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Prof Orla Muldoon

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Research interests

My research interests are at the intersection of social, developmental, clinical and health psychology.  My particular interest is in the application of the social identity paradigm, a meta-theoretical perspective within psychology, which seeks to understand social phenomena through the use of group level analysis rather than the traditional modernist individual level analysis.  This perspective allows us to understand how contextual factors, such as social class or race, are internalised psychologically.  In this way attributes of shared culture can affect a range of phenomena such as child development, mental and physical health and everyday behaviour such as eating and school attendance.  Often these group processes are hidden or implicit and the range of methods that are employed in my work goes beyond many traditionally associated with psychology.  My interest is in models that have real world application to the solution of real world health and social problems.  By working in partnership with organisations, my work seeks to understand the cultural imperatives that drive group behaviour in an open and methodologically eclectic manner.   This approach draws on disciplinary perspectives from psychology as well as health, sociology and education and as such makes for excellent interdisciplinary partnerships. Further the perspective orients to the subjective nature of human experience and as such is useful for working in partnership with community organisations and those affected by the phenomena to reveal often hidden group level processes.

Current Research Projects:

  • Psychological trauma, social identity, health and adjustment
  • The Health and Social Costs of Class Divisions
  • Sharing Hope: Community support, identity and suicide prevention
  • Imprisoned Parenting: Evaluation of Family Imprisonment Parenting Programme
  • Self-defining memory, identity and neuro-rehabilitation and social integration post Brain Injury


Muldoon, O., Walsh, S.R., Curtain, M., Crawley, L. & Kinsella, E.L. (2018 - online). Social Cure and Social Curse: Social Identity Resources & Adjustment to Acquired Brain Injury. European Journal of Social Psychology.

O’Byrne, C. & Muldoon, O. (2018 - online). The construction of intellectual disability by parents and teachers. Disability & Society.

Kinsella, E.L., Muldoon, O., Fortune, D. & Haslam, C. (2018 – online). Collective influences on individual functioning: Multiple group memberships, self-regulation, and depression after acquired brain injury. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

Kearns, M., Muldoon, O., Msetfi, R. & Surgenor, P. (2018 – online). The impact of community-based mental health service provision on stigma and attitudes towards professional help-seeking. Journal of Mental Health. 1-7. DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2018.1521928.

Naughton, C., O’Donnell, A. & Muldoon, O. (2018 – online). Young people’s Constructions of their Experiences of Parental Domestic Violence: A Discursive Analysis’. Journal of Family Violence.