8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
15th-18th April 2012, Queen’s University Belfast
Further details of the programme and how to book are available at: http://www.baspcan.org.uk/congress-general-info.php
Queens University, Belfast
STRATEGIC PRIORITY STUDENTSHIP
CONFLICT, IDENTITIES & HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITY
Queens University, Belfast has a long tradition of carrying out surveys of political attitudes relating to the Northern Ireland conflict and, through ARK (www.ark.ac.uk), providing high quality time-series data on changing attitudes This ranges from the Moxon-Browne survey of 1978, through the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Surveys of the 1980s and early 1990s, to the current Northern Ireland Life & Times Surveys.
The holder of the studentship will fill a crucial gap in the time series on Northern Ireland political attitudes and analyse links between: (1) the actual experience of violence and (2) political attitudes and membership in political and paramilitary organisations that will be unique and ground-breaking. The joint supervision will bring together ARK’s and the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work’s expertise in attitudes analysis with the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy’s expertise in Northern Irish politics.
The ‘Irish Mobility Study’ was a benchmark social mobility survey funded by the British SSRC (now the ESRC) carried out in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic with fieldwork taking place during the winter of 1973/74, the period of most intense political violence in Northern Ireland. The survey yielded achieved probability samples of 2,419 respondents in Northern Ireland and 2,352 in the Irish Republic. The data are now held by the UK Data Archive. As well as its core data required for social mobility analyses, the survey collected very extensive information on attitudes in relation to the Northern Ireland conflict, organisational membership and the extent to which respondents had experienced or been affected by the political violence. These latter data have never been analysed.
The successful applicant for the studentship will analyse the political data from the Irish Mobility Study in the following areas:
Northern Ireland has excellent time-series data on changing political attitudes. However, there is a gap between the 1968 Rose data and the 1978 Moxon-Browne data. The studentship will fill the gap, with crucial information from 1973/74, collected at the height of the political violence;
The core social mobility data means that the attitudes responses can be closely analysed by class, religion and other variables at a greater level of rigour than usual and that Northern Ireland can be compared with the Irish Republic;
The links between political attitudes and organisational membership, as well as political party affiliation and, for some respondents, involvement in paramilitary organisations can be assessed;
The concrete and detailed information on the extent to which respondents, their families and their friends had been affected by the violence can be correlated with their political attitudes, including whether or not respondents supported violence as a means of achieving political goals. Such data do not exist elsewhere. This part of the studentship will be genuinely ground-breaking.
Start Date: 01 October 2012
End Date: 30 September 2015
The studentship will cover fees and a stipend for the full 3 years.
First Supervisor: Professor Robert Miller
School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work
Research Cluster: Identities, Life Style & Culture
Second Supervisor: Dr. John Barry
School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy
Research Cluster: Political Theory
The deadline for applications is 4.00pm on Friday 20th April 2012. Application is via Queens University’s online application system. All applications will be appraised according to the University's selection criteria for admission to postgraduate research. Selection will include an interview.
Religion, Violence and Cities
28th and 29th May 2012, Queen’s University Belfast
An international symposium entitled Religion, Violence and Cities is being organised in the School on Monday and Tuesday, 28th and 29th May 2012. The symposium is sponsored by the ‘Conflict in Cities’ project. Booklet.
Contributors will include: Nezar Alsayyad (Berkeley), Robert Hayden (Pittsburgh), John Eade (Surrey), Ian Reader (Manchester), Colette Harris (East Anglia), Sinisa Malesevic (University College Dublin), Wendy Pullan (Cambridge), Mick Dumper (Exeter) and Liam O’Dowd and Martina McKnight (Queen’s)
For further details, please contact Martina McKnight (Martina.McKnight@qub.ac.uk) and let her know if you would like to attend.
An Interdisciplinary Forum on Ageing
Date: Wed 6th June 2012, Time: 3.30- 4.30 pm, Venue: Old Staff Common Room, QUB
The forum will be opened by our international guest speaker Briony Dow
Senior Lecurer/Lecturer vacancy (deadline 15th June)
Fourth UK-US Medical Sociology Conference
14th-16th June 2012, Queen’s University Belfast
Registration is now open for The FOURTH UK-US MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY CONFERENCE which will be held from June 14-16 at Queen’s University in Belfast.
Applications are sought for Personal Tutors for the BSW Degree at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. The main role of the personal tutor is to provide pastoral support to a group of approximately 12 students over the course of their programme at Queen’s. Tutors will play a particularly important role in supporting students in their practice learning.
A number of tutors are required to begin duties from September 2012 onwards. Appointments will be made for a 2 or 3 year period in the first instance. If there are more suitable applicants than posts available, a panel will be formed.
If you are qualified for more than two years and have an interest in working with social work students within an academic and practice environment, you are eligible to apply for these part-time positions. Further details can be found here.
Closing date: 12 noon on Wednesday 27th June 2012
Applications are via a full CV emailed to the School Manager, Patricia Reilly.
Interviews will be held on Friday 6th July at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work. Applicants will be contacted by email with regard to interview.
For Further information, please email Audrey Roulston.
Part Time Tutor Register
Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to enable the School to compile a register of Tutors.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to enable the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work to compile a register of Tutors. A list of subject areas for which applications are invited is set out below.
Successful applicants will be fully responsible for the delivery of teaching and conduct of assessment to agreed standards. They will be engaged under a contract for services and will not be employees of the University.
Payment: This will be at the rate of £33 per hour (to include all duties specified in the further information documentation).
Interested individuals are requested to submit a full c.v by email to Patricia Reilly, School Manager, (email@example.com) by 12 noon on Tuesday 3rd July 2012.
Applicants will be interviewed on Friday 6th July and will be notified of their allocated interview time on 4th July by email.
For shortlisting purposes, it is essential that applicants have:-
It is desirable that applicants have:-
It is envisaged that successful candidates will have excellent oral and written communication skills, and presentation skills.
Training will take place on Thursday 27th September from 10am to 5pm at the School premises. Training is compulsory for all successful applicants.
ENGAGING WITH THE PUBLIC
The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work is very committed to ensuring the use-value of our research. We actively engage with government and policy makers, NGOs and other user groups at local, national and international levels. Our significant public service roles at each of these levels mean that our research has considerable impact outside of the academy as well as within.
A new report shows that 45 per cent of adults know someone with dementia, and almost half of us believe that people with dementia are not treated like thinking human beings.
Dementia: public knowledge and attitudes, by Maria McManus and Paula Devine, is based on data from the 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. This annual survey is conducted by ARK, a joint research initiative between Queen’s and the University of Ulster. The key findings include:
There are approximately 19,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland. This is estimated to grow to 60,000 by 2051, which is the fastest expected rate of increase in the UK.
Dr Paula Devine, Research Director of ARK at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work said: “The results tell us that there is greater need for clear, accessible information that gives the public an accurate understanding about dementia and how it impacts on the person with dementia. At the same time, the views of people with dementia are vital to understanding their needs, as well as raising expectations that a higher quality of life can be achieved by, and for, people with dementia.”Maria McManus, Director of the Northern Ireland office of the Dementia Services Development Centre said: “The views reflected by the survey confirm much of what needs to be challenged about attitudes, care and services for people with dementia and the need to address this in public policies and research, as well as in practice through the provision of services.”
Ciaran Burke along with two colleagues Dr. Nicola Ingram (a recent graduate of QUB School of Education, currently based in the University of Bristol) and Jenny Thatcher (University of East London) have successfully founded a new BSA Bourdieu Study Group.
The aims of the Bourdieu Study Group are:
The group has already received a great deal of interest with membership including both post-graduate and academic members both from within the U.K. and internationally. For more information please visit the BSA study group page at http://www.britsoc.co.uk/specialisms/Bourdieu.htm
Our current and former Ph.D. students have published several peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish to highlight some of them here.
Publications by our current PhD students:
Libby Ashurst has published two book chapters in Contemporary practice with young people who sexually abuse: Evidence-based developments, edited by M. Calder. The chapters include: “Emotional intelligence and the practitioner working with sexually harmful behaviour” and “Training in social services” (2011).
Justyna Bell has submitted an article to the journal, Studia Sociologica (“Migration as multiple pathways: Narrative interviews with Polish migrants in Belfast, Northern Ireland”). The special issue will feature articles on migration, identity and ethnicity.
Ciaran Burke has published an article in Sociological Research Online (The biographical illumination: A Bourdieusian analysis of the role of theory in educational research,” 2011).
Nathan Emmerich is the author of a book (Medical Ethics Education: Interdisciplinary and Social Theoretical Perspectives) which will be published in 2012. He is the author of five articles that have appeared in the Journal of Medical Ethics (“Whatever happened to medical politics?” 2011), Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy (“Anti-theory in action? Planning for pandemics, triage and ICU Or: How not to bite the bullet,” 2011), Bioethics (“Literature, history and the humanisation of bioethics,” 2011), and Research Ethics Review (“The business of medicine and society,” 2009; “On the ethics committee: The expert member, the lay member and the absentee ethicist,” 2009).
Julie Harris is the co-author of an article published in the journal, Qualitative Health Research (“Methadone as social control: Institutionalized stigma and the prospect of recovery,” 2012).
Peter Johnson published an article in Children and Society (“'You just get blocked'. Teenage drinkers: reckless rebellion or responsible reproduction?” 2011).
Romana Khaoury is the author of a book chapter (“ ‘It changed me it showed me both sides of the story': Young people's understandings and views of citizenship in Northern Ireland,” 2008). She is the co-author of a second book chapter ("'Not a problem here?' 'Race' and Racism in Northern Ireland," 2008) and her contribution on Northern Ireland appeared in the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society in 2007. She is the co-author of “Racial attitudes and prejudice towards migrant workers,” published by ANIMATE in 2005.
Maurice Mahon has a co-authored article that appeared in the Irish Probation Journal (“The role of theory in promoting social work values and its potential effect on outcomes in work with domestically violent men,” 2009).
Christina O’Neill is the co-author of an article that was published in International Journal of Drug Policy (“Experiences with mephedrone pre- and post-legislative controls: Perceptions of safety and sources of supply,” 2011).
Joanne Wilson is a co-author of an article published in Health Expectations (“Translating policy into practice: A case study in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease,” 2011), and a co-author of Teenage Drinking Cultures, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2011. She has an article that appeared in The Psychologist (“Existing data – worth a second look?” 2012) and a co-authored book chapter (“Young people, sexual content and solicitation online,” 2011).
Publications by some of our PhD students who have graduated
Theresa McShane, Ph.D.
Theresa is the author of the book, Blades, Blood and Bandages: The Experiences of People who Self-injure. The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
Sandrine Roginsky, Ph.D.
Sandrine is co-author of an article published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (“Civil society as a contested field of meanings,” 2009).
Jorun Rugkasa, Ph.D.
Jorun has seven co-authored journal articles that have been published in Journal of Medical Ethics (“Threats and offers in community mental health care: An ethics analysis,” 2011), Medical Law Review (“Lawfulness of a randomised trial of the new community treatment order regime for England and Wales,” 2011), The Psychiatrists (“Community treatment orders in England and Wales, clinicians’ views and use: A national survey,” 2011), Qualitative Health Research (“Practical issues in recruiting research participants from minority ethnic communities,” 2011), The Lancet (“Oxford Community Treatment Order Evaluation Trial (OCTET): A single-outcome randomised controlled trial of compulsory outpatient treatment in psychosis,” 2010), British Medical Bulletin (“Coercion and compulsion in community mental health care,” 2010, and Psychiatry (“Community treatment orders,” 2009).
Caral Stevenson, Ph.D.
Caral has an article in press in the journal, Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy (“Cannabis use: What’s law got to do with it? Perceptions and Knowledge of Cannabis Policy from the User Perspective in Northern Ireland”). Her chapter on cannabis users’ perceptions of drug dealers appeared in the edited book, Cannabis in Europe: Dynamics in Perception, Policy and Markets (Pabst Science Publishers). She is a co-author of three other forthcoming articles that will appear in Critical Public Health, the International Journal of Drug Policy and Drugs, Education, Prevention and Policy.
John Devaney, Lecturer in Social Work, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study effective interventions with male perpetrators of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a significant social and public health issue. In Northern Ireland the police respond to an incident of domestic violence every 23 minutes, with perpetrators of domestic violence having a high rate of recidivism. This has significant social and economic costs for adult and child victims. Research indicates that engaging perpetrators in acknowledging and addressing their behaviour can result in significant improvements.
The Fellowship is intended to help inform policy and practice in the UK and Ireland about how to intervene effectively with such men. During the Fellowship John will travel to Norway, Canada and the USA to look at innovative approaches in working with men who perpetrate domestic violence.
The Travelling Fellowship is provided by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust which awards grants to individuals to enable travel that will develop them and bring positive benefits to their community and area of interest. More information about the Trust is available at www.wcmt.org.uk including details of how to apply for next year’s Fellowships.
Dr. John Karamichas, Lecturer in Sociology, has co-edited (with Dr. Graeme Hayes; Aston University) the volume, Olympic Games, Mega-Events and Civil Societies, published recently by Palgrave Macmillan.
The rationale behind this publication is that sport mega-events are not simply sporting or cultural phenomena. They are also political and economic events, characterized by the generation and projection of symbolic meanings – most obviously over the nature of statehood, of economic power, and of collective cultural identity – and by social conflict, especially over land use, and over the extent and contours of public spending commitments. Because of their peculiar spatial and temporal organization, they raise questions about the relationships between global cultural and economic flows and particular local and national spaces. Because of their evolutionary characteristics, they ask us to consider not simply the time of the event but also the effect of the event on the long-term direction, implementation and consequence of public policy.
The basis of the chapters that make up the greater part of this volume were drawn from papers presented at a two-day workshop, in June 2008, at Queen Mary, University of London. The financial sponsorship provided by the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work played a paramount role in facilitating that event.
Dr Jay Wiggan, Lecturer in Social Policy, has been awarded a grant from the Queen’s Annual Fund to enhance creativity in teaching through the promotion and development of experiential learning. The grant will support the performance and filming of the play Hostel by the award winning theatre company, Kabosh to Finding out about Social Policy students. Based on the real life experience of the writer and director, Fionnuala Kennedy, Hostel is set in Belfast and tells the story of a young lone parent, Maria, and her experience of becoming homeless and moving into sheltered accommodation provided by the Housing Executive.
Module Convenor Dr Wiggan welcomed the award as building on the School’s support for innovative, cross disciplinary teaching approaches that enhance student learning stating;
“The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work are committed to creating and sustaining an active and engaging learning environment for students. In the context of ongoing welfare reform it is important that the views and experience of service users are aired and heard by students of social policy, sociology, criminology and social work. Hostel has been performed to, and well received by, the public and by service user, practitioners and policymaker audiences for offering insights into how housing policy affects those at risk of social exclusion and marginalisation. The support from the Queen’s Annual Fund means students in the School have the opportunity to view the play and explore a real life example of policy in practice and consider how Maria’s experience reflects public and official representations of homelessness, lone parenthood and ‘benefit dependency’”.
Dr Wiggan will attend a ceremony in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s on March 7th to receive the award.
Social work is an international profession with shared knowledge, ethics and values. In celebrating International Social Work Week, Queen's staff and students have been involved in organising and presenting work that links the local context of Northern Ireland with the global.
Celebrations by the Northern Ireland Association of Social Work , which included presentations from Professor John Pinkerton on the increasingly important role of research within the profession and PhD student Kwabena Frimpong Manso on young people leaving care in Ghana. The event also recognised the work of Ciaran Traynora Development Manager at Extern, a local NGO, and tutor at QUB. He was awarded the prestigious lifetime achievement award for his work with disadvantaged people. (see more at here).
Poster presentations by social work students at Queen's sharing experiences and inspiration from other schools and contexts of social work practice that have both shaped their commitment to social work and/or informed their social work educational experience. These are available to see online and are on display at the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, QUB from 20th -26th March 2012.
Peer led workshop on learning from international contexts and issues of employability for social work students on 28th March 2012.
For more on what’s happening for International social work week around the world, see:
Speaking at an international conference on Children of Conflict in Belfast, Professor Tomlinson said that the Coalition Governement's withdrawal of £4.5 billion from the post-St Andrews Agreement investment strategy was 'the biggest crime against the peace process to date'. He was presenting a paper on the legacies of the conflict for young people with a particular focus on youth unemployment. 'Young people are gradually being pushed out of the labour market. The recession has accelerated this trend but the employment rate for 18-24 year olds has been declining steadily for more than a decade' he stated.
He went on to discuss the international evidence on the relationship between youth unemployment and violence. Some regard unemployment as 'destabilising' but so far the evidence is that young people in Northern Ireland are not on the whole expressing their frustrations with the lack of education and employment opportunities publicly through protest or disorder. Instead there is evidence of frustrations being internalised, though contrary to popular belief young people do not have the highest rate of suicide.
Professor Tomlinson's main argument was that macro-economic initiatives are required to stimulate employment growth. 'We may also need more job-sharing between the generations if young people are not to be scarred for life by early exclusion from the labour market.' He argued the Coalition's policies are reducing demand in the Northern Ireland economy by the radical reduction in capital spending promised in the wake of St Andrews, by cuts of £600 million in welfare benefits and tax credits, and by the loss of 20,000 public sector jobs. 'Instead of investing in the next generation to build the long-term peace, we are reducing living standards, and employment and education opportunities, effectively encouraging our young people to emigrate'. The conference is organised by ASITIS and runs until Wednesday 28th March. (See also David Blanchflower)
A new book by Gavin Davidson and Jim Cambell on Post-Qualifying Mental Health Social Work Practice is published this month by Sage Publications. Social workers and other professionals working in the area of mental health often face complex and difficult practice dilemmas shaped by increasingly demanding policy and legal contexts across the UK.
Topics covered include:
Mrs Mandi MacDonald presented a paper today on the findings from research on adoptive parenthood and post-adoption contact at the 8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect being held at Queen’s University Belfast from 15th-18th April 2012.
The paper entitled ‘The Challenges of Parenting Adopted Adolescents as they Negotiate Changing Birth Family Relationships’ reports findings from a doctoral study exploring the impact of birth family contact on adopters’ experience of parenting children adopted from care, focusing on the evolution of contact throughout adolescence.
This qualitative study was conducted with 31 adoptive parents, representing 17 families,
recruited via the longitudinal Northern Ireland Care Pathways and Outcomes Study. Data from semi-structured interviews was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
The research showed that, for some families, new contact emerged in adolescence, initiated via informal networks or social networking internet sites. Negotiating resultant changes in birth family relationships was considered more complex than the normative challenges encountered in adolescence. Adopters worried that experience of early adversity rendered their child ill-equipped to cope with this complexity, and that birth parents’ continued difficulty with the issues that led to adoption e.g. alcohol and drug misuse, would negatively influence their child’s lifestyle choices at this transitional stage. Adopters perceived a risk to their parental status and influence, and the investment made in their child’s well-being. However, they provided support with negotiating these relationships, motivated by a commitment to their child’s rights.
The paper helps with our understanding of what it is like to meet the complex developmental needs of adopted adolescents within the context of the growing practice of post-adoption contact. Recommendations are made about how this insight into the experience of adoptive parenthood may inform policy and practice in relation to adoption support.
Nicoli Morrison today presented two interactive posters on the preliminary findings from her PhD research exploring understanding of safeguarding children by primary care health professionals. The posters were presented at the 8th Congress of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN) which is being held at Queen’s University Belfast from 15th-18th April 2012. The research which is supervised by Dr Anne Lazenbatt and Dr John Devaney from the School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work suggests that professionals do have different understandings of the term “safeguarding children” and that their understanding has a complex relationship with their safeguarding role.
This mixed methods study invited 213 General Practitioners (GPs) and 104 Health Visitors (HVs) working in one Health and Social Care Trust area in Northern Ireland to take part in focus groups and an anonymous survey. 17 GPs and 12 HVs took part in the focus groups. 27 GPs and 41 HVs took part in either the postal or electronic version of the survey. The presentations reported on differences within and between the professions, difficulties identifying a range of concerns in children, and also the barriers and facilitators of their safeguarding role with children. Implications of preliminary findings within a public health framework were also considered.
If you would like to find out more, you can email Nicoli at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday 17th April 2012, Dr Dominic McSherry will be presenting findings from the Northern Ireland ‘Care Pathways and Outcomes’ Study. Other members of the research team include: Dr Montserrat Fargas Malet; Ms Kerrylee Weatherall; Dr Greg Kelly; and Mr Clive Robinson. This is a longitudinal prospective study that, for the last 10 years, has been tracking the placements, and examining a range of coping indicators, for a population of children (n=374) who were in care under the age of five in Northern Ireland on the 31st March 2000. The main objective of the study is to inform policy and practice on how best to meet the long-term needs of children in care.
Interviews were conducted with a sub-sample (n=77) of the study population (aged between 9 and 14 years old), and comparative data was gathered using: The Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA); Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale; British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVA); Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ); and Parenting Stress Index (PSI). Qualitative interviews were also conducted with the children and young people and their parents/carers. The children and young people were in five different placement types: Adopted (n=18); long-term non-relative foster care (n=19); long-term relative foster care (n=13); on Residence Order (n=15); and return to birth parent/s (n=12).
Results indicate higher levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties and parental stress, in relation to children in non-relative foster care and living with birth parents, compared with adoption, relative foster care, and on Residence Order. The adopted children also scored highest on the BPVA, which measures scholastic aptitude. However, from the children’s and young people’s own perspective, on issues such as attachment and self-concept (esteem), there were no significant differences between the groups, with most children being strongly attached to their parents/carers, with relatively high levels of self-concept (esteem). The qualitative findings are currently being analysed.
These quantitative findings highlight the importance of speaking directly to children and young people themselves, as there was a divergence between their perspectives on their own lives, and how their parents/carers felt they were coping. They suggest that all of these care placements are familial environments which have the potential to nurture positive outcomes for children. The findings challenge contemporary assumptions that place adoption as the ‘gold standard’ in long-term placement. However, this is dependent on the approach taken to measuring children’s outcomes. That is, it depends on whether we examine outcomes in either a multi-faceted or unidimensional way.
Dr Mark McCann of the Institute of Child Care Research has had an article published in the Journal Age & Ageing. The article, Gender differences in care home admission risk: Partner's age explains the higher risk for women, has attracted media interest, with Dr. McCann appearing on U105 radio and online news reports.
This study returns to neglected sociological questions concerning the connections between agency and normative complexity, through the pragmatist interpretation it offers of the recognition dynamics shaping this deeply contested and emotionally fraught role.
Drawing on qualitative interviews with forty mostly middle-class mothers across the UK and US, this book offers a three-party typology of the coping strategies women adopt. The various combinations of expressivism, instrumentalism and pragmatism taken up by respondents as they go about asserting normative authority and seeking esteem for the competence and quality of their mothering, provides the focus of attention.
Modernity, Normativity and Recognition
Authentic Motherhood: Expressive Individualism
Choosing Motherhood: Rational Planning
Balancing Acts: Maternal Pragmatism
Appendix 1: Participant Information
"Our main interest was to explore whether or not there is agreement among people in Northern Ireland on the basic necessities of life. What we mean by that is the necessities that all people in our type of society should be able to afford. We tested obvious basics such as food and clothing but also less obvious items such as having your hair done regularly. We found the biggest difference in views was between older and younger people. A TV is much more important to older people and ‘clothes for job interviews’ more valued as a necessity by younger people. But when we look at different income levels, occupations, community backgrounds and gender, there is a remarkable degree of consensus between people.”
Defining the Breadline: Is there a Northern Ireland Consensus slides and paper tabled at the seminar are available here.
Researchers within the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in conjunction with the NSPCC have been commissioned by the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People to undertake a study into the impact of adversity in childhood on adolescent death by suicide. School staff John Devaney, Gavin Davidson, David Hayes, Anne Lazenbatt and Trevor Spratt are working with Lisa Bunting from the NSPCC to explore how some adolescents are affected by their experiences of adversity in childhood, and for a small, but significant minority, they end up dying by suicide. The research will set out the current knowledge about the impact of adversity in childhood on later mental health and suicide, and use examples drawn from a small number of case studies to illustrate the points being made.
This research builds on the international expertise within the School relating to childhood adversity, non-accidental child deaths and the mental health of children and adults.
Twenty mental health therapists from Norway were guests at the School from 30 April – and 1 May. The multi-disciplinary group are based at the Modum Bad Centre for Anxiety Disorders and the research Institute at Oslo University and have been responding to the psychological needs of the victims of the bomb attacks in Oslo and the shootings at the summer youth camp on the island of Utoeya.
The School CBT team had responded to a request from the group to share their specialist knowledge and research on PTSD with the Norwegian team. Prof Mike Tomlinson welcomed the group and in addition to the workshop provided by Dr Michael Duffy and colleagues contributions were also provided by Dr Stephen Coulter and colleagues from The Omagh Trauma Centres research group. The group also visited the Family Trauma Centre. The entire Modum Bad team were able to attend which facilitated discussion on lots of interesting research projects for potential collaboration. The Norwegian group currently have clinical trials on social phobia, OCD, and panic disorder in addition to their current proposal for a PTSD study.
Professors Geraldine Maconald and John Pinkerton took part last week in the bi-annual meeting of the International Network of Child Policy Research Centres, of which the School’s Institute for Child Care Research is a member.
The three-day gathering was hosted by the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, another network member. The international seminar brought together invited researchers, policy-makers and donor representatives to focus on the role of research and analysis in shaping policy and practice for children and youth.
As the Network and the Children's Institute are both celebrating their ten-year anniversary, the event provided an opportunity to reflect on the past decade's lessons in getting research to impact on policy and practice and planning future network collaboration.
John Pinkerton presented an opening paper on ‘Rethinking society’s responsibilities for children’ and Geraldine Macdonald was the respondent to a second paper on ‘The role of research and analysis in shaping policy and practice for children and youth’.
The network members in attendance from England, India, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Norway, South Korea and America also visited selected local children and youth programmes.
On 17 May Professor Freeston from Newcastle University,Chair of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guideline for OCD and Body Dysmorphic Disorder provided an excellent days training in Ridell Hall on Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as part of the School’s CBT Advanced CBT spring workshop series.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder and excessive worry often present the clinician with a challenge as both therapist and client get caught up in a seemingly endless list of problems or a swirling circular process that can overwhelm both players.
The workshop provided insights and learning in relation to the phenomenology of worry, recognition of excessive worry, its formulation, and the implementation of successful CBT treatment strategies. A key area of Prof Freeston’ s current research relates to Intolerance of Uncertainty, an important construct in GAD and other disorders, which attempts to reconcile its status as both a disorder specific and a trans-diagnostic construct.
110 people attended the workshop and the feedback from participants about the speaker and the content was extremely positive. Participants were
very pleased by the surroundings and the facilities including the courteous staff team at Ridell Hall and how well organised the event had been – Well done Angela Anderson!
Dr Michael Duffy expressed sincere thanks to all in the CBT team - Paul Quinn, Dr. Joanne Younge, Helen Morgan, Stephen Herron and Dr Debbie Mairs Houghton (all appear in the photograph with Prof Freeston)
Next Spring workshop on OCD - Obsessional Compulsive Disorder
Two teams of academic staff in the School are to receive Queen's University Teaching Awards at summer graduation.
Dr Nicola Carr, Dr Melissa McCullough (Centre for Medical Education), Mrs Aine Maxwell (Institute of Professional Legal Studies) and Dr Karen Winter receive the award as recognition of their development of a highly effective training initiative in court work skills in respect of child welfare and criminal justice proceedings. The team uses in-depth case material and simulated court cases to provide their students with a valuable, active and interactive learning experience.
Mr Joe Duffy, Dr Berni Kelly, Dr Chaitali Das, Dr Gavin Davidson and Dr David Hayes receive the award for their innovative approach to involving service users in teaching and assessing Social Work students. By enabling students to visit service users in role play assessments, the team provides students with realistic insights into their chosen profession and prepares them more effectively for placements. This substantial innovation is making an impact on the teaching of Social Work both nationally and internationally.
This is the second week of a EU funded social work student project on inter-cultural conflict titled ‘Different Language; Same Language, Different Culture?’ The project involves 50 students and academics from Goldsmith’s University (England), QUB (NI), Universytet Warszawski (Poland), Fachhohschule Karnten (Austria), Univeriza v Ljubljani (Slovenia), Freie Universitat Bozen, Universita di Bolzano (Italy), Fachhochschule Koln (Germany). The project is an autonomous learning initiative where students work in teams developing reports and reflections based on community agency visits in Northern Ireland.
Augusta Cater, a 1st year student, has won the photo competition for BA sociology students in the School. Entrants were asked to submit a photograph they had taken that encapsulates some aspect of contemporary sociology. Augusta submitted a photo from her time on the Study China programme in 2012. She also wrote the caption for the photograph, which is of tourists in Zhejiang province. Congratulations to Augusta, and many thanks to all who submitted entries to the competition.
Communist rice, capitalist cola: as they explore the preserved past of their peasant predecessors at the historic waterside town of Wuzhen in Zhejiang province, today's Chinese tourists from the country's fast growing urban middle class unite the technology of globalisation with the culture of celebrity to turn paparazzi at the sight of an exotic visitor. Credit: © Augusta Cater 2012.
Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in the American Journal of Public Health. This study in a large cohort of smoking employees showed that certain smoking cessation support activities, particularly pharmacological treatments and financial incentives, offered by employers, may encourage smokers to quit smoking.
As part of ARK/Young Life and Times ‘Attitudes to Difference’ project in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau, Jonny was part of a team of 16-year old young researchers exploring attitudes towards ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland. Jonny’s experience of this lead to co-authoring a journal article with Dr Dirk Schubotz (ARK) and Claire McCartan (ICCR) and it was on the strength of this publication that he was invited to present a workshop on ‘Conducting Better Research – A Young Researcher’s Perspective on the Process of Participatory Peer Research’ at the international ‘Interpretation Claims in Qualitative Research: Positions, Strategies and Perspectives in (self) Critical Knowledge Production’ conference. Jonny, now a first year Economics student, really enjoyed the experience, “It seemed to go very well, everyone had a lot of questions about my experience etc, so the presentation appears to have been a hit!”.
The journal article McCartan, C., Schubotz, D. & Murphy, J. (2012). The self-conscious researcher – post-modern perspectives of participatory research with young people. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(1) can be accessed at http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1798
01/09/2011: Outlaws in Naughton Gallery
Outlaws, a woodcut print by Lisa Malone, is among three art works from the School now hanging in the Naughton Gallery. The exhibition celebrates ten years of the Gallery’s existence and displays 20 pictures by local and international artists. The three works from the School are:
1. Phut, Phit by David Mach, screenprint.
2. Stone Circle by John Keane, PVA on paper.
3. Outlaws by Lisa Malone, woodcut.
The exhibition is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm from 1st September to 2nd
Four recent graduates from the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work have been shortlisted in the prestigious Undergraduate Awards. Through an annual awards programme, the scheme promotes and encourages academic excellence, independent thinking, and innovation by recognising the very best work produced by undergraduate students in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the USA in their final year of study.
The work by recent social work graduates Lindsay Kirk, Kelly Maguire and Catherine Weatherup, and sociology graduate Jonathan Mitchell is among the top 10% of the 2345 submissions received this year from every third level institution in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The graduates from the School represent four of the nine individuals shortlisted in the Social Studies category. In total 28 students from across Queen’s University have made it through to the final stages of the awards.
The overall winners will be announced in late September 2011 and will be invited to attend a gala to be held in Dublin in October 2011 where President Mary McAleese will be the guest of honour.
Dr Stephen Coulter has been awarded a grant from the British Academy to conduct an study to explore how mothers in families seeking professional help narrate the impact of a traumatic event that has involved a member (or members) of their family, prior to the influence of professional therapeutic intervention.
It can be argued that the experience of trauma has been over-medicalised and reduced to a relatively narrow set of ‘symptoms’ associated with diagnostic categories such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This pathological conceptualisation strongly influences mental health professionals’ interventions with victims/survivors of trauma, which then have the potential to obscure important dimensions of the phenomenological experience of being traumatised that are significant to the victim/survivors and their families. Therefore, it is important, to listen to people’s accounts of the impact of traumatic events to achieve a baseline in order to better understand this population and thus plan appropriate professional interventions.
As a first step, this study will ask mothers about the impact of trauma on them and their families using ‘Narrative Interviewing’ methodology. The interviews will be transcribed and analysed thematically sentence by sentence, for (a) inductive themes derived from the literature including; practical reorganisation, changes in individuals thinking /behaviour (symptoms), changes in relationships, ways of coping and making sense (meaning) of the experience and (b) emerging themes and (c) co-occurrence of terms/concepts.
This study will enable the researcher to elucidate a range of practical, psychological and relational adjustment processes in families who have been traumatised, providing insight into the multifaceted impact of trauma in families seeking professional help. It has the potential to raise multiple areas for further research, and to inform the response of social care professionals to traumatised families.