Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Belongingness among Different Age Groups

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Belongingness among Different Age Groups

Article excerpt

India is the country of diversity in culture. It is very important to understand the concept of belongingness need in Indian context. Actually it is very right to say India the country of relations and belonging. India has a culture of joined family. This form of family includes a number of members of approximately three generations. This culture has its roots in belongingness. Without a sense of belongingness it would be very difficult to survive in a joined family. Although this culture is getting out of fashion in India also like foreign countries yet we can notice this type of families in Indian villages. In joined families every person is mentally as well as spiritually connected to all family members. It provides a sense of being loved and cared by other family members. All of them are aware of each other's need, success and failure. They share each other's grief and happiness. This; undoubtedly helps enriched them with a higher self-esteem and wellbeing. It has been proved by the studies that a better sense of belongingness provides a better sense of subjective well-being. A strong sense of belonging to a group is a key element for the harmony of a country.

Sense of belonging to one's local community is a measure of the degree of connection that individuals have built up within their neighborhood or community. This may be achieved through membership in local organizations or through helping others out when needed. A survey was done by CCHS among the various health service delivery areas. The result showed stronger sense of belonging among teens or youth ( 12- to 19-year-olds) and seniors (65 and over) when compared to the middle age cohort (20 to64 years). This difference was significant statistically. Fraser East teens had a higher sense of belonging to their community than other teens around the province, and this sense of belonging was also statistically significantly higher than the 20 to 64 age group in their region. Kootenay Boundary seniors had a significantly greater sense of belonging to their community than other seniors in the province.

Newman, Lehman, and Newman (2007) found that adolescent girls have been found to value group membership more and are more identified with their peer groups than boys. Adolescent girls tend to have a higher number of friends than boys. They expect and desire more nurturing behavior from their friends. Girls experience more self-disclosure, more empathy, and less overt hostility compared to boys. It has been found that girls use ruminative coping which involves perseverating on the negative feelings and the unpleasant situations associated with problems. Boys on the other hand, tend to be less intimate and have more activity based friendships. Boys do not benefit as much as girls from feelings of belonging that are a product of enduring and close friendships. They are less vulnerable to the emotional distress that is likely to accompany high levels of co-rumination and disclosure.

There is no clear indication about the pattern of belongings among various groups of people. Some results show that adolescent girls show more belongingness in comparison to adolescent boys. They are more caring and self-reveling than boys.

A survey by Employment and social development Canada was done in 2003 to point out the sense of belongingness among the Canadians. The results showed that, 88% of Canadians expressed a 'somewhat or very strong' sense of belonging to Canada, followed by 81% having this sense of belonging to their province, and 70% reporting this sense of belonging to their community.

Men and women reported similar levels of belonging. In 2003, a slightly higher percentage of women than men (2 to 3 percentage points more) expressed a 'somewhat or very strong' sense of belonging to Canada, their province, and their community.

For all age groups in 2003, the sense of belonging to Canada was highest, followed by province, and community. However, the sense of belonging increased with age. …

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