Advertisement

Benefits of a Highly Entitative Class for Adolescents’ Psychological Well-Being in School

  • Jianning Dang
  • Li LiuEmail author
  • Yue Du
Original Paper

Abstract

Previous studies of the protective factors for adolescents’ psychological well-being in school have focused on the emotional relationships under the classroom climate. In contrast, the present study focused on the structural relationships among students. To investigate this issue, we examined the effects of class entitativity, that is, the extent that a class is a coherent group rather than a number of students, on students’ attitudes about themselves, their peers, and the whole class. A total of 408 adolescents completed measures of perceived class entitativity (i.e., homogeneity and interaction among students), self-efficacy, peer trust, and identification with the class. The results of a structural equation model analysis indicated that class entitativity was positively correlated with students’ self-efficacy and their identification with the class, which were in turn correlated with students’ trust of their peers. Further analysis revealed that homogeneity was positively associated with students’ self-efficacy, while higher level of interaction was associated with stronger identification with the class. These findings highlight the essential role of structural relationships between students in their psychological well-being and have implications for student-oriented practices in schools.

Keywords

Psychological well-being Class Entitativity Self-efficacy Identification Trust 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We thank Liwen Bianji, Edanz Editing China (www.liwenbianji.cn/ac), for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Arroyo, C. G., & Zigler, E. (1995). Racial identity, academic achievement, and the psychological well-being of economically disadvantaged adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 903–914.Google Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 1(4), 139–161.Google Scholar
  3. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.Google Scholar
  4. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychological Bulletin, 107(2), 238–246.Google Scholar
  5. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88(3), 588–606.Google Scholar
  6. Blanchard, A. L., Caudill, L. E., & Walker, L. S. (2018). Developing an entitativity measure and distinguishing it from antecedents and outcomes within online and face-to-face groups. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430217743577.Google Scholar
  7. Brewer, M. B., Hong, Y. Y., & Li, Q. (2004). Dynamic entitativity: Perceiving groups as actors. In V. Yzerbyt, C. M. Judd, & O. Corneille (Eds.), The psychology of group perception (pp. 25–38). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brewer, M. B., & Roccas, S. (2001). Individual values, social identity, and optimal distinctiveness. In C. Sedikides & M. B. Brewer (Eds.), Individual self, relational self, collective self (pp. 219–237). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brunsma, D. L. (2006). School uniform policies in public schools. Principal, 85, 50–53.Google Scholar
  10. Callahan, S. P., & Ledgerwood, A. (2016). On the psychological function of flags and logos: Group identity symbols increase perceived entitativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(4), 528–550.Google Scholar
  11. Campbell, D. T. (1958). Common fate, similarity, and other indices of the status of aggregates of persons as social entities. Behavioral Sciences, 3, 14–25.Google Scholar
  12. Carron, A. V., & Brawley, L. R. (2000). Cohesion: Conceptual and measurement issues. Small Group Research, 31(1), 89–106.Google Scholar
  13. Carron, A. V., Brawley, L. R., & Widmeyer, W. N. (1998). The measurement of cohesiveness in sport groups. In J. L. Duda (Ed.), Advances in sport and exercise psychology measurement (pp. 213–226). Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology.Google Scholar
  14. Castano, E., Yzerbyt, V., Paladino, M. P., & Sacchi, S. (2002). I belong, therefore, I exist: Ingroup identification, ingroup entitativity, and ingroup bias. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(2), 135–143.Google Scholar
  15. Cheung, S. K., & Sun, S. Y. (1999). Assessment of optimistic self-beliefs: Further validation of the Chinese version of the General Self-Efficacy Scale. Psychological Reports, 85(3), 1221–1224.Google Scholar
  16. Clift, S. M., Hancox, G., Morrison, I., Hess, B., Kreutz, G., & Stewart, D. (2010). Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 1, 19–34.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, J., McCabe, L., Michelli, N. M., & Pickeral, T. (2009). School climate: Research, policy, practice, and teacher education. Teachers College Record, 111(1), 180–213.Google Scholar
  18. Collisson, B., & Howell, J. L. (2014). The liking-similarity effect: Perceptions of similarity as a function of liking. The Journal of Social Psychology, 154(5), 384–400.Google Scholar
  19. Crump, S. A., Hamilton, D. L., Sherman, S. J., Lickel, B., & Thakkar, V. (2010). Group entitativity and similarity: Their differing patterns in perceptions of groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(7), 1212–1230.Google Scholar
  20. Dang, J., Liu, L., Zhang, Q., & Li, C. (2019). Leaving an attacked group: Authoritative criticism decreases ingroup favoritism. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 13, e7.Google Scholar
  21. De Cremer, D. (2001). Perceptions of group homogeneity as a function of social comparison: The mediating role of group identity. Current Psychology, 20(2), 138–146.Google Scholar
  22. DiMaria, C. H., Peroni, C., & Sarracino, F. (2017). Happiness matters: Productivity gains from subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00074-1.Google Scholar
  23. Dotterer, A. M., & Lowe, K. (2011). Classroom context, school engagement, and academic achievement in early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(12), 1649–1660.Google Scholar
  24. Ellemers, N., Kortekaas, P., & Ouwerkerk, J. W. (1999). Self-categorization, commitment to the group and group self-esteem as related but distinct aspects of social identity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 29(2–3), 371–389.Google Scholar
  25. Evans, I. M., Harvey, S. T., Buckley, L., & Yan, E. (2009). Differentiating classroom climate concepts: Academic, management, and emotional environments. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 131–146.Google Scholar
  26. Fessler, D. M. T., & Holbrook, C. (2016). Synchronized behavior increases assessments of the formidability and cohesion of coalitions. Evolution & Human Behavior, 37(6), 502–509.Google Scholar
  27. Gaertner, L., Iuzzini, J., Witt, M. G., & Oriã, A. M. M. (2006). Us without them: Evidence for an intragroup origin of positive in-group regard. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(3), 426–439.Google Scholar
  28. Gaertner, L., & Schopler, J. (1998). Perceived ingroup entitativity and intergroup bias: An interconnection of self and others. European Journal of Social Psychology, 28(6), 963–980.Google Scholar
  29. Gramzow, R. H., & Gaertner, L. (2005). Self-esteem and favoritism toward novel in-groups: The self as an evaluative base. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(5), 801–815.Google Scholar
  30. Grob, A., Wearing, A. J., Little, T. D., & Wanner, B. (1996). Adolescents’ well-being and perceived control across 14 sociocultural contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(4), 785–795.Google Scholar
  31. Harris, G. E., & Cameron, J. E. (2005). Multiple dimensions of organizational identification and commitment as predictors of turnover intentions and psychological well-being. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 37, 159–169.Google Scholar
  32. Helliwell, J. F., & Huang, H. (2011). Well-being and trust in the workplace. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(5), 747–767.Google Scholar
  33. Hershberger, S. L. (2003). The growth of structural equation modeling: 1994–2001. Structural Equation Modeling, 10(1), 35–46.Google Scholar
  34. Hogg, M. A., Sherman, D. K., Dierselhuis, J., Maitner, A. T., & Moffitt, G. (2007). Uncertainty, entitativity, and group identification. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 135–142.Google Scholar
  35. Hornsey, M. J., & Hogg, M. A. (2000). Subgroup relations: A comparison of mutual intergroup differentiation and common ingroup identity models of prejudice reduction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(2), 242–256.Google Scholar
  36. Hu, L-t, & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55.Google Scholar
  37. Ip, G. W., Chiu, C., & Wan, C. (2006). Birds of a feather and birds flocking together: Physical versus behavioral cues may lead to trait versus goal-based group perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 368–381.Google Scholar
  38. Irwin, K., Mulder, L., & Simpson, B. (2014). The detrimental effects of sanctions on intragroup trust. Social Psychology Quarterly, 77(3), 253–272.Google Scholar
  39. Jaworska, N., & MacQueen, G. (2015). Adolescence as a unique developmental period. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 40(5), 291–293.Google Scholar
  40. Jones, J. T., Pelham, B. W., Carvallo, M., & Mirenberg, M. C. (2004). How do I love thee? Let me count the Js: Implicit egotism and interpersonal attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 665–683.Google Scholar
  41. Kramer, R. M. (1991). Intergroup relations and organizational dilemmas: The role of categorization processes. Research in Organizational Behavior, 13, 191–228.Google Scholar
  42. Lakens, D., & Stel, M. (2011). If they move in sync, they must feel in sync: Movement synchrony leads to attributions of rapport and entitativity. Social Cognition, 29(1), 1–14.Google Scholar
  43. Launay, J., Dean, R. T., & Bailes, F. (2013). Synchronization can influence trust following virtual interaction. Experimental Psychology, 60(1), 53–63.Google Scholar
  44. Layous, K., Nelson, S. K., Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). Kindness counts: Prompting prosocial behavior in preadolescents boosts peer acceptance and well-being. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e51380.Google Scholar
  45. Li, M., Fan, W., Cheung, F., & Wang, Q. (2018). Could meaning in life contribute to adolescents’ vocational commitment and identity? A longitudinal analysis in different Chinese cultures. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 12, e36.Google Scholar
  46. Little, T., Cunningham, W., Shahar, G., & Widaman, K. (2002). To parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighing the merits. Structural Equation Modeling, 9(2), 151–173.Google Scholar
  47. Maxwell, S. E., & Cole, D. A. (2007). Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12(1), 23–44.Google Scholar
  48. McNeely, C., & Falci, C. (2004). School connectedness and the transition into and out of health-risk behavior among adolescents: A comparison of social belonging and teacher support. Journal of School Health, 74(7), 284–292.Google Scholar
  49. Michael, J., Sebanz, N., & Knoblich, G. (2016). Observing joint action: Coordination creates commitment. Cognition, 157, 106–113.Google Scholar
  50. Mikulincer, M. (1998). Attachment working models and the sense of trust: An exploration of interaction goals and affect regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(74), 1209–1224.Google Scholar
  51. Montoya, R. M., Horton, R. S., & Kirchner, J. (2008). Is actual similarity necessary for attraction? A meta-analysis of actual and perceived similarity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25, 889–922.Google Scholar
  52. National Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Tabulation of the 2010 population census of the People’s Republic of China. Retrieved from http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/pcsj/rkpc/6rp/indexch.htm.
  53. Newman, B. M., Lohman, B. J., & Newman, P. R. (2007). Peer group membership and a sense of belonging: Their relationship to adolescent behavior problems. Adolescence, 42(166), 241–263.Google Scholar
  54. Nisbet, E. K., Zelenski, J. M., & Murphy, S. A. (2011). Happiness is in our nature: Exploring nature relatedness as a contributor to subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12(2), 303–322.Google Scholar
  55. Östberg, V. (2003). Children in classrooms: Peer status, status distribution and mental well-being. Social Science and Medicine, 56(1), 17–29.Google Scholar
  56. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (2013). Happiness experienced: The science of subjective well-being. In I. Boniwell, S. A. David, & A. C. Ayers (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of happiness (pp. 134–151). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Raja, S. N., McGee, R., & Stanton, W. R. (1992). Perceived attachments to parents and peers and psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 21(4), 471–485.Google Scholar
  58. Rempel, J. K., & Holmes, J. G. (1986). How do I trust thee? Psychology Today, 20(2), 28–34.Google Scholar
  59. Rempel, J., Holmes, J., & Zanna, M. (1985). Trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(1), 95–112.Google Scholar
  60. Rigby, K., & Slee, P. T. (1993). Dimensions of interpersonal relation among Australian children and implications for psychological well-being. The Journal of Social Psychology, 133(1), 33–42.Google Scholar
  61. Rotter, J. B. (1967). A new scale for the measurement of interpersonal trust. Journal of Personality, 35(4), 651–665.Google Scholar
  62. Rutchick, A. M., Hamilton, D. L., & Sack, J. D. (2008). Antecedents of entitativity in categorically and dynamically construed groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(6), 905–921.Google Scholar
  63. Sacchi, S., & Castano, E. (2002). Entitative is beautiful: The importance of perceiving the ingroup as a real entity. In Paper presented at the general meeting of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, San Sebastian, Spain.Google Scholar
  64. Sacchi, S., Castano, E., & Brauer, M. (2009). Perceiving one’s nation: Entitativity, agency and security in the international arena. International Journal of Psychology, 44(5), 321–332.Google Scholar
  65. Sarason, S. B. (1997). Foreword. In R. Weissberg, T. P. Gullotta, R. L. Hampton, B. A. Ryan, & G. R. Adams (Eds.), Enhancing children’s wellness (Vol. 8, pp. 9–11). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  66. Sarkova, M., Bacikova-Sleskova, M., Madarasova Geckova, A., Katreniakova, Z., van den Heuvel, W., & van Dijk, J. P. (2014). Adolescents’ psychological well-being and self-esteem in the context of relationships at school. Educational Research, 56(4), 367–378.Google Scholar
  67. Schellenberg, E. G., Corrigall, K. A., Dys, S. P., & Malti, T. (2015). Group music training and children’s prosocial skills. PLoS ONE, 10(10), e0141449.Google Scholar
  68. Schwarzer, R., & Jerusalem, M. (1995). Generalized self-efficacy scale. In J. Weinman, S. Wright, & M. Johnston (Eds.), Measures in health psychology: A user’s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs (pp. 25–37). Windsor: NFER-NELSON.Google Scholar
  69. Sedikides, C., & Brewer, M. B. (2001). Individual self, relational self, and collective self. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  70. Sedikides, C., Gaertner, L., & O’Mara, E. M. (2011). Individual self, relational self, collective self: Hierarchical ordering of the tripartite self. Psychological Studies, 56(1), 98–107.Google Scholar
  71. Sherman, S. J., Hamilton, D. L., & Lewis, A. C. (1999). Perceived entitativity and the social identity value of group memberships. In D. Abrams & M. A. Hogg (Eds.), Social identity and social cognition (pp. 80–110). Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  72. Shrout, P. E. (2011). Commentary: Mediation analysis, causal process, and cross-sectional data. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 46(5), 852–860.Google Scholar
  73. Statista. (2017). Annual per capita income of households in China 1990–2017. How well-off is China’s middle class? China Power. Available from https://www.statista.com/statistics/278698/annual-per-capita-income-of-households-in-china/.
  74. Steiger, J. H. (1990). Structural model evaluation and modification: An interval estimation approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 25(2), 173–180.Google Scholar
  75. Stewart, N. A. J., & Lonsdale, A. J. (2016). It’s better together: The psychological benefits of singing in a choir. Psychology of Music, 44(6), 1240–1254.Google Scholar
  76. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In S. Worchel (Ed.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33–47). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  77. Tanis, M., & Postmes, T. (2005). A social identity approach to trust: Interpersonal perception, group membership and trusting behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35(3), 413–424.Google Scholar
  78. Van Ryzin, M. J., Gravely, A. A., & Roseth, C. J. (2009). Autonomy, belongingness, and engagement in school as contributors to adolescent psychological well-being. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  79. Wang, C. K., Hu, Z. F., & Liu, Y. (2001). Evidences for reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the General Self-efficacy Scale. Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology, 7(1), 37–40.Google Scholar
  80. Williams, M. (2001). In whom we trust: Group membership as an affective context for trust development. Academy of Management Review, 26(3), 377–396.Google Scholar
  81. Winer, E. S., Cervone, D., Bryant, J., McKinney, C., Liu, R. T., & Nadorff, M. R. (2016). Distinguishing mediational models and analyses in clinical psychology: Atemporal associations do not imply causation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72(9), 947–955.Google Scholar
  82. Yzerbyt, V. Y., Castano, E., Leyens, J. P., & Paladino, M. P. (2000). The primacy of the ingroup: The interplay of entitativity and identification. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (Vol. 11, pp. 257–295). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  83. Zhang, J., & Schwarzer, R. (1995). Measuring optimistic self-beliefs: A Chinese adaptation of the General Sell-efficacy Scale. Psychologia, 38, 174–181.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.The Seventh Middle School of Qinhuangdao CityQinhuangdaoChina

Personalised recommendations