A rejection-identification model of religious segregation and well-being in Northern Ireland

Kareena McAloney, Maurice Stringer, John Mallett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background: Research in America has suggested that racial segregation plays an important role in the psychological well-being of minority individuals. In Northern Ireland segregation pervades almost every aspect of life, including residence, schooling and employment. Attendance at university is often the first opportunity to interact with individuals from the ‘other’ religious group on a relatively sustained and voluntary basis in both residential and educational settings.

Aims: This study reports an application of a model of racial minority well-being to both minority and majority religious group members in Northern Ireland, prior to and after inter-group contact.

Method: 102 first year undergraduate students completed measures of residential segregation, identification, rejection and well-being at two points in time during a period of educational and residential transition. Participants were engaged on entry to their first year of university education and again at the end of their first academic year of study.

Results: The rejection-identification model of racial segregation and minority well-being proposes that the well-being of minority individuals is influenced indirectly by residential segregation via in- and out-group rejection and identification. The model of religious segregation and well-being proposed in this study had an acceptable fit at both time 1 and time 2, and supported the relationship between in-group rejection and identification with well-being and esteem.

Conclusions: The rejection-identification model of religious segregation and well-being in Northern Ireland was partially supported. Implications and directions for further research will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the NIBPS 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • religious segregation
  • Northern Ireland
  • rejection-identification model

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