Happy but unhealthy: The relationship between social ties and health in an emerging network

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Jennifer L. Howell
  • Namkje Koudenburg
  • David D. Loschelder
  • Dale Weston
  • Katrien Fransen
  • Stefano De Dominicis
  • S. Gallagher
  • S. Alexander Haslam

Social connections are essential to health and well-being. However, when pursing social acceptance, people may sometimes engage in behavior that is detrimental to their health. Using a multi-time-point design, we examined whether the structure of an emerging network of students in an academic summer school program correlated with their physical health and mental well-being. Participants who were more central in the network typically experienced greater symptoms of illness (e.g., cold/flu symptoms), engaged in riskier health behaviors (e.g., binge drinking), and had higher physiological reactivity to a stressor. At the same time, they were happier, felt more efficacious, and perceived less stress in response to a strenuous math task. These outcomes suggest that social ties in an emerging network are associated with better mental well-being, but also with poorer physical health and health behaviors.

ZeitschriftEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Seiten (von - bis)612-621
Anzahl der Seiten10
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.10.2014
Extern publiziertJa