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Project Title

Preparing young men to be fathers: The roll out and study of If I were Jack in Hydebank Wood College.

Research Focus:

STRAND: Maternal & Child Health

STREAM: Sexual Rights and Reproductive Health of Young People

Funder & Duration

Northern Ireland Prison Service

6 months

Principal Investigator or Primary Supervisor

Professor Maria Lohan


Chief Investigators or additional supervisors

Dr Mark Linden

Research Fellow(s) or PhD Student

Dr Michelle Templeton

Name & Institution of Collaborators

Ms Deirdre Sloan Barnardo’s (NI)

Name of External Partner Organisations

Department of Justice (NI)

Northern Ireland Prison Service

Description of Project

We will deliver and determine the usefulness of the ‘If I were Jack’ Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) resource to young men in Hydebank Wood Secure College.


‘If I were Jack’ is a unique, evidence based resource developed from rigorous, empirical research which has been specifically designed to address teenage men’s relationship and sexuality education (RSE) with a specific focus of preventing unintended pregnancies. Unfortunately, young men have been relatively neglected in relation to RSE and are much less likely than young women to receive education concerning pregnancy and pregnancy prevention in schools or from parents.  Approximately 1 in 4 young men in UK prisons are thought to be, or are about to be, fathers so addressing their RSE needs is an important mechanism for promoting positive development and improving the lives of all young adults; especially those suffering the effects of various types of disadvantage. The World Health Organisation too has highlighted the urgent need to produce and scientifically evaluate gender-sensitive interventions to involve men in preventing unintended pregnancy and in preparing to parent.


‘If I were Jack’, developed by leading researchers in the field of men’s health at QUB, uses an innovative combination of intervention components proven to be effective in RSE.  We will deliver this programme to young men in Hydebank Wood College and conduct a rigorous evaluation of the resource to identify,

  • the acceptability and usability of the resource
  • the optimal delivery structures for this resource and RSE more generally in HBW,
  • how the resource should be amended, tailored and re-developed to make it more suitable to the needs of young men in a secure college


We will build on this pilot delivery and evaluation to gather evidence and apply for funding to develop a bespoke, evidence based ‘preparing to parent’ resource for young male offenders in custodial settings.

Associated with the project.





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