Happy but unhealthy: The relationship between social ties and health in an emerging network
Article first published online: 16 MAY 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 44, Issue 6, pages 612–621, October 2014
How to Cite
2014), Happy but unhealthy: The relationship between social ties and health in an emerging network, European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, pages 612–621, doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2030, , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2014
- Article first published online: 16 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 APR 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 2 APR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 17 NOV 2013
- United States National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Grant Number: DGE-0802270
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. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.