The new psychology of health

Our editor Jon Sutton introduces a special collection of articles on 'unlocking the social cure'.

I manage my eldest son’s football team. I’ve taken them from under-8s to under-14s, and the challenges in my working life pale into insignificance against what the average weekend throws up. There are perhaps times when membership of this particular social group feels like a curse. I fantasise about pulling them through to under-18s, and then never setting foot in the club again.

But our special on ‘the new psychology of health’ suggests I shouldn’t be too hasty. Sure, groups can be negative if they are disadvantaged, stigmatised, if they don’t value you or if they make unhealthy choices. But psychologists are unlocking the ‘social cure’ afforded by groups, in a fine example of bridging the gap between research and practice, to influence public policy. And they’ve made me realise that when it’s time to shed my ‘Birstall United Juniors FC’ identity, I should at least consider taking up bowls.

Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor @psychmag


Unlocking the social cure
S. Alexander Haslam introduces a special collection with his ‘Lists for Life’: what will kill you and what will make you stronger?

Reversing the social curse
Jolanda Jetten on when groups are disadvantaged and stigmatised

Addiction and the importance of belonging
Genevieve Dingle takes a social identity route in and out of substance use

How groups beat depression
Tegan Cruwys considers the evidence that identifying with others is a sustainable route to wellbeing

Scaffolding a stronger society 
Catherine Haslam on moving beyond social prescribing, by applying Groups 4 Health to unlock the social cure

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