Copyright

Sense of Belonging: Definition & Theory

Sense of Belonging: Definition & Theory
Coming up next: Sense Of Self in Psychology: Definition & Development

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Is a Sense of Belonging?
  • 0:47 Importance
  • 2:18 Building a Sense of Belonging
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Quentin Shires

Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.

Learn about what a sense of belonging is and how it cultivates positive feelings and outcomes in our lives. Also learn how to build a sense of belonging through the use of support systems, then take a quiz to test yourself on the topics covered.

What Is a Sense of Belonging?

Think of a time in your life when you have felt lonely, sad, depressed, and disconnected from people. For many, these experiences are pivotal in human growth and development. For others, they cause repeated and severe depression and anxiety, while creating a lack of direction in their lives.

A sense of belonging decreases your chances of experiencing loneliness and depression.
loneliness

From a psychological perspective, a sense of belonging is a basic human need, with many psychologists discussing this need as being at the level of importance of that as food, water, and shelter. A sense of belonging can be so powerful that it can create both value in life and the ability to learn healthy coping skills when experiencing intensive and painful emotions.

The Importance of a Sense of Belonging

The importance of a sense of belonging can be traced back to infancy, where researchers have studied skin-to-skin contact between babies and their parents. What researchers have found is that when this is combined with a strong emotional engagement, a baby's developmental growth and its recognition of self increases significantly.

Throughout the rest of our developmental years and life cycle, a sense of belonging also has a positive impact on many other areas of our lives. Intellectual levels, social skills, mental health, physical health, and motivation are just some of the many areas of our lives that are improved when we live with a sense of belonging.

According to research, an individual's well-being can be jeopardized by only one instance of exclusion from a group. Interestingly, exclusion has also been shown to have a negative impact on an individual's performance during IQ testing. Does this mean that we should never experience uncomfortable emotions such as loneliness, sadness, or depression? Of course not. Throughout our lifetime we are likely to feel these emotions at some point. Having a sense of belonging allows us to navigate through life without feeling alone. Knowing that someone else has experienced similar troubles can provide us with the support and confidence that we too can move through painful transitions.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support