Success Story

Our success story in Chapter 1 is Colonel Dame Kelly Holmes, MBE (mil). You can find out more about Dame Kelly on:

Characters and organisations featured in the chapter

John F. Kennedy:

Peanut App:

Friender App:


Studies discussed

Wharton Business School fundraising team: Grant, A. M., Campbell, E. M., Chen, G., Cottone, K., Lapedis, D., & Lee, K. (2007). Impact and the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on persistence behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes103(1), 53-67.

A 10,000 person company saving £42m each year through a sense of belonging: Study

Children’s love of reading impacting by engagement with teachers: Science Direct

189 studies of children finding a positive relationship between how teachers related to their class and the students’ own engagement and achievement: Roorda, D. L., Jak, S., Zee, M., Oort, F. J., & Koomen, H. M. (2017). Affective teacher–student relationships and students’ engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic update and test of the mediating role of engagement. School Psychology Review46(3), 239-261.

Child relating to their teacher: 11th most important out of 138 factors: Hattie, J. (2009) Visible learning : a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London ;: Routledge.

36 per cent of UK householders being renters:

Over 90 per cent of our communication being non-verbal: Mehrabian, A. and Wiener, M., 1967. Decoding of inconsistent communications. Journal of personality and social psychology6(1), p.109. or Mehrabian, A., & Ferris, S. R. (1967). Inference of attitudes from nonverbal communication in two channels. Journal of consulting psychology31(3), 248.

Meta-analysis of seventy studies looking at social isolation, loneliness and risk of mortality: Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review. Perspectives on psychological science10(2), 227-237.

Health risk of loneliness equivalent of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day: Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: a meta-analytic review. PLoS medicine7(7), e1000316.

Social exclusion hurts physically as well as mentally: Way, B. M., Taylor, S. E., & Eisenberger, N. I. (2009). Variation in the μ-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) is associated with dispositional and neural sensitivity to social rejection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences106(35), 15079-15084.

Suicide rates highest in those with reduced sense of belonging: Rothberg, J. M., & Jones, F. D. (1987). Suicide in the US Army: Epidemiological and periodic aspects. Suicide and Life‐Threatening Behavior17(2), 119-132.

£32bn cost of disconnected communities: Study

31 per cent of us find it difficult to make friends: Survey

More of us than ever before feeling lonely: Buecker, S., Mund, M., Chwastek, S., Sostmann, M., & Luhmann, M. (2021). Is loneliness in emerging adults increasing over time? A preregistered cross-temporal meta-analysis and systematic review. Psychological bulletin147(8), 787.

Cigna’s Loneliness study:  Study

Hereditary element to the way we process social interactions: Uni of Chicago study

ThinkImpact report on 30 per cent of those who start at American universities dropping out: Report

20% of those in some UK universities dropping out: Non-continuation: UK Performance Indicators | HESA

We can only maintain 150 social relationships: Dunbar, R. (2011). How many” friends” can you really have?. Ieee Spectrum48(6), 81-83.