Teenage Relationship Abuse, Education and Help Seeking Behaviours
Outline, including interdisciplinary dimension
The purpose of the proposed PhD study will be to investigate the impact of teenage relationship abuse (TRA) on teenagers’ educational experiences along with their help-seeking behaviours in a sample of teenagers attending the three last years of secondary school across N.I. TRA or else dating violence refers to teenagers’ experience of intimate partner violence (domestic abuse), i.e. such as physical, sexual, and emotional violence perpetrated within the romantic relationships of teenagers (Pentaraki, 2003).
This violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online (Barter et al 2009). TRA affects approximately 1 in 4 teenage women and to a lesser extend teenage men (Barter et al 2009; Pentaraki, 2003). Existing epidemiological data illustrates a wide range of consequences ranging from mental health issues to physical injuries (Bonomi et al., 2013; Pentaraki, 2004). However, TRA and its relationship to educational experiences is an under-researched field internationally even though available research (Pentaraki, 2003; Chronister et al., 2014) states that teenagers who have experienced TRA report decreased educational attainment, school engagement and aspirations.
There is a total lack of research evidence documenting the impact on educational outcomes. Additionally, there is no research documenting the extent and consequences of TRA in NI. Thus, this study informed by a children’s rights based framework and feminist theory, will utilize a mixed methodology approach, including epidemiological survey, and focus groups in a sample of high school students attending the three last years of highschool in NI in order to address the research. TRA is an interdisciplinary area of investigation since the response to the TRA lies in the remit of many sectors, such as social services, criminology, education etc. TRA only recently has become an area of investigation within UK.
teenage relationship abuse, education, help seeking behaviours
Secondary supervisor from a complementary discipline
Supervisors’ track record of PhD completions, plus excellence and international standing in the project area
The lead supervisor , Dr Maria Pentaraki, Lecturer in Social Work, QUB, has participated in two Europe-wide expert networks on gender violence where TRA fails into, one set up by the European Commission and the other one set up by NGOs. Through these and other networks, wide transmission and impact of the results will be facilitated. The lead supervisor's own doctoral study explored the phenomenon of TRA. She also has a track record of publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented this and subsequent work at many international fora. The lead supervisor is currently a supervisor for a PhD student in a cognate area, she has also supervised the successful completion of many post graduate taught theses.
Intersectoral exposure and/or international mobility
(e.g. secondments to/collaboration with partner organizations)
The PhD candidate will take advantage of the networks of the lead supervisor. One of the networks is WAVE which has been at the forefront of addressing issues of violence against women as well as TRA. WAVE’s offices are based on Austria and could be one of the places that the student could gain relevant experience. There s/he can work with Rosa Logar who cofounded WAVE and who teaches at the social work department of the University of Applied Sciences in Austria. Rosa Logar has also been elected one of the ten GREVIO committee members who will monitor implementation of the Istanbul Convention in the next four years. The Istanbul convention represents the most advanced European framework in the area of gender violence
Describe briefly the international profile of the partner
WAVE is a European wide network of NGOs that address issues of gender violence and has an international profile. It has participated through one of its founders, Rosa Logan, in international activities for example: member of the UN Expert Group Meeting Good practices in legislation on Violence Against Women in Vienna (2008); member of the Council of Europe Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence (2006-2008); from 2008 until 2010 member in the Council of Europe Ad Hoc Committee which was in charge of drafting the new Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. Now, she participates in GREVIO which is the independent expert body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) by country members
Training that will be provided through the research project itself
In addition to the post graduate research skills training provided by the University and relates to aspects of research design, quantitative and qualitative research, e.g. skills in using SPSS and NVIVO, etc. The additional training the project will include is training in children’s rights based research methodology and feminist intersectional theory, training in a mixed methodology approach, including epidemiological survey, and focus groups.
Examples of additional training in non-research transferable skills
The project will include: knowledge, skills and values about working with young people to address a sensitive issue such as Teenage Relationship Abuse (TRA). Knowledge about agencies and approaches to address TRA, mobilize help seeking behaviours and address issues related to education and TRA.
Expected dissemination of results: peer-reviewed journals, seminars, workshop and conferences at European/international level
(e.g. public talks, visits to schools, open days, QUB impact showcase)
It is expected that the evidence produced will enhance the service provision for schools, social services and youth services amongst others in order to improve outcomes for young people and their communities. Thus, in addition to the papers submitted in peer reviewed journals, such as Violence Against Women Journal and Journal of Youth Studies, conferences and workshops will be presented in some of the following conferences: Women Against Violence in Europe WAVE European Conference on Domestic Violence, Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development, National Association of Head teachers Conference, Global Youth Workers Conference, Global Youth Leaders Conference etc.
Additionally, as already discussed the lead supervisor has participated in two Europe-wide expert networks on gender violence where TRA fails into, one set up by the European Commission and the other one set up by NGOs. Through these and other networks, wide transmission and impact of the results will be facilitated.
Expected impact activities
(e.g. public talks, visits to schools, open days, QUB impact showcase)
Public talks and information sessions will be held with Women’s Aid and related organizations that aim to address TRA either through their help lines or through the implementation of prevention projects. The supervisor already has collaborated with Women’s Aid.
Additionally, information sessions will be held with the Children’s Commissioner of Northern Ireland who is interested in the area of TRA, the lead supervisor has already talked to her, along with the Children’s Commissioner of England etc. Also, information sessions will be held with the Department of Education Northern Ireland, the Health and Social Care Board Northern Ireland and other relevant bodies that can utilize the results of the research project.
Overall, the results will be disseminated more generally to policy makers, commissioners, practitioners and researchers. Also, the opportunities that QUB provides, such as QUB impact showcase will be utilized.