Effects of group singing on well-being: empirical findings and methodological considerations

Bento, R. (2013) Effects of group singing on well-being: empirical findings and methodological considerations. Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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The work in this thesis explores the relationship between singing and well-being. In
particular, I focus on investigating the potential for group singing to promote feelings of
hedonic, eudaimonic and social well-being. The theoretical evidence suggests that such is
possible because music activities are structured to engage mind and body in overcoming
a challenge, generating feelings of achievement and pleasure in the process. However, the
empirical evidence on such effects is less conclusive, reflecting the novelty of the field. I
start by developing a model capable of generating hypotheses and framing the empirical
work on the relationship between group singing and well-being. In this model, I integrate a
conceptualization of well-being as a multidimensional concept with a conceptualization of
group singing as a challenging multifaceted activity. The model suggests that well-being
is promoted by group singing through the effects this activity has on its psychological,
bodily and social correlates. However, the model also accounts for possible moderating
effects of situational factors and individual differences. My empirical work focus first on
clarifying that group singing involves the types of experiences that can generate feelings of
hedonic, eudaimonic and social well-being. I then show that singing in a group relates to
long-term measures of well-being, particularly social and eudaimonic. In the short-term,
group singing is also consistently related to correlates of well-being. It is shown to increase
positive affect, decrease negative affect, increase feelings of achievement and connection
to others. Situational factors such as the social context in which the singing occurs are
shown to have a moderating effect on endocrine effects of group singing. However, gender
differences do not emerge. I also show that group singing can have effects over and above
those of a similar, though non-musical, group activity. Overall, the evidence suggests a
meaningful relationship between group singing and well-being.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion > BF0515 Well-being
M Music and Books on Music > M Music > M1495 Vocal music
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 10:11
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 02:49
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12453

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00