Understanding young people, alcohol and sexual behaviour

knowing what works, and creating change


CA107, Cairnes Building, NUI Galway 10:00 :: 30th January 2014

The contributors to this event are Dr Padraig MacNeela (Lecturer, School of Psychology, NUIG), Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhann (Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Promotion, NUIG), Dr Cliona Saidlear (Rape Crisis Network of Ireland, Policy & Communications Director), and Professor Antonia Abbey, College of Liberal Arts & Science, Wayne State University, Michigan).

The pervasive reach of alcohol in Irish society is reflected in its prominence in the youth culture among adolescents and young adults. Drinking is perceived as integral to socialising and having fun. It is viewed as facilitating sexual relationships as well as friendships, and this seminar considers the intersections that exist between alcohol use, gender roles, and sexuality. The speakers will present on research and policy in these areas. The seminar presentation will give an overview of what we know about young people’s drinking and sexual behaviour, before a panel discussion on the conditions and steps needed to address alcohol-related harms and the challenge of sexual violence.

Each contributor will give a short presentation and these talks will be followed by a panel discussion.

Speakers' Bios:

Antonia Abbey has a long-standing interest in understanding and preventing violence against women. Her current research interests include studying the perpetrators and survivors of sexual assault, alcohol and sexual risk-taking, women’s health, and substance abuse prevention for adolescents and young adults.

Saoirse Nic Gabhainn is responsible for research programmes in schools health promotion and among young people. She has published widely in the field of child and adolescent health, with a focus on risk (primarily drugs and sexual health) and protective (primarily social support and social network) behaviours, adolescent health inequalities, and child participation in the research process. Since 1994 she has been Principal Investigator for Ireland with the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) network.

Clíona Saidlear works to facilitate internal and external policy development and communications to further Rape Crisis Network Ireland’s objective of transforming society. Her work involves the development, recording and dissemination of policy positions to maximise lobbying and public awareness, interagency cooperation and the management of regular publications.

Pádraig MacNeela’s research interests are in health care and social issues. His research on youth and young adulthood is focused on protective factors such as volunteering and on attitudes to alcohol use, and he is a coordinator of the PhD in Child & Youth Research at NUI Galway. He also researches decision-making among health care professionals and lay people.

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