General Belongingness, Workplace Belongingness, and Depressive Symptoms


Correspondence to: Wendell David Cockshaw, Queensland University of Technology, School of Psychology and Counselling, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia.



Research has shown that a strong relationship exists between belongingness and depressive symptoms; however, the contribution of specific types of belongingness remains unknown. Participants (N=369) completed the sense of belonging instrument, psychological sense of organizational membership, and the depression scale of the depression anxiety stress scales. Factor analysis demonstrated that workplace and general belongingness are distinct constructs. When regressed onto depressive symptoms, these belongingness types made independent contributions, together accounting for 45% of variance, with no moderation effects evident. Hence, general belongingness and specific workplace belongingness appear to have strong additive links to depressive symptoms. These results add support to the belongingness hypothesis and sociometer theory and have significant implication for depression prevention and treatment. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.