ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (4): 657-668.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00657

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


严磊1,2(), 原毅仁1,2, 王娟3, 张艳红1,2, 杨林川4   

  1. 1长江大学教育与体育学院
    3长江大学学生心理健康教育中心, 湖北 荆州 434000
    4三峡大学田家炳教育学院, 湖北 宜昌 443002
  • 收稿日期:2022-08-13 出版日期:2023-04-15 发布日期:2022-12-30
  • 通讯作者: 严磊
  • 基金资助:

The influence of social identity on depression and its theoretical explanation

YAN Lei1,2(), YUAN Yiren1,2, WANG Juan3, ZHANG Yanhong1,2, YANG Linchuan4   

  1. 1College of Education and Sports Science, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China
    2Psychological Education and Training Research Center of Reserve Forces, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China
    3Center of Mental Health Education, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China
    4Tianjiabing College of Education, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China
  • Received:2022-08-13 Online:2023-04-15 Published:2022-12-30
  • Contact: YAN Lei


社会认同作为个体在群际和内群体层面的社会联结, 总体上对抑郁产生了积极影响, 表现为认同程度、认同重要性、认同群体数量以及认同变化的影响等4个方面。现有研究从需求、认知和行为层面探讨了社会认同影响抑郁的中介因素, 并检验了身份认同动机和消极群体评价两个调节因素。社会认同视角下的4种理论分别从社会医治、心理资源、认同变化以及认同层次等不同角度解释了社会认同影响抑郁的心理机制。未来应厘清社会认同对抑郁的深层影响机制, 重视社会认同影响抑郁的调节因素, 及建构社会认同影响抑郁的能动−共生模型。

关键词: 社会认同, 抑郁, 社会医治, 心理资源


In recent years, researchers have begun to study the causes of depression from the perspective of social identity (The Social Identity Approach). These studies suggested two broad categories: single-multiple and static-dynamic. Single-multiple refers to whether researchers focus on the degree of individual identification with a particular group or the number of groups that individuals identify with when examining social identity. Static-dynamic focuses on an individual’s identity at a specific time or an identity change before and after life transitions (such as further education, immigration, and others). Therefore, the investigation of social identity can be divided into four situations: static single (identity degree), dynamic single (identity importance), static multiple (identity group number), and dynamic multiple (identity change). They had a positive effect on depression overall. However, the importance of identity in stigmatized groups and its loss in changes worsen depression. Regarding mediating mechanisms, researchers believe that social identity can alleviate depression by satisfying needs. Furthermore, it can reduce it by changing individuals' cognition and behavior. These mediating factors can be divided into three aspects: need, cognition, and behavior.
Regarding theoretical explanation, Haslam et al. (2009) were the first to propose using the social identity perspective to explain mental health phenomena explicitly. They regarded this field as an important research trend. Four theories have been proposed to explain the relationship between social identity and depression. First, the Social Cure proposes that the psychological resources associated with group identity have a protective effect on individual mental health. Second, the Social Identity Model of Depression is the first to define it from a social identity perspective, proposing four key psychological resources (meaning, social influence, social support, and belonging) for depression. Third, the Social Identity Model of Identity Change shifts to a dynamic perspective, arguing that social identity continuity and gain pathway plays an essential role in life change. Finally, the hierarchical interaction model emphasizes that social identity has different levels, and these have various underlying psychological mechanisms.
Future research should be carried out from three aspects. (1) In the deep influence mechanism of social identity on depression, we should examine whether it increases an individual's interpersonal support and sense of belonging. However, more importantly, we should examine whether the meaning (target, significance, and values) and influence (such as group norms) are beneficial to physical and mental health. When the group’s meaning and influence are detrimental to an individual's physical and mental health, social support and a sense of belonging can increase this detrimental effect, leading to increased depression. (2) Use empirical research to test the moderating factors proposed by previous theoretical explanations from three aspects: individual, group, and intergroup. Examples include group type (category/interaction group), normative content (positive/negative), identity compatibility, and the role of group performance. (3) Construct an agency-communion model of social identity affecting depression. This model could simultaneously explain the four pathways of social identity’s influence on depression, simplifying psychological resources into agency (meaning and social influence) and communion (social support and sense of belonging). Their mediating effects correspond one-to-one with the four situations of social identity. The model proposes the moderating role of the content of agency psychological resources, such as the meaning and social influence are detrimental to individual physical and mental health, the performance of group "failures," and the conflict of multiple identities.

Key words: social identity, depression, the social cure, psychological resources