The Relation Between Gender Identity and Well-Being

Hila Zitelny*, Tzipi Dror, Shahar Altman, Yoav Bar-Anan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Does strong gender identity help or harm one’s well-being? Previous research suggests that acceptance of one’s social group and feelings of belongingness to the group are positively related to well-being, regardless of the group’s social status. However, there are inconsistent findings about the relation between well-being and how central the group is to one’s identity (centrality), especially among disadvantaged groups (e.g., women). In Studies 1 to 10 (total N = 5,955), we clarified these relations by controlling for shared variance between distinct gender identity aspects. Acceptance and belongingness were positively related to a range of well-being variables. Centrality was negatively related to well-being. These results were consistent across genders. Studies 11 to 14 (total N = 2,380) found that the negative relation between gender centrality and well-being might be mediated by perceived pressure to conform to the masculine role among men and perceived gender inequality among women. These results uncover a burden of strong gender identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-515
Number of pages21
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • gender identity
  • multifaceted social identity
  • social identity
  • well-being


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