Research at the School of Applied Psychology

People and Technology

The People and Technology (PAT) research group is a collection of researchers interested in understanding, designing, and evaluating digital technologies through psychological and socio-scientific sensitivities. We contribute mainly to the disciplines of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Applied Psychology, and Computer-Supported Collaboration (CSCW and Social Computing). The group is committed to experience-centred, participatory approaches to the design of digital technology, helping ensure that technological developments give people a chance for a richer life, include people who too often are excluded, and ensure everyone can express what matters to them.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing

The importance of mental health and well-being for the social and economic health of the nation has grown in prominence in governmental strategic plans. The overarching focus in the School is twofold (a) to elucidate psychological processes underpinning risk and resilience and (b) to formulate and evaluate psychological interventions at both the clinical and community level. These aims find translation in foci related to trauma, family resilience, adverse experiences in childhood, childhood illness and disability, ASD, human sexuality, mental health difficulties, well-being in the workplace, infant and maternal mental health, reproductive issues, migrant populations, stress and coping, addictive behaviours, homelessness and therapeutic and training interventions.

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Healthy Development and Ageing

We look at the way our psychological and physical selves change and interact over the course of our life; we are particularly interested in discovering which physiological, behavioural, cognitive and lifestyle factors support a healthy development across all ages and stages of life, including childhood, adolescence and adulthood. We study how biology may influence behaviour and vice versa, and also study the social, cultural and psychological factors that contribute how we think, feel and behave, as well as our health. Our research includes measures and models of perceptual sensitivity, perceptions of ageing, elder stereotypes, pubertal/adolescent development, socio-cultural influence on biobehavioural health, intergenerational transmission of trauma and psychobiological stress.

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Research News

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19 Mar 2024

Funded PhD: Digital Interventions Against cancer Misinformation (DIAM) Project

SFI Lero and Breakthrough Cancer Research Digital tools such as discussion boards, apps and websites are often noted as leading sources of cancer misinformation. This misinformation might pertain to prevention of cancer, screening outcomes and treatment options. In the  current digital era, many patients unsurprisingly seek out information via the internet. It is unrealistic to expect patients to avoid online information pertaining to a diagnosis they have received, which makes it all the more important to equip patients with the tools to evaluate information they are engaging with.
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24 Jul 2023

Family Processes and the Emotional and Behavioural Well-being of Autistic Children and Youth: A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies

SoAP PhD student, Billy Fitzgerald, and co-authors, Christopher McCusker, Maria Dempsey, and Audrey Dunn Galvin, recently published a research paper in the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Emotional and behavioural difficulties including depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity are elevated in autistic children (AC). Family processes of a psychological nature are associated with these difficulties, but the direction of influence is uncertain. We searched seven bibliographic databases for prospective, quantitative studies on the impact of family processes across the parent, dyad, and family system levels on the later well-being of AC without intellectual disability, across a minimum of six months. Eligible studies were extracted following PRISMA guidelines and narratively synthesised. Sixteen of the 17 studies included for review reported significant associations between at least one family process and later well-being. Parenting stress and aspects of the parent–child relationship yielded most robust associations. Weaker support was found for parent mental health problems. Clinical and research implications are discussed. Read in full here
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14 Dec 2022

ASpida is about to be launched into the local communities

Researchers from the University College Cork, the School of Applied Psychology hosted a two-day event to present and discuss in person the new training handbook of ASpida. They invited a group of individuals with chronic pain, members of the Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) who participated in a series of activities that focused on pilot testing the new protocol. ASpida is an innovative community-based program that aims to tackle the effects of stigma in chronic pain.
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17 Aug 2022

Teacher attitudes toword and awareness of adolescent gambling behavior in the UK

  Raegan Murphy and colleagues have published their latest research entitled "Teacher attitudes toward and awareness of adolescent gambling behavior in the UK". Numbers of adolescents experiencing gambling related harm are increasing. Teachers spend a significant amount of time with students and their attitudes can make an impact on engagement in high-risk behavior. However, teachers’ awareness of, and attitudes towards adolescent gambling are under-researched; this study aimed to address this gap. 157 UK schoolteachers completed an online survey assessing their perceptions of adolescent gambling. Cochran’s-Q tests of association and regression analyses revealed that teachers perceived adolescent gambling as significantly less serious than other high-risk behaviors. Teachers also reported having significantly less frequent conversations about gambling and were less confident addressing gambling issues than other high-risk behaviors. Arguments are made for increased teacher training around problematic youth gambling. Such a strategy would be a prerequisite for the development and implementation of targeted prevention from harms.
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PhD by Research in the School of Applied Psychology

Interested in pursuing a PhD with us? Find details about our studentships and how to register your interest.

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Doctorate of Clinical Psychology in the School of Applied Psychology

All the information about our Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme.

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School of Applied Psychology

Síceolaíocht Fheidhmeach

Cork Enterprise Centre, North Mall, Cork.,