Self & Identity

Self & Identity

Research looking at self and identity with clear real-world application in an international context.

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Self & Identity Research Cluster 

We live in an ever-changing social world which constantly calls forth changes to our identities, group memberships and society. Novel technologies, economic developments and political violence are just some examples of social phenomena and events that can, in one way or another, shape how we see ourselves and how we relate to others. The mission of the Self & Identity Research Cluster is to conduct interdisciplinary, theoretically eclectic, and multi-methodological (both quantitative and qualitative) empirical research into self and identity with clear real-world application in an international context. Our multidisciplinary team, which has a strong basis in social and clinical psychology in particular, is actively engaged with cutting-edge research in the areas such as:

  • Identity, threat & coping
  • Identity conflict & integration
  • Minority identities
  • Social change
  • Emotional processes
  • Self-awareness
  • Gender, sexuality & parenthood
  • Culture, ethnicity & nationhood
  • Psychopathology & threats to self
  • LGBT identities
  • Faith, religion & spirituality
  • Environmental identity
  • Psychological wellbeing
  • Political processes & identity


Group coordinator: Dr Nadia Svirydzenka

Members: Dr Iain Williamson, Dr Jess HallDr Hui YuProfessor Brown, Dr Ryan Lumber, Dr Lis Ku

PhD students:
Zaqia Rehman
Periklis Papaloukas


  • A collaborative and sound partnership with the Compassionate Mind Foundation run by Professor Paul Gilbert that provides training and does high quality research in clinical psychology and psychological interventions. The partnership includes training and research projects. 
  • A collaborative partnership with LOROS that includes consultancy, research and training in the area of palliative care
  • A collaborative partnership with the Division of Psychiatry at Oxford (run by Professor Daniel Freeman)
  • Self & Identity at Southampton
  • Middle East Study Group at the University of Hull
  • Identity, Health and Well-being Network (University of Queensland, Australia)
  • A collaborative partnership with the CINEICC an Internationally recognised research group in the area of mental health and neuroscience based at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
  • Professor Richard Bourhis, CEETUM lab, Montreal, Canada
  • Professor Efraim Karsh, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Israel
  • Professor Fathali Moghaddam, Conflict Resolution Program, Georgetown, US.


Selected research outputs

Brown, B.J., Crawford, P. and Majomi, P. (2008) Professional identity in community mental health nursing: A thematic analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45, 1055-1063.

Dogra, N., Svirydzenka, N., Dugard, P., Singh, S., and Vostanis, P. (2013) Characteristics and rates of mental health problems among Indian and White adolescents in two English cities. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203,44-50

Jaspal, R. & Breakwell, G.M. (2014). Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jaspal, R. & Cinnirella, M. (2010). Coping with potentially incompatible identities: accounts of religious, ethnic and sexual identities from British Pakistani men who identify as Muslim and gay. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(4), 849-870.

Jaspal, R. & Cinnirella, M. (2012). The construction of ethnic identity: insights from identity process theory. Ethnicities, 12(5), 503-530.

Jaspal, R., Nerlich, B. & Cinnirella, M. (2014). Human Responses to Climate Change: Social Representation, Identity and Socio-Psychological Action. Environmental Communication, 8(1), 110-130.

Kenny, M., Griffith, J., and Grossman, J. (2005). Self-image and parental attachment among late adolescents in Belize. Journal of Adolescence, 28(5),649-664.

Ku, L., Wu, A. M. S., Lao, A. K. P., & Lam, K. I. N. (in press). “We want the world and we want it now”: Materialism, time perspectives, and problem spending tendency of Chinese. International Journal of Psychology.

Lopes, B. C. (2013), Differences Between Victims of Bullying and Non-victims on Levels of Paranoid Ideation and Persecutory Symptoms, the Presence of Aggressive Traits, the Display of Social Anxiety and the Recall of Childhood Abuse Experiences in a Portuguese Mixed Clinical Sample. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 20(3), 254-66.

Lopes, B. & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2013) How do non-clinical Paranoid vs. Socially anxious individuals react to failure vs. success? An experimental investigation. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 3(3), 63-73.

O’Reilly, M. Bowlay-Williams, J., Svirydzenka, N. & Vostanis, P. (2016). A qualitative exploration of how adopted children and their parents conceptualise mental health difficulties. Adoption and Fostering, 40(1), 60-76.

Svirydzenka, N., Sani, F. and Bennett, M. (2010) Group entitativity and its perceptual antecedents in varieties of groups: A developmental perspective. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 611-624.