Family as a source of support under stress: Benefits of greater breadth of family inclusion

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Family has profound meaning and represents the most important ingroup for most people, yet, we know very little about how lay perceptions of family affect well-being. In the current work, we examined how lay theories about breadth of family inclusion (i.e., including a broader variety of entities in one’s definition of family) were related to family experiences and to well-being. In Study 1, we found that lay theories about family as including a wider variety of entities (i.e., greater breadth of inclusion) predicted more positive family evaluations, more positive qualities, and greater family importance. In Study 2, we found that greater breadth of family inclusion was associated with greater resilience in the face of stress. Finally, in Study 3 we used an experimental manipulation of breadth of family inclusion, establishing that broader views of family produced greater social needs fulfillment. Implications for the role of ingroup memberships and identities in promoting well-being are discussed.


This article was originally published in Self and Identity. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Self and Identity


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