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Social identification and post-traumatic stress symptoms in post-conflict Northern Ireland

  • Orla T. Muldoon (a1) and Ciara Downes (a1)

Abstract

Background

Understanding of the psychological impact of politically motivated violence is poor.

Aims

To examine the prevalence of post-traumatic symptoms subsequent to the ‘troubles' in Northern Ireland.

Method

A telephone survey of 3000 adults, representative of the population in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Irish Republic, examined exposure to political violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and national identity.

Results

Ten per cent of respondents had symptoms suggestive of clinical PTSD. These people were most likely to come from low-income groups, rate national identity as relatively unimportant and have higher overall experience of the ‘troubles' than other respondents.

Conclusions

Direct experience of violence and poverty increase the risk of PTSD, whereas strong national identification appears to reduce this risk.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Orla Muldoon, Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Email: orla.muldoon@ul.ie

Footnotes

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The correspondence that accompanied this paper's progress through peer-review is available as a supplement to the online version of this paper.

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

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Social identification and post-traumatic stress symptoms in post-conflict Northern Ireland

  • Orla T. Muldoon (a1) and Ciara Downes (a1)

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Social identification and post-traumatic stress symptoms in post-conflict Northern Ireland

  • Orla T. Muldoon (a1) and Ciara Downes (a1)
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