From segregation to integration: implications for well-being

Kareena McAloney, Maurice Stringer, John Mallett

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: Segregation pervades almost every aspect of life in Northern Ireland, including residential environment, schooling and social activities. Research exists to support both the benefits of integration, and of segregation to individual well-being. For those individuals who choose to attend university both environments may be experienced, as often attendance at university presents the first opportunity to interact with individuals from the ‘other’ religious group on a relatively continuous and voluntary basis. This study aims to examine the implications of moving from residential environments characterized by segregation to a more integrated university environment.

Aims: To examine the implications of exposure to a multi-cultural/integrated environment for well-being of individuals from a segregated culture

Method: 102 first-year undergraduate students completed measures of segregation, discrimination and well-being at the beginning of the academic year, and again at the end of the academic year.

Results: Results indicated several areas of social capital, collective self-esteem, out-group rejection and identification were significantly lower at time 2 than time 1, but levels of perceived discrimination were higher. Poorer levels of mental health were also reported at time 2, for Catholics and students residing in student accommodation during the academic year, but not for Protestants or individuals residing in their home environment during the academic year.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • segregation
  • integration
  • well-being
  • Northern Ireland
  • education
  • students


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