Happy Women's Day

Social support is important for maintaining good mental health and well-being. Research shows that individuals with high levels of social support have better mental and physical health outcomes and are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and stress.

A new study has found that celebrations that highlight achievements can increase the perception of social support.

Actively acknowledging positive life events and achievements while gathering for food and drink can increase feelings of social support, new research shows.

The study, published in Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, found that celebrations that involve social gathering, eating or drinking, and intentional recognition of a positive life event can increase perceived social support. Previous research has shown that social support, or the belief that a person has a network of people who care about them, is associated with improved health and well-being outcomes, such as increased life expectancy and reduced stress. and depression.

“A lot of celebrations this year involve two of the three things – eating and drinking when you get together,” said assistant professor Kelly Guo-White. Indiana University Kelly School of Business and co-author of the study. “Adding the third factor, making a deliberate effort to recognize the positive achievements of others, is key. For example, take the time to congratulate someone on being accepted to their first choice university, or on a work project that went well or a new job opportunity. This maximizes the benefits for your safety and the safety of everyone in attendance at the holiday party.

Witt and her colleagues, including professors Danielle Brick University of Connecticutand James Bettman, Tanya Chartrand and Gavan Fitzsimons of Duke UniversityHe used behavioral experiments to survey thousands of participants over many years.

Research shows that even if meetings are virtual, if everyone has food and drink (whether it’s healthy or fun) and celebrates positive events, this will increase a person’s social support, and they can achieve the same good: benefit.

It also has implications for marketing managers or anyone looking to raise money for a good cause.

“We’ve found that when people feel socially supported after the holiday, they’re more ‘pro-social’ and willing to volunteer or donate their time to a cause,” said Danielle Brick, a marketing professor at the University of Connecticut. and co-author on the study. “This is a good time for nonprofits to market donation campaigns, as many people are celebrating positive life events like holidays or graduations.”

The researchers found that hosting events that increase social support, such as nursing homes or community centers, can be particularly beneficial in serving populations in vulnerable settings of loneliness and isolation.

Policymakers looking to implement policies or measures that may affect social gatherings, such as the Covid lockdown, will note the importance of understanding the benefits of social gatherings to avoid negative consequences for mental health. The organizers recommend that if you want to have virtual celebrations, you can mark some kind of consumption and a different and positive life event, so people leave the celebration feeling socially supported.

Reference: “Celebrate the Good Times: How Celebrations Increase Social Support” by Daniel J. Brick, Kelley Gullo Wight, James R. Bettman, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons, 1 December 2022; Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.
doi: 10.1177/07439156221145696

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