Why do we need to belong (to Affiliate With?)
The need to belong is the concept of psychology influencing the specifics of human development. Social psychology defines the need to belong as the fundamental need of the individual that develops with the personal development. The need to belong is outlined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Erikson’s developmental theory. The need to belong (to affiliate with) can first be seen with the child’s identification in the world as it is possible to assume that child’s using the possessive case referring to parents are the first signs of the feeling of belongingness.
The need to belong fully develops on the fifth psychological stage defined by Erikson when the individual develops the sense of self and constructs its social identity. Begen and Turner-Cobb (2011) view the need to belong in terms of social psychology, examining the relation between social belonging and physical health and mood. The research to prove the hypothesis about the dependence of physical health on the social belonging and self-esteem was based on the quantitative methods. The sample encompasses 159 adolescents aged 11 to 14 years. The data derived from the filled in questionnaires was analyzed through hierarchical regression and mediation analyses. The study proves that the more the participants feel the belongingness, the better they feel and have overall higher level of positive mood. Baumeister and Leary (1995) seek to prove the correlation between the need to belong and personal motivation.
To prove the hypothesis Baumeister and Leary turn to and critically evaluate the empirical literature devoted to the need to belong. The article states that the lack of belongingness has negative effects on individual’s personal emotional and physical health, and also affect the cognitive processes. They point out the importance of the social bonds for people’s emotional health, which makes the individuals substitute and satiate the social connection. It is possible to assume that the need to belong can be referred to one’s identification in the society and social development of the personality.Human’s need to belong can be investigated in reference to the developmental theories.
Erikson’s developmental theory considers the need to belong to be especially sufficient at the fifth stage of child’s development that happens during the adolescence period. During the period of adolescence, children preserve the attachment to their parents but start looking for the other directions of building the social identity through the establishment of affiliation with other social groups. Sutherland et al. suggest that children looking for their place in the society start to change their behavioral model. It is represented in the role-playing and experimentation, which mostly resembles the social attitudes and behavior of adults (Sutherland& Arbuthnot, 1977). Therefore, from the perspective of Erikson’s developmental theory people need to belong in order to gain and form their identity, develop the sense of self, and learn to behave according to social standards and expectations.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need to belong …