Group reminiscence, memory, and well-being: A social identity framework
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Objective: Previous research into reminiscence as a psychosocial intervention in dementia has shown an improvement in cognition performance in the context of improving well-being. Social Identity Theory (SIT) offers a novel theoretical perspective in arguing that the improvements in well-being arise from increased identification formed by sharing memories from the personal past with others. Method: In the present study, 59 participants with cognitive impairment and dementia were recruited from residential homes; 34 took part in group reminiscence and 25 took part in individual reminiscence. The intervention took place over a six week period, with cognitive screening, mood, well-being, and social identity measures administered before and after the intervention. Key findings: Results showed an improvement in memory performance for those in group reminiscence only. Analysis showed that there was little difference between group and individual reminiscence on measures of mood, quality of life, and social identity. Conclusions: The results add to the literature on reminiscence therapy with older people with and without dementia, including improved understanding of the impact upon memory in the absence of changes in well-being. The findings are discussed in relation to improved interventions and implications for future research. Key words: older people, dementia, depression, quality of life, reminiscence therapy, psychosocial interventions.
Economic and Research Council
Doctorate of Clinical and Community Psychology