Measurement of Shared Social Identity in Singing Groups for People With Aphasia

Mark Tarrant, Ruth A. Lamont, Mary Carter, Sarah G. Dean, Sophie Spicer, Amy Sanders, Raff Calitri

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2 Citations (SciVal)


Community groups are commonly used as a mode of delivery of interventions for promoting health and well-being. Research has demonstrated that developing a sense of shared social identity with other group members is a key mechanism through which the health benefits of group membership are realized. However, there is little understanding of how shared social identity emerges within these therapeutic settings. Understanding the emergence of shared social identity may help researchers optimize interventions and improve health outcomes. Group-based singing activities encourage coordination and a shared experience, and are a potential platform for the development of shared social identity. We use the “Singing for People with Aphasia” (SPA) group intervention to explore whether group cohesiveness, as a behavioral proxy for shared social identity, can be observed and tracked across the intervention. Video recordings of group sessions from three separate programmes were rated according to the degree of cohesiveness exhibited by the group. For all treatment groups, the final group session evidenced reliably higher levels of cohesiveness than the first session (t values ranged from 4.27 to 7.07; all p values < 0.003). As well as providing confidence in the design and fidelity of this group-based singing intervention in terms of its capacity to build shared social identity, this evaluation highlighted the value of observational methods for the analysis of shared social identity in the context of group-based singing interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number669899
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Plymouth Music Zone (PMZ) is an outreach charity that works in partnership with health, community and social care organizations to provide tailored, participatory music services to vulnerable or marginalized groups of all ages across Plymouth. It also enables Music Leaders to work in a diverse range of settings and shares its learning around developing inclusive practice and leadership across the South West of England and further afield. PMZ supported the development and delivery of the SPA intervention. We are grateful to PMZ, and their Creativity and Learning Director Anna Batson in particular, for the support with the SPA project. Funding. The trial is funded by the Stroke Association (QQ12/TSA 2016/14). Excess treatment costs have been covered by South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, North East and West Devon Clinical Commissioning group, and the University of Exeter Medical School. This report is independent research supported by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.


  • aphasia
  • cohesiveness
  • groups
  • health
  • process evaluation
  • singing
  • social identity
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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