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Title: An examination of ethnic identity and psychological well-being in a group of recent Irish immigrants to Britain
Author: Clarke, Grania E. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 058X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 1995
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available