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Wellbeing Begins with “We”

The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Interventions that Increase Social Closeness

Volume 6. Interventions and Policies to Enhance Wellbeing

Part 1. Individual and Group Interventions across the Life Course

  1. Bethany E. Kok,
  2. Barbara L. Fredrickson

Published Online: 17 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118539415.wbwell042



How to Cite

Kok, B. E. and Fredrickson, B. L. 2013. Wellbeing Begins with “We”. Wellbeing. 6:1:7:1–29.

Author Information

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U.S.A.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2013


Social closeness is a critical component of wellbeing, both mental and physical. Socially connected people appear to live longer, happier, and healthier lives, to have stronger and more resilient immune systems, and to be less prone to developing various mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. Much attention has been directed to interventions that foster social closeness in vulnerable groups such as elderly persons, mentally ill people, at-risk youths, and those who report often feeling lonely. Less work has been done to develop social closeness interventions for non-lonely individuals. In this chapter, we briefly review the literature linking social closeness and wellbeing, describe and compare the benefits to wellbeing of interventions that increase social closeness for lonely and non-lonely individuals, and explore the role of individual differences and electronically mediated communication in modifying the effectiveness of social closeness interventions.