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Public PhD Defense of Carla Branco

Carla Branco, a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program in Psychology, will defend the thesis titled "An intergroup and multilevel approach to disabled people's health and well-being". The public defense is scheduled for November 3 at 14:30 at the room B1.02 of Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon. You can attend via Zoom through the link:


This thesis analyses the impact of societal and group factors on the health and well-being of disabled people, considering two approaches to health: a social psychological approach to health (group level; based on the social identity approach and intergroup contact theory) and the approach of the social determinants of health (societal/macro level; based on social equality). For this purpose, I conducted four studies. At the group level, a cross-sectional study (European Social Survey - ESS; n = 18 660; 32 countries; 7 waves) showed that ‘ableism’ was more negatively associated with health and well-being than were other types of group-based discrimination, between and within subjects. Additionally, a 7-day diary study (n = 83; observations = 400), and a 3-year longitudinal study (n = 87; 3 waves), showed that positive intergroup contact attenuated the adverse effects of negative intergroup contact on well-being and ingroup affect, and, in turn, facilitated ingroup ties among disabled people. At the societal level, a cross-sectional study (ESS; n = 18,924; 31 countries; 7 waves) showed that social equality was only positively associated with the health and well-being of disabled people when legislation on personal assistance was present. The equality-health relationship was explained by greater public participation, satisfaction with democracy and the economy, and more positive opinions about health services. These findings are discussed through the integration of the two approaches used. This thesis contributes to empirical and theoretical debates in the distinct fields of social psychology, social psychology of disability, and disability studies.



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