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Sinéad Rooney, Postgraduate Research Student

Contact Details


Year: 1st

Project Details

First Supervisor: Dr. Lesley Storey

Second Supervisor: Dr. Martin Dempster

PhD Title: Exploring psychological interventions for chronic sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Summary of Project: The project aims to explore the impact of living with chronic STIs including HIV in Northern Ireland. Equipped with this knowledge and understanding the impact of receiving a positive diagnosis, psychological interventions can be established to promote acceptance and adjustment to diagnosis as well as supporting the individual through challenges that may present. Research suggests that the promotion of acceptance to diagnosis can have important health, social and psychological implications. Often the stigma surrounding the acquisition of STIs and challenges in discussing sex and sexual health can create barriers for individuals affected to seek social and psychological support. Through establishing an understanding of the personal challenges experienced by individuals living with chronic STIs, psychological support can be better tailored to meet the needs of this population. Psychological therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) will be explored through this research and the effectiveness of its principles for chronic STIs will be evaluated. Qualitative methodology will be utilised to research the experiences and challenges faced by individuals living with chronic STIs in Northern Ireland.

School of Psychology Research Interest Group: Indentities, Groups & Social Change


Attitudes towards sex and sexual health in NI: An interpretative phenomenological approach. 2ND Conference on Applied Qualitative Research in Psychology. University of Derby, June 2013

Attitudes towards sex and sexual health in NI: Overprotective verses riskier sexual behaviour. Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society (NIBPS), April 2013

“I couldn’t bring myself to tell him”: Exploring the psychosocial impact of genital HSV in the heterosexual relationship. 3rd Annual Postgraduate Student Conference, School of Psychology QUB, September 2012

Eye tracking social attention patterns among individuals with Williams Syndrome. 2nd Annual Postgraduate Student Conference, School of Psychology QUB, September 2011


Hanley, M., Riby, D.M., Caswell, S., Rooney, S. & Back, E. (2013). Looking and thinking: How individuals with Williams syndrome make judgements about mental states. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 4466-4476