiness, but not attendance or academic attainment. Therefore, there is some evidence to suggest that an SIT-driven peer support scheme can support students’ psychosocial well-being, although more is needed to ascertain whether this could be developed further to observe any course-related outcomes. Theoretical contributions to SIT are therefore presented, in which the insights can be applied to Higher Education beyond the UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2020


    • Sense of belonging
    • Social identity
    • Peer support
    • Well-being
    • Psychology
    • Higher education


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