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Dr Karen Trew

Photo of Karen Trew

Visiting Researcher



Room 02.530, David Keir Building
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 4543

I came to Belfast from London in 1961 and completed both my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen’s University. My first job was with the Northern Ireland Council for Educational Research which was housed within the Psychology Department and after eight years I moved back into the Department as a lecturer. The Department of Psychology is now a School of Psychology. It has moved from Lennoxvale to the David Keir Building. I am now Reader, married to John ,a mother of one daughter and a grandmother.


My current research extends my long-term interest in relating academic scholarship in the area of social psychology with practice and policy especially in relation to children and young people. I maintain a strong interest in the impact of curriculum and the social context in both the early years and the transitions in the educational process. These areas of research are linked to research on the nature and development of multiple identities and a range of studies that have explored dimensions of intergroup relations in Northern Ireland


  • Applied Social Psychology (increasingly these topics overlap)
  • Early Years Enriched Curriculum Evaluation Project

Selected Articles

20. Muldoon, O., McLaughlin, K., Trew, K. & Rougier, N (in press). 'Adolescents' Explanations of Paramilitary Involvement in Ireland'. Journal of Peace Research.

19. Muldoon, O., McLaughlin, K., & Trew, K. (in press.) 'Young people and Ethno-National Identity Along the Border of Northern Ireland'. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

18. Stevenson, C.P., Doherty, G., Barnett, J. Muldoon, O & Trew, K (2007), Barriers to healthy eating. Journal of Adolescence, 30,3, 417-434.

17. Muldoon, O., Trew, K., Todd, J., Rougier, N. & McLaughlin, K. (2007). 'Religious and National Identity after the Good Friday Agreement'. Political Psychology. 28,1, 89-103.

16. O’ Hare, L, Forbes, T., Trew, K & McGuinness, C (2007). Evaluating a widening participation intervention for non-traditional students: Students’ self-rating of how their skills develop Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 9, 1, 48-51.

15. McLaughlin, K. Trew, K. & Muldoon, O (2006). Religion, ethnicity and group identity: Irish adolescents’ views. Nationalism and Ethnic politics, 12, 3-4, 599-616.

14. Todd, J. Muldoon, O., Trew, K., Cañás Bottos, L., Rougier, N., McLaughlin, K., (2006). 'The Moral Boundaries of the Nation: The Constitution of National Identity in the South Eastern Border Counties of Ireland'. Ethnopolitics, Vol. 5, No. 4, 365–382.

13. Walsh, G., Sproule, L., Trew, K., Rafferty, H., McGuinness, C. & Sheehy, N. (2006) An Appropriate Curriculum for the 4-5 Year Old Child in Northern Ireland: comparing play-based and formal approaches. Early Years: An international journal of research and development. , 26,2, 201-221.

12. Byrne, C & Trew, K (2005) Crime Orientations, Social Relations and Involvement in Crime: Patterns Emerging from Offenders' Accounts. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 44, 2, 185 -205.

11. Muldoon, O. T., Lowry, R.G. Prentice, G & Trew K. (2005). The factor structure of the multidimensional measure of children’s perception of control. Personality and Individual differences. 38, 647-657.

10. Trew, K. (2004) Children and socio-cultural divisions in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues 60 507-522.

9. Cassidy, C. & Trew, K. (2004). Identity change in Northern Ireland: A longitudinal study of students’ transition to university. Journal of Social Issues, 60, 523-540.

8. Evans, C. & Trew, K. (2003). Perceptions of pupils in the South Eastern Library Board. Inclusion, 1, 32-33.

7. Cassidy, C. & Trew, K. (2001). Assessing identity change: A longitudinal study of the transition from school to college. Group processes and intergroup relations 4,1, 49-59.

6. Paterson, M.C., Poole, A.D., Trew, K.J. & Harkin, N. (2001). The psychological and physical health of police officers retired recently from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Irish Journal of Psychology, 22,1, 1-27.

5. McCallion, A. & Trew, K. (2000). A longitudinal study of Northern Irish children's hopes, aspirations, and fears for the future. Special issue on Child Development Research in Ireland Irish Journal of Psychology, 20, 3-4,227-237.

4. McCauley, C. & Trew, K. (2000). Children's adjustment over time in foster care: cross-informant agreement, stability and placement disruption. British Journal of Social Work 30, 89-105.

3. Muldoon, O. T. & Trew, K. (2000). Social group membership and perceptions of self in Northern Irish children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24 (3) 330-337.

2. Muldoon, O.T. & Trew, K. (2000). Children's experience and adjustment to Political conflict in Northern Ireland. Peace and Conflict. Journal of Peace Psychology 6(2) 157-176.

1. Muldoon, O.T. & Trew, K. & Kilpatrick, R. (2000) The legacy of the troubles on the development of young people. Youth and Society, 32, 1, 6-28.

Books and chapters

A5. Lowry, G. Kremer, J & Trew, K. (2007). Young people, physical health, exercise and recreation. (Pp19-40) In J. Coleman, L. Hendry& M. Kloep (eds) Adolescence and Health Wiley Series in understanding adolescence, Chichester John Wiley

A4.Trew, K. Clarke, C, Doherty, G Barnett, J. & Muldoon, O. (2006). Adolescents food choice. (Pp 247-262). In Shepherd, R & Raats, M. M. (eds) The Psychology of Food Choice. Oxfordshire: CABI Publishing.

A3. Evans, C. Trew, K. Lee, A & McCullagh, A (2003). A Matter of Education: SELB Students Perceptions of Further and Higher Education. Queen’s University of Belfast.

A2. Kremer, J., Sheehy, N., Reilly, J., Trew, K. & Muldoon, O. (2003). Applying Social Psychology, London, Palgrave.

A1. Quiery, N., McElhinney, S., Rafferty, H., Sheehy, N. &Trew, K. (2003) Empowering Parents A Two Generation Intervention in a Community Context in Northern Ireland. In I. Katz & J. Pinkerton (Eds) Evaluating Family Support: Thinking Internationally, Thinking Critically. (Pp 207-226) London, Wiley.


Recently Completed Projects

Selected Recent Research Grants

2003- 2005: The Legacy of the Troubles. 120,000 via ADM/CPA under the Peace 11 Programme which is part-financed by the UK and Irish Government (With Muldoon, O., Kremer, J., Horgan, J. (Cork) & Taylor, M (Cork) Further details can be found at

2003- 2005: Intergenerational transmission of ethno national identity on the Irish border, 330,000 from the Higher Education Authority Peace and Reconciliation Research Fund. (With Muldoon, O. & Todd, J., (UCD)). Further details can be found at

2003-2005: Factors influencing the Efficacy of Food Risk and Dietary Communications. £197,661 from Safefood (With Muldoon, O., Barnett, J (Surrey), & Breakwell, G. (Bath). Further details can be found at

Current funded projects

2005-2008: Impact of the Enriched Curriculum over time. £339,600 from CCEA (with McGuinness, C. & Rafferty, H.) further details

2006 -2008: The Legacy of the Troubles II: trauma, identity and remembrance. £80,000 from EUSSPPR via Border action (With Muldoon, O. Todd, J. (UCD) & Kremer, J

2007-2008: Life and Times survey module –Beyond gross divisions: National and religious identity combinations in Northern Ireland. £ 75,000 from ESRC (With Muldoon, O, Devine, P. Todd, J (UCD) & Kremer, J).

2007: Development of national identification in adolescence. £7,500 from British Academy (With Muldoon, O)