An Examination of ethnic identity and psychological well-being in a group of recent Irish immigrants to Britain

Prof Doc Thesis

Clarke, Grania E. M. 1995. An Examination of ethnic identity and psychological well-being in a group of recent Irish immigrants to Britain. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsClarke, Grania E. M.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Irish immigrants constitute a significant numerical minority in Britain, almost
one million in total they make up more than 10% of the general population in
some London areas (Irish Trade board 1993). There has been little research
into the concept of ethnic identity amongst Irish immigrants despite their
recognition as a distinct ethnic group (Race Relations Act 1976) and the
acknowledgement of the considerable disadvantage and discrimination
experienced by many. In addition while research (e.g. Cochrane 1977,
Cochrane & Stopes Roe 1978, Cochrane & Bal 1989) has demonstrated that
the rates psychiatric admission are particularly high for Irish immigrants, there
is a dearth of literature concerning possible explanations for these findings and
moreover few studies have focused on the experience of Irish immigrants living
in Britain.
In this study the literature on ethnic minority identity was considered a useful
framework for understanding the position of Irish immigrants in Britain and is
reviewed in the introduction. The study itself utilises a repertory grid
procedure with a group of "post 1984" Irish immigrants (Hazelcorn 1990)
aimed at eliciting constructs concerning ethnic identity and psychological wellbeing.
Grids were analysed both quantitatively (factor analysis) and
qualitatively (thematic analysis). Results indicate that this group of Irish
immigrants have successfully adjusted to their new culture while maintaining a
strong sense of Irishness related to a positive stereotype based on the Irish in
Ireland. In addition this study shows that contrary to much previous research,
this group of Irish immigrants could be characterised as having positive
psychological health. Difference between this group and groups of Irish
immigrants studied in previous research are highlighted and implications for
further research are discussed.

Publication dates
PrintMay 1995
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jun 2014
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