Research Profile

Maria Dempsey

Biography

Research Interests

Adolescent Sexuality; Teenage Pregnancy; Parenting; Reflective Teaching & Learning; Mental health.

My research interest is concerned with developing an understanding of individuals’ understanding of self in two primary areas; reflective teaching and learning, and teenage pregnancy. In terms of strategy it has been important to me that there is a clear link between theory and practice in terms each area of my work namely research, teaching and clinical practice. To this end my research on reflective teaching and learning has been routed back into course development and more recently development of supervision processes for professionals post graduation – a significant issue in terms of Continuing Professional Development. My research on teenage sexual activity and pregnancy contributed to the development of the ‘Slouchy Couch’, a service specifically catering for teenagers needs and has also been incorporated into training provision for a range of health care professionals including counselling psychologists and public health nurses.

Having worked in a support area for mothers parenting alone and their children I became interested in moving beyond the quantification of problems and investigating what the experience of teenage pregnancy was like from the inside out. To this end I completed the first study of its kind (qualitative analysis of the experience of teenage pregnancy) in Ireland through the Dept of General Practice, UCC and the then SE Health Board. As well as the previously mentioned ‘Slouchy Couch’ this study resulted in the investigation of developing a peer sexual health education process in the health board area. Following from this work I secured a grant together with Professor Colin Bradley, from the then Mid Western Health Board to conduct a combined quantitative and qualitative study into teenagers, sexual knowledge, attitudes, experiences and behaviour. This study built on the previous one by engaging with John Tripp and the APAUSE team in the University of Exeter. The findings from these studies have been published by the funding bodies.  

Since 1997 I have been engaged in work with colleagues from Applied Social Studies, Education and Adult & Continuing Education on Reflective Teaching & Learning. The objectives of our work focused on developing knowledge, teaching materials and assessment procedures to support reflective learning on professional education courses. Reflective learning is a constructivist, phenomenological approach to learning based on the ideas of Dewey (1933), Schon (1983), Kolb (1984), Lyons (1998), Nakkula (1998) and Seidal (1998). Kolb’s loop concept suggests that experience is acted upon through reflective observation that in turn acts as a basis on which active experimentation followed by feedback, produces change in behaviour. This process encourages students to develop a sense of their own value base and how this relates to theories, methods and professional ethics. Reflective learning is an approach to learning that encourages students to develop a framework of values, knowledge and skills that can be added to, modified and expanded throughout their lifecycle.

As I see teaching and research as being firmly interwoven, in 2000 I engaged in the process of constructing a teaching portfolio, a documentation of the collaborative process of intentional enquiry into aspects of my teaching. A primary goal of teaching is enabling students to develop the skills of enquiry – these are also the fundamental skills of research. The collaborative research I have undertaken with Drs. Murphy & Halton has been focused on developing methods of engaging with students in terms of developing an understanding of their knowledge construction. This work resulted in a being awarded a UCC Presidents Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching and Learning in 2002 and a range of journal publications. The phenomenological underpinnings of this work mirrors the theoretical underpinnings of humanistic and existential approaches to counselling psychology both of which I teach at a postgraduate level. To this end there is a clear relationship between the subject matter of courses I teach, the focus of my areas of research and my own approach to research, teaching and practice. 

 

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
[MID WEST HEALTHBOARD] {M Dempsey } VHealth Boards01-SEP-0231-AUG-03€59,455.00

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2018)'Pot of gold at the rainbows end? A spectrum of attitudes to ART in Ireland'
Dempsey, M., King, R., & Nagy, A. (2018) 'Pot of gold at the rainbows end? A spectrum of attitudes to ART in Ireland'. Journal Of Reproductive And Infant Psychology, [Details]
(2016)'Keeping things under control: Exploring migrant Eastern European womens’ experiences of pregnancy in Ireland'
Dempsey, M., & Peeren, S. (2016) 'Keeping things under control: Exploring migrant Eastern European womens’ experiences of pregnancy in Ireland'. Journal Of Reproductive And Infant Psychology, [Details]
(2016)'Measuring sperm backflow following female orgasm: a new method'
King, R., Dempsey, M. & Valentine, K (2016) 'Measuring sperm backflow following female orgasm: a new method'. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 6 (Special Issue):1-13 [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Construction of peer support groups in child protection social work: Negotiating practicalities to enhance the professional self'
Halton, C., & Dempsey, M. (2016) 'Construction of peer support groups in child protection social work: Negotiating practicalities to enhance the professional self'. Journal of Social Work Practice, [DOI] [Details]
(2013)'Exploring experiences of adoption: Emerging implications for therapeutic practice'
Jordan, C., & Dempsey, M (2013) 'Exploring experiences of adoption: Emerging implications for therapeutic practice'. Counselling Psychology Review, Vol. 28 (1):37-46 [Details]
(2008)'The transfer of reflective engagement from social work education into the workplace: a study of the value of scaffolded reflection'
Murphy,M., Halton,C., & Dempsey,M.; (2008) 'The transfer of reflective engagement from social work education into the workplace: a study of the value of scaffolded reflection'. Irish Educational Studies, 27 (1):71-80 [Details]
(2008)'Introducing tools of reflective learning into peer supervision groups in a social work agency: An action research project'
Dempsey, M., Murphy, M., & Halton, C. ; (2008) 'Introducing tools of reflective learning into peer supervision groups in a social work agency: An action research project'. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 8 (2):25-43 [DOI] [Details]
(2007)'Reflective learning in social work education: researching student experiences'
Halton, C., Murphy, M. & Dempsey, M.; (2007) 'Reflective learning in social work education: researching student experiences'. Reflective Practice, 8 (4):511-523 [Details]
(2002)'Quantative Outcomes of a Parent Education Group'
Dromey, S., Dempsey, M., O’Sullivan, K. (2002) 'Quantative Outcomes of a Parent Education Group'. The Irish Psychologist, [Details]
(2001)'Reflective learning in social work education: scaffolding the process'
Dempsey, M., Halton, C. & Murphy, M.; (2001) 'Reflective learning in social work education: scaffolding the process'. Social Work Education, 20 (6):631-641 [Details]
(1997)'The Use of Self in Social Work: Opportunities for Reflection During Professional Training'
Dempsey, M., Halton C., & Murphy, M; (1997) 'The Use of Self in Social Work: Opportunities for Reflection During Professional Training'. Irish Social Worker, [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2009)'Reflective Inquiry in Professional Social Work Education Chapter in Lyons, N. (Editor)'
Murphy, M., Dempsey, M. & Halton, C; (2009) 'Reflective Inquiry in Professional Social Work Education Chapter in Lyons, N. (Editor)' In: A Handbook of Reflection and Reflective Inquiry. New York: Springer. [Details]

Other Journals

 YearPublication
(2005)'An investigation of teenagers sexual knowledge, attitudes, experiences and behaviours in the MWHB region of the country'
Dempsey, M., Bradley, C. & Dromey, S. ; (2005) 'An investigation of teenagers sexual knowledge, attitudes, experiences and behaviours in the MWHB region of the country' National Institute of Health Sciences: Research Bulletin, 3 (1) :42-43. [Details]
(2001)'The experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland (3.34 MB)'
Dempsey, Maria and Heslin, Julie and Bradley, Colin (2001) 'The experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland (3.34 MB)' -1465, . [Details]
(2002)'Tus Nua: A new start for mothers parenting alone'
Ryan, T., & Dempsey, M; (2002) 'Tus Nua: A new start for mothers parenting alone' Insight Reflective Practice Journal, 2 :23-24. [Details]

Published Reports

 YearPublication
(2000)The South East Teenage Pregnancy Study: A qualitative analysis of the experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland.
Dempsey,M., Heslin,J., & Bradley, C.; (2000) The South East Teenage Pregnancy Study: A qualitative analysis of the experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland. . [Details]

Other

 YearPublication
(1999)It's not cancer - it's a baby!.
Dempsey, M; (1999) It's not cancer - it's a baby!. Other [Details]

Published abstracts

 YearPublication
(2001)Teenage pregnancy in the context of service provision.
Dempsey, M.; (2001) Teenage pregnancy in the context of service provision. Published abstracts [Details]

Review Articles

 YearPublication
(2003)Follow up Study of MSW Graduates on Reflective Teaching and Learning.
Halton, C. (2003) Follow up Study of MSW Graduates on Reflective Teaching and Learning. Review Articles [Details]
(2001)'Reflective Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education'.
Dempsey, M., Halton, C. and Murphy, M; (2001) 'Reflective Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education'. Review Articles [Details]

Unpublished Reports

 YearPublication
(2004)An Investigation of Teenagers Sexual Knowledge, Attitudes, Experiences and Behaviour in the Mid Western Health Board Region.
Dempsey, M., Bradley, C., & Dromey, S; (2004) An Investigation of Teenagers Sexual Knowledge, Attitudes, Experiences and Behaviour in the Mid Western Health Board Region. Unpublished Reports [Details]
(2001)The experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland.
Dempsey,M., Heslin, J., & Bradley, C.; (2001) The experience of teenage pregnancy in the South East of Ireland. Unpublished Reports [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2002Presidents Award for Research on Innovative Forms of Teaching and Learning. UCC
2006Student Unions Award for Services to Student Students Union, UCC

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Registered Member, Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Registered Member01-SEP-99 /
Associate Fellow, PSI PSI01-SEP-99 /

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2018)European Health Psychology Conference,
Dempsey, M., Willis, N. & Murphy, R (2018) Paper in Symposium on Mixed Methods. [Oral Presentation], European Health Psychology Conference, NUI Galway , 21-AUG-18 - 25-AUG-18. [Details]
(2017)7th World Congress on Women's Mental Health,
Maguire, C., Carolan, M., Dempsey, M., & Tobin, M. (2017) Exploring the process of change within parents-to-be taking part in a transition to parenthood group in an area of high deprivation. [Oral Presentation], 7th World Congress on Women's Mental Health, Dublin , 06-MAR-17 - 09-MAR-17. [Details]
(2016)PSI Annual Conference,
Nagy, A., Dempsey, M., King, R. & Clifford, H. (2016) ARTs and Life. [Poster Presentation], PSI Annual Conference, Athlone, Ireland , 10-NOV-16 - 12-NOV-16. [Details]
(2016)P.S.I. (Health),
Nagy, A., Dempsey, M. & King, R. J. (2016) Practitioners’ Understanding of Assistive Reproductive Technologies. [Oral Presentation], P.S.I. (Health), Cork (Ireland) . [Details]
(2016)P.S.I,
Nagy, A. Dempsey, M., King., R. (2016) Assistive Reproductive Technologies: Practitioner and User Experiences. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], P.S.I, Ireland . [Details]
(2016)PSI Annual Conference,
McGrath, N., Dempsey, M. & King, R. (2016) How About a Walk? Exploring the terrain of Walk and Talk Therapy. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual Conference, Athlone, Ireland , 10-NOV-16 - 12-NOV-16. [Details]
(2016)Open(ing) Dialogue National Conference,
Dempsey, M. (2016) Scaffolding Open Dialogue Research in the Irish Context. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Open(ing) Dialogue National Conference, Cork , 13-SEP-16 - 13-SEP-16. [Details]
(2016)Society for Reproductive & Infant Psychology,
Peeren, S., & Dempsey, M. (2016) MOMI: Motherhood and migration: A mixed methods consideration of social support in Ireland. [Poster Presentation], Society for Reproductive & Infant Psychology, Leeds, UK , 13-SEP-16 - 14-SEP-16. [Details]
(2016)Open(ing) Dialogue National Conference,
Twamley, I., Keane, N. & Dempsey, M. (2016) An Open Dialogue-informed approach to mental health service delivery: Pilot study of the experiences of service user and their support networks. [Poster Presentation], Open(ing) Dialogue National Conference, Cork , 13-SEP-16 - 13-SEP-16. [Details]
(2016)Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference,
Nagy, A., Dempsey, M., King, R., & Aldridge, J. (2016) Concepts of infertility among health care professionals: An exploratory study. [Poster Presentation], Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference, UCC , 26-MAY-16 - 27-MAY-16. [Details]
(2015)PSI Annual Conference,
Dempsey, M., Clancy, M., & Dunne, S (2015) Living with Depression: Intimate partners perspectives on depression. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual Conference, Galway , 11-NOV-15 - 14-NOV-15. [Details]
(2014)PSI, Annual Conference,
Dempsey, M. & O'Brien, G (2014) Would a band-aid be of use to you? Developing understanding of male perspectives on menstruation. [Oral Presentation], PSI, Annual Conference, Kilkenny Ireland , 12-NOV-14 - 15-NOV-14. [Details]
(2014)PSI, Annual Conference,
Buckley, T & Dempsey, M (2014) Gastric bands: Silent friends?. [Oral Presentation], PSI, Annual Conference, Kilkenny Ireland , 12-NOV-14 - 15-NOV-14. [Details]
(2014)PSI, Annual Conference,
Hogan, V. & Dempsey, M. (2014) A Family Problem? Exploring Experiences of Parenting Adolescents With Substance Abuse Problems. [Oral Presentation], PSI, Annual Conference, Kilkenny Ireland , 12-NOV-14 - 15-NOV-14. [Details]
(2013)PSI Annual conference,
Siofra Peeren and Maria Dempsey (2013) Migrant Eastern European Womens’ Experience of Pregnancy and Motherhood in Ireland: An exploratory study. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual conference, Sligo , 06-NOV-13 - 09-NOV-13. [Details]
(2011)PSI Annual Conference,
Jordan, C. & Dempsey, m. (2011) The experience of adoption from the inside out. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual Conference, Galway . [Details]
(1995)American Psychological Association,
Heppner, P.P., O’Leary, E., & Dempsey, M (1995) Is problem solving related to depression, anxiety and anger? A cross cultural investigation in Ireland and Kenya. [Oral Presentation], American Psychological Association, New York . [Details]
(2013)PSI Annual Conference,
Maria Dempsey (2013) Title: Teenage pregnancy in Ireland: Constancy and change. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual Conference, Sligo , 06-NOV-13 - 09-NOV-13. [Details]
(2013)PSI Annual conference,
Maria Dempsey & Lucy Rowell (2013) Identity Development of Irish Mothers Parenting Alone. [Oral Presentation], PSI Annual conference, Sligo , 06-NOV-13 - 09-NOV-13. [Details]
(2013)The 3rd European Conference on Social Work Research,
Halton, C., & Dempsey, M. (2013) Child Protection Social Workers Experiences of Peer Support Groups: A longitudinal study. [Oral Presentation], The 3rd European Conference on Social Work Research, University of JYvaskyla Finland , 20-MAR-13 - 22-MAR-13. [Details]
(2012)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
Dempsey, M., & Kamphuis, C. (2012) Perceived stress and maintenance of weight management strategies. [Oral Presentation], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork , 08-NOV-12 - 11-NOV-12. [Details]
(2012)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
Dempsey, M. (2012) It’s not cancer, it’s a baby’; Lived experiences of teenage pregnancy. [Oral Presentation], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork , 08-NOV-12 - 11-NOV-12. [Details]
(2007)AERA Conference,
Murphy, M., Halton, C., & Dempsey, M.; (2007) Sustaining Reflective Development in the Workplace: Researching epistemological responses to reflective engagement by social work practitioners. [Oral Presentation], AERA Conference, unknown , 01-JAN-07 - 01-JAN-07. [Details]
(2006)American Education Research Association (AERA),
Lyons,N., Halton, C., Dempsey, M., Murphy, M. & Rath, A.; (2006) Reflective Engagement as Professional Development: In service of the public good? . [Oral Presentation], American Education Research Association (AERA), San Francisco , 07-APR-06 - 11-APR-06. [Details]
(2006)American Educational Resarch Association (AERA),
Halton, C., Dempsey, M., & Murphy, M.; (2006) Education for responsible social work practice; the role of reflective engagement. [Oral Presentation], American Educational Resarch Association (AERA), San Francisco, USA , 06-APR-06 - 12-APR-06. [Details]
(2005)Women in Need of Greater Support (WiNGS) Across Europe initiative, (European Grundtvig II Learning Partnership),
Dempsey, M.; (2005) Teenage pregnancy: Implications for supports in educational settings. [Oral Presentation], Women in Need of Greater Support (WiNGS) Across Europe initiative, (European Grundtvig II Learning Partnership), Bessborough Care Centre, Cork , 01-JAN-05 - 01-JAN-05. [Details]
(2005)European Conference for Educational Research (ECER),
Lyons, N., Murphy, M., Halton, C., Dempsey, M. & Rath, A.; (2005) Reflective Engagement as professional development in higher education: Does new research support or refute the argument. [Oral Presentation], European Conference for Educational Research (ECER), UCD , 07-SEP-05 - 07-SEP-05. [Details]
(2005)ESAI Annual Conference,
Lyons, N., Dempsey, M., Halton, C., Murphy, M. & Rath, A.; (2005) Reflective Engagement as Professional Development: Does new research support or refute prior claims?. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Annual Conference, UCC , 11-MAR-05 - 11-MAR-05. [Details]
(2005)European Educational Research Association Conference ECER,
Dempsey, M., Halton, C., Murphy, M.; (2005) Tracking the Experience of Reflective Learning in Social Work Education : A Case Study. [Oral Presentation], European Educational Research Association Conference ECER, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.September , 07-SEP-05 - 07-SEP-05. [Details]
(2005)ESAI Annual Conference,
Murphy, M., Dempsey, M.,& Halton, C.; (2005) Tracking the experience of reflective learning in social work education: a longitudinal case study. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Annual Conference, UCC , 11-MAR-05 - 11-MAR-05. [Details]
(2005)La Leche League Conference,
Dempsey, M.; (2005) Voices of teenage pregnancy: experiences, meanings and connections with lone parenting. [Invited Oral Presentation], La Leche League Conference, Kilkenny , 11-MAR-05 - 13-MAR-05. [Details]
(2003)Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI),
O'Connell, B., Dempsey, M. & O'Sullivan, K; (2003) 'Pink Prejudice? An exploratory Study of the prevalence and aspects of homophobia amongst Irish Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Counselling Psychologists' . [Oral Presentation], Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), * , 01-NOV-03 - 01-NOV-03. [Details]
(2001)International Portfolio Conference,
Dempsey, M., Halton, C., Murphy, M.; (2001) Cross Disciplinary Perspectives on Scaffolding Reflective Portfolio Development on a Professional Training Course,. [Oral Presentation], International Portfolio Conference, UCC, Cork , 01-FEB-01 - 03-FEB-01. [Details]
(1999)AERA,
Murphy, M., Halton, C., & Dempsey, M. ; (1999) Sustaining Reflective Development in the Workplace: Researching Epistemological Responses to Reflective Engagement by Social Work Practitioners. . [Oral Presentation], AERA, Chicago , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]
(1999)AERA,
Halton, C., Lyons, N., Dempsey, M., & Murphy, M.; (1999) Epistemological Development through Practitioner Research by Social Workers Engaged in a Masters Degree by Portfolio. [Oral Presentation], AERA, Chicago , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]
(1999)ESAI Conference,
Dempsey, M., Halton,C., & Murphy, M; (1999) Tracking the experience of reflective learning of MSW Students. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Conference, Cork , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]
(1999)International Portfolio Conference,
Dempsey,M., Halton, C., & Murphy, M; (1999) Cross Disciplinary perspectives on scaffolding reflective portfolio development on a professional training course. [Oral Presentation], International Portfolio Conference, Cork , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]
(1998)International Portfolio Conference,
Dempsey, M., Halton, C., & Murphy, M.; (1998) Reflective Learning in professional education. [Oral Presentation], International Portfolio Conference, Maine, USA , 04-JUL-98 - 06-JUL-98. [Details]
(1998)Reflective Learning Seminar,
Dempsey, M., Halton, C. and Murphy, M; (1998) Reflective Learning in Professional Education. [Invited Oral Presentation], Reflective Learning Seminar, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA , 10-JUL-98 - 12-JUL-98. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Board of Professional Conduct, PSI Board member2016 /
Board of Directors, MTAS Ltd. Member2014 /
CACSSS Graduate School Executive Member2014 / 2015
UCC Mitigation Committee committee member2012 /
CACSSS Graduate studies committee Committee member2011 /
Faculty of Arts Staff-Student Committee Chair2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Development Committee *2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Regulations Committee member2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Admissions Liasion Committee *2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Library Committee *2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Studies Committee *2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Research Committee *2003 / 2006
Faculty of Arts Adult Liason Group *2003 / 2006
Interim College Management Committee (ACSSS) Member2005 / 1899
Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology, PSI. Committee member2008 /
Sexual Diversity and Gender Issues Special Interest Group, PSI Member2008 /
Child Health Information Service Project (CHISP) Collaborative research work with SEHB2002 / 2003
Kerry Counselling Centre: A Centre for Counselling, Education & Development External Examiner2007 / 2010

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University College Cork College Lecturer in Applied Psychology01-JAN-01 /
University College Cork Assistant Dean (for Student Affairs)01-JAN-03 / 31-DEC-06
University College Cork Researcher01-JAN-98 / 31-DEC-01
University College Cork College Lecturer in Dept. Applied Psychology01-JAN-94 / 31-DEC-98

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1992NUI Galway BAPsychology
2011UCC Ph.D.Applied Psychology
1994NUI Galway MACounselling Psychology

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2020Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Skills AP6128Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Skills

Contact details

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