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Clifford Stevenson


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Psychology Nottingham Civic Exchange


Clifford is a Professor of Social Psychology and Director of Psychological Research at NTU. He is also a member of the Groups, Identities and Health research group.

His research examines how the groups to which people belong serve to shape their perception and experience of social reality as well as providing them with collective resilience and the ability to respond to adversity and challenge. He currently leads an AHRC investigation of placed-based Social Prescribing in disadvantaged areas.

He teaches on the modules ‘Research in Context’ and ‘Research Methods 2’ and supervises students at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Career overview

Clifford undertook his PhD in Social Psychology at Lancaster University before taking up research posts at Lancaster and Queen’s University Belfast. He was lecturer at Limerick University 2007-2012, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast 2012-2015 (where he was Director of the Centre for Research on Political Psychology - CReSPP) and Reader at Anglia Ruskin University 2015-2016.

Research areas

The first strand of Clifford's research uses the Applied Social Identity Approach to investigate how sharing a group identity enables members of marginalised communities to deal with adversity. It also examines how prejudice and discrimination serves to erode this resilience and how stigma impedes and deters marginalised groups from accessing support services.

In a unique application of this approach, Clifford investigates the group dynamics of Social Prescribing. Along with other members of the Groups Identities and Health research group, he has been exploring how and why Social Prescribing (the practice of connecting socially vulnerable individuals to community groups and activities) has its health benefits and how these can be enhanced. He now leads an AHRC funded investigation of placed-based Social Prescribing, examining how third sector organisations can better enable Social Prescribing to cope with and recover from the pandemic.

In a second research strand of research, Clifford leads an interdisciplinary programme of research into residential mobility and how local communities deal with the stresses of intergroup contact. This work examines how community support can facilitate incomers’ successful integration into new neighbourhoods and how community identity can help existing residents cope with the challenges of an influx of different groups.

External activity

  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the European Association of Social Psychology
  • Member of the International Society of Political Psychology

Clifford is a Consultant Editor for the British Journal of Social Psychology.  He also acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals, publishers, and grant agencies within the fields of social and political psychology

Sponsors and collaborators

External Collaborators:

  • Dr John Drury, University of Sussex
  • Prof John Garry, Queens University Belfast
  • Dr Debra Gray, University of Winchester
  • Prof Nick Hopkins, University of Dundee
  • Prof Steve Reicher, St Andrews University
  • Dr Eerika  Finell, Tampere University
  • Dr Ian Shuttleworth, Queens University Belfast
  • Prof Thoroddur Bjarnason, University of Akureyri

Recent grants:

  • Upscaling Inspiring Ashfield: Extending Ashfield’s Place-based Support for Social Prescribing across Mid-Notts Integrated Care Partnership. (£180k, AHRC). Feb 2022- Feb 2023. PI: Prof Clifford Stevenson; CIs:  Dr Donna Champion, Prof Di Bailey, Prof Barbara Matthews.
  • Tackling Loneliness in Nottingham (£26k Nottinghamshire County Council).Sept-2021 – Mar 2022.PI: Dr Mhairi Bowe, CIs Prof Clifford Stevenson, Dr Juliet Wakefield, Dr Blerina Kellezi.
  • SERVICE: Social and Emotional Resilience for the Vulnerable Impacted by the COVID-19 Emergency (£496k UKRI) Aug 2020 - Dec 2021. PI: Prof Blaine Price; CIs, Prof Clifford Stevenson, Prof Mark Levene, Dr Avelie Stuart, Dr Dmitri Katz, Dr Mohamed Bennasar, Dr Daniel Gooch.
  • MAMANET: Mothers’ Intra and Inter-Ethnic Contacts in Multiethnic neighbourhoods. (€272k, KONE Foundation). Jan 2019 - Dec 2021. PI: Dr Eerika Finell; CIs: Dr Clifford Stevenson; Prof Katja Repo.  
  • Understanding the transition to retirement for emergency services officers: A social identity approach (£40k, Fire Fighters Charity). Jan 2019-Dec 2020. PI: Dr Niamh McNamara; CIs: Dr Clifford Stevenson, Dr Rowena Hill, Prof Catherine Haslam, Dr Niklas Steffens, Sarah Bentley.
  • Researching the Impact of Rushcliffe Selfcare Pathway (£45k, Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group). Oct 2017-Mar 2019. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson; CIs: Dr Mhairi Bowe, Dr Blerina Kellezi, Dr Niamh McNamara, Dr Juliet Wakefield, Dr I Wilson.
  • Researching the Impact of Age-Friendly Nottinghamshire (£30k, Nottinghamshire County Council). Oct 2017 – Sept 2018. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson; CIs: Dr Mhairi Bowe, Dr Blerina Kellezi, Dr Niamh McNamara, Dr Juliet Wakefield, Dr Iain Wilson.
  • Evaluating the Community Impact of Residential Mixing in Private and Social Housing. (£4.5k, Community Relations Council). Jan 2017-Oct 2018. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson CI:Dr Ian Shuttleworth (QUB)
  • The UK/Ireland Border and the Stability of Peace and Security in Northern Ireland: Evidence from two Deliberative Democratic Exercises(ESRC ES/R000417/1 £286k) Apr 2017– Mar 2018.PI: Prof John Garry; CIs: Dr Clifford Stevenson; Prof Brendan O’Leary; Prof Rhiannon Turner.
  • Power-Sharing and Voting: Conflict, Accountability and Electoral Behaviour at the 2015 Northern Ireland Assembly Election (ESRC £507,000) Nov 2014 – Oct 2016. PI: Prof John Garry; CIs: Prof John Coakley, Prof Geoffrey Evans; Prof Sara Hobolt;Prof Brendan O’Leary; Dr Clifford Stevenson;  Prof James Tilly
  • Randomly Selected “Politicians”: Transforming Democracy in the Post-Conflict Context. (ESRC Transformative Research Grant £186,000) Jul 2014 – Dec 2015. PI: Prof John Garry: CIs: Dr Adele Marshall, Dr Cillian McBride, Prof Brendan O'Leary, Dr Fabian Schuppert & Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Exploring the Quality of Shared Housing in Belfast (Community Relations Council, £10,000). Mar 2014 – May 2015. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson; CI: Prof John Dixon
  • Intergroup contact in a parenting reconciliation initiative in Northern Ireland (South Eastern Education and Library Board- Northern Ireland, £10,000). May 2013-Nov 2013. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Common Metrics for Monitoring Social Change (Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, £5,000). Dec 2013-Mar 2014. PI:Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Collective participation and social identification: A study of the individual, interpersonal and collective dimensions of attendance at the Magh Mela. (ESRC, £444,000). Sept 2009 - Jun 2012. PI: Dr Nick Hopkins; CIs: Prof Steve Reicher; Dr Mark Levine; Dr Gozde Ozakinci; Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • Embodying the Imagined Community: The role of collective participation in the transformation of Irish identities. (ESRC/IRCHSS, £440,000). Sept 2008 – Aug 2011.PIs: Prof Orla Muldoon & Dr Dominic Bryan; CIs: Prof Steve Reicher; Dr Clifford Stevenson
  • Revitalising Communities: A framework for assessing social change. (IRCHSS, €97,000). Jan 2009 – Dec 2010. PI: Dr Clifford Stevenson. CI: Prof Orla Muldoon.
  • Flagging Identities: The display and regulation of political symbols in Northern Ireland. (Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, £175,000). May 2006 – May 2010. PI: Dr Dominic Bryan,CI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.
  • St Patrick's Day in Belfast 2006; 2007. (Belfast City Council, £6,000). Feb 2006 – Apr 2007. PI: Dr Dominic Bryan, CI: Dr Clifford Stevenson.


Seppala., T., Riikonen, R., Paajanen, P., Stevenson., C., and Finell, E., (in press) Development of First-time Mothers’ Sense of Shared Identity and Integration with their Neighbourhood. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology.

Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J.R.H, Bowe, M., Kellezi, B., Jones, B., & McNamara, N. (in press). Weathering the Storm Together: Family identification predicts future wellbeing during COVID-19 via enhanced financial resilience.Journal of Family Psychology.

Bar-Tal, D., Trew, K., Hameiri, B., Stevenson, C., & Nahhas, E. (2021). Ethos of conflict as the prism to evaluate the Northern Irish and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts by the involved societies: A comparative analysis. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology.

Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J., Felsner, I. & Drury, J., (2021) Collectively Coping with Coronavirus: Local Community Identification Predicts Giving Support and Lockdown Adherence During the COVID-19 Pandemic. British Journal of Social Psychology

McNamara, N., Stevenson, C., Kellezi, B., Wakefield, J. R. H.,, Mair, E., Bowe, M., ... & Halder, M. (2021) Community identification, social support and loneliness: The benefits of social identification for personal well-being. British Journal of Social Psychology

Blaylock, D. L., Stevenson, C., O’Donnell, A. T., Reicher, S. D., Bryan, D., Neville, F. G., & Muldoon, O. T. (2021). From I to we: participants’ accounts of the development and impact of shared identity at large-scale displays of Irish national identity. Irish Political Studies36(1), 92-108.

Shuttleworth, I., Finell, E., Bjarnason, Þ., & Stevenson, C. (2021). Individual residential mobility, immobility, and political attitudes: The case of Brexit voting intentions in the 2016 UK EU Referendum. Population, Space and Place, e2444.

Këllezi, B., Wakefield, J., Bowe, M., Stevenson, C., & McNamara, N. (2021). Healthcare provision inside immigration removal centres: A social identity analysis of trust, legitimacy and disengagement. Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being.

Bowe, M., Wakefield, J. R., Kellezi, B., Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., Jones, B. A., ... & Heym, N. (2021). The mental health benefits of community helping during crisis: Coordinated helping, community identification and sense of unity during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology.

Kellezi, B., Guxholli, A., Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J. R. H., Bowe, M., & Bridger, K. (2021). ‘Enemy of the People’: Family identity as Social Cure and Curse dynamics in contexts of human rights violations. European Journal of Social Psychology

Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J. R. H. (2021) Financial distress and suicidal behaviour during COVID-19: Family identification attenuates the negative relationship between COVID-related financial distress and mental Ill-health. Journal of Health Psychology

Stevenson, C., Wakefield, J. R., Kellezi, B., Stack, R. J., & Dogra, S. (2021). Families as support and burden: A mixed methods exploration of the extent to which family identification and support predicts reductions in stress among disadvantaged neighbourhood residents. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,

Stuart, A., Stevenson, C., Koschate, M., Cohen J., Levine. M., (2021) “Oh no, not a group!” The factors that lonely or isolated people report as barriers to joining groups for health and wellbeing. Journal of Health Psychology

Bowe, M., Gray, D., Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., Wakefield, J. R., Kellezi, B., ... & Costa, S. (2020). A Social Cure in the Community: A mixed‐method exploration of the role of social identity in the experiences and well‐being of community volunteers. European Journal of Social Psychology50(7), 1523-1539.

Stevenson, C., Turner, R., & Costa, S. (2020). “Welcome to our neighbourhood”: Collective confidence in contact facilitates successful mixing in residential settings. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations,

Stevenson, C., Costa, S., Wakefield,J.H., Kellezi,B.& Stack,R.(2020) Family Identification Facilitates Coping with Financial Stress: A Social Identity Approach to Family Financial Resilience. Journal of Economic Psychology.

Shuttleworth, I., Stevenson, C., Bjarnason, Þ., & Finell, E. (2020). Geography, psychology and the ‘Big Five’personality traits: Who moves, and over what distances, in the United Kingdom?. Population, Space and Place, e2418.

Kauff, M., Beneda, M., Paolini, S., Bilewicz, M., Kotzur, P., O'Donnell, A. W., Stevenson, C., Wagner, U. & Christ, O. (2020). How do we get people into contact? Predictors of intergroup contact and drivers of contact seeking. Journal of Social Issues.

Marinucci, M., Maunder, R., Sanchez, K., Thai, M., McKeown, S., Turner, R. N., & Stevenson, C. (2020). Intimate intergroup contact across the lifespan. Journal of Social Issues.

Stevenson, C., Costa, S., Easterbrook, M.J., McNamara, N., Kellezi, B.(2020) Social Cure Processes Help Lower Intergroup Anxiety Among Neighbourhood Residents. Political Psychology, 41(6), 1093-1111. doi:10.1111/pops.12667

Reicher, S., Hopkins, N., Stevenson, C., Pandey, K., Shankar, S., & Tewari, S. (2020). Identity enactment as collective accomplishment: Religious identity enactment at home and at a festival. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Bjarnason, T., Stevenson, C., Shuttleworth, I., & Meckl, M. (2020). Spatial mobility and tolerance towards immigrants: the case of Northern Iceland. Ethnic and Racial Studies43(10), 1813-1832.

Kellezi, B., Wakefield, J. R. H., Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., Mair, E., Bowe, M., ... & Halder, M. M. (2019). The social cure of social prescribing: a mixed-methods study on the benefits of social connectedness on quality and effectiveness of care provision. BMJOpen, 9(11).

Hopkins, N., Reicher, S., Stevenson, C., Pandey, K., Shankar, S. & Tewari, S. (2019). Social relations in a crowd: Shared identity and its implications. European Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2586

Wakefield, J.R.H., Bowe, M., Kellezi, B., McNamara, N., and Stevenson, C. (2019) When Groups Help and When Groups Harm: Origins, Developments, and Future Directions of the ‘Social Cure’ Perspective of Group Dynamics. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. e12440. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12440.

McNicholl, K, Stevenson., C. & Garry, J. (2018). How the ‘Northern Irish’ National Identity is Understood and Used by Young People and Politicians. Political Psychology. doi: 10.1111/pops.12523

Halder, M. M.; Wakefield, J.R.H., Bowe, M., Kellezi, B., Mair, E., McNamara, N., Wilson, I. and Stevenson, C. (2018) Evaluation and exploration of a social prescribing initiative: Study protocol. Journal of Health Psychology. 10.1177/1359105318814160

Stevenson, C., Easterbrook, M.J., Harkin, L., McNamara, N., Kellezi, B., & Shuttleworth, I. (2018) Neighbourhood Identity Helps Residents Cope with Residential Diversification: Contact in Increasingly Mixed Neighbourhoods of Northern Ireland. Political Psychology doi:10.1111/pops.12510

Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., Easterbrook, M.J., Kellezi, B., Shuttleworth, I. & Hyden, D. (2018) Re-identifying Residential Mixing: Emergent Identity Dynamics Between Incomers and Existing Residents in a Mixed Neighbourhood in Northern Ireland. European Journal of Social Psychology. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2529

Stevenson, C. & Sagherian-Dickey, T. (2018). Territoriality and Migration in a Divided Society: Lay Theories of Citizenship and Place in Northern Ireland. Qualitative Psychology 5(1), 135-154.doi:10.1037/qup0000072

Andelic, N., Stevenson., C. & Feeney, A. (2018). Managing a Moral Identity in Debt Advice Conversations. British Journal of Social Psychology. doi:10.1111/bjso.12303

McNeill, A., Pehrson, S. & Stevenson, C. (2017) The rhetorical complexity of competitive and common victimhood in conversational discourse. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47 (2) 167 – 179. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2255

Shayleigh, J., Drury, J. & Stevenson, C. (2017). Listen to the band! How sound realizes group identity and enacts intergroup domination British Journal of Social Psychology. doi:10.1111/bjso.12175.

Stevenson, C. & Sagherian-Dickey, T. (2016). Collectively Coping with Contact: The role of ingroup support in dealing with the challenges of intergroup mixing in residential contexts. British Journal of Social Psychology 55(4), 681-699. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12150.

Khan, S., Hopkins, N., Reicher, S. Tewari, S., Srinivasan, N. & Stevenson, C. (2015). Shared identity predicts enhanced health at mass gatherings. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. doi: 10.1177/1368430214556703

Stevenson, C., Hopkins, N., Luyt., R. & Dixon, J. (2015). The Social Psychology of Citizenship, Participation and Social Exclusion: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section. Journal of Political and Social Psychology (vol 3). doi:10.5964/jspp.v3i2.579

Stevenson, C., Hopkins, N., Luyt., R. & Dixon, J. (2015). The Social Psychology of Citizenship: Engagement with Citizenship Studies and Future Research. Journal of Political and Social Psychology (vol 3). doi:10.5964/jspp.v3i2.581

Stevenson, C., McNamara, N., & Muldoon, O. (2014). Stigmatised identity and service usage in disadvantaged communities: Residents', community workers' and service providers' perspectives. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 24(6), 453-466. doi: 10.1002/casp.2184

Pandey, K., Stevenson, C., Shankar, S., Hopkins, N. P., & Reicher, S. D. (2014). Cold comfort at the Magh Mela: Social identity processes and physical hardship. British Journal of Social Psychology. 53 (4), 675-690. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12054

Pehrson, S., Stevenson, C., Muldoon, O. T., & Reicher, S. (2014). Is everyone Irish on St Patrick's Day? Divergent expectations and experiences of collective self‐objectification at a multicultural parade. British Journal of Social Psychology. 53(2), 249-264. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12029

Shankar, S., Stevenson, C., Pandey, K., Tewari, S., Hopkins, N. P., & Reicher, S. D. (2013). A calming cacophony: Social identity can shape the experience of loud noise. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.07.004

McNamara, N., Stevenson, C. & Muldoon, O. (2013). Community Identity as Resource and Context: A mixed method investigation of coping and collective action in a disadvantaged community. European Journal of Social Psychology. 43 (5), 493 – 503. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1953

See all of Clifford Stevenson's publications...

Press expertise

My expertise spans identity and resilience in marginalised communities, Social Prescribing, community diversity and integration in residential settings.