Research Profile

Ciara Staunton

Biography

Ciara is a Lecturer and Senior Coordinator at the Centre for Adult Continuing Education in UCC. Having obtained her Degree in Applied Psychology from UCC in 1999, she received her MSc. in Applied Forensic & Legal Psychology from Leicester University. She also completed a H.Dip in Computer Science in UCC in 2001. Ciara obtained her PhD in Forensic Psychology from UCC in 2009. Her PhD research was in the area of the psychophysiological detection of deception and the physiological assessment of female sexual arousal. Ciara co-ordinated and taught on the MA in Forensic Psychology for several years and also ran the Forensic Psychology Research Programme with Dr Sean Hammond between 2006 and 2009. 

Currently, Ciara coordinates and lectures on the Diploma in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour as well as the Diploma in Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies. This latter programme was set up in collaboration with the HSE Addiction Counselling Team, Arbour House, St. Finbarrs Hospital in 2017.

Ciara also lectures the CR2005 Sex Offender module on the BA Criminology as well as topics on mental health for the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community.
Aligned with her teaching, Ciara supervises dissertations and is interested broadly in all areas of forensic psychology and criminology but more specifically in the topics of sexual violence, sexual offenders, rape myths and restorative justice (RJ) practices.



Ciara is a Lecturer and Senior Coordinator at the Centre for Adult Continuing Education in UCC. Having obtained her Degree in Applied Psychology from UCC in 1999, she received her MSc. in Applied Forensic & Legal Psychology from Leicester University. She also completed a H.Dip in Computer Science in UCC in 2001. Ciara obtained her PhD in Forensic Psychology from UCC in 2009. Her PhD research was in the area of the psychophysiological detection of deception and the physiological assessment of female sexual arousal. Ciara co-ordinated and taught on the MA in Forensic Psychology for several years and also ran the Forensic Psychology Research Programme with Dr Sean Hammond between 2006 and 2009. 

Currently, Ciara coordinates and lectures on the Diploma in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour as well as the Diploma in Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies. This latter programme was set up in collaboration with the HSE Addiction Counselling Team, Arbour House, St. Finbarrs Hospital in 2017.

Ciara also lectures the CR2005 Sex Offender module on the BA Criminology as well as topics on mental health for the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community.
Aligned with her teaching, Ciara supervises dissertations and is interested broadly in all areas of forensic psychology and criminology but more specifically in the topics of sexual violence, sexual offenders, rape myths and restorative justice (RJ) practices.



Research Interests

My research interests are concentrated within the area of forensic psychology and criminology with a particular emphasis on victims and offenders of sexual crime, deviant sexual interest and rape myths. I am also interested in the area of psychophysiology, i.e. the interrelationships between the physiological and psychological aspects of behaviour. Essentially psychophysiology refers to the use of physiological measures of central (e.g. EEG, ERP) or peripheral nervous system functions to enhance our understanding of psychological processes and behaviours. The application of instrumentation to the study of emotions was the starting point of my doctoral studies. My PhD was based on psychophysiological strategies for psychological assessment in forensic settings. My research covered three distinct yet related areas: emotional responsivity; deception detection and sexual arousal with a particular focus on female sexual offenders.  

S
ex offenders are recognised as a growing challenge in the forensic literature and in criminal justice. Although sexual interest peaks during adolescence, peak physiological arousal occurs later in the lifespan and this is especially the case for women. In particular there is a need for an assessment tool that can be used in a forensic context which is comparable to the measures currently employed for male offenders such as the penile plethysmograph (PPG). I have investigated the relationship between subjective and objective measurements of female sexual arousal using the labial photoplethysmograph (LPG) and my research provided some preliminary support for its use as an objective measure of sexual interest. I am keen to further develop this strand of research to better understand the processes involved in female sexual interest, arousal and its measurement.

I am particularly interested in and supervise dissertations in the area of rape myths and the influence they have within the criminal justice system. 


Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2008)'Applying knowledge of female sexual arousal to the forensic context'
Staunton, C., Hammond, S., & Lambert, S; (2008) 'Applying knowledge of female sexual arousal to the forensic context'. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 29 :103-119   [Details]
(2004)'Psychological counselling and psychotherapeutic services for older adults in the Republic of Ireland'
O'Leary, E. and Staunton, C.; (2004) 'Psychological counselling and psychotherapeutic services for older adults in the Republic of Ireland'. International Journal of Psychology, 39 (5-6):153-153 [Details]

Professional Activities

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2005)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
O'Leary, E., Staunton, C. & O'Cinneide, D.; (2005) Mobility: Financial conditions and infrastructure and their implications for psychosocial needs. [Peer Reviewed Abstract], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Derry , 17-NOV-05 - 20-NOV-05. [Details]
(2005)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
O'Leary, E., Staunton, C.; (2005) Causes of homelessness and the needs of homeless people. [Peer Reviewed Abstract], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Derry , 17-NOV-05 - 20-NOV-05. [Details]
(2005)Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI),
O'Leary, E., Staunton, C. & O'Cinneide, D.; (2005) Mobility and fears of oder adults. [Peer Reviewed Abstract], Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), Derry , 17-NOV-05 - 20-NOV-05. [Details]
(2004)International Congress of Psychology,
O'Leary, E. & Staunton, C.; (2004) Psychological, counselling and psychotherapeutic services for older adults in the Republic of Ireland. [N/A], International Congress of Psychology, Beijing, ChinaAugust , 08-AUG-04 - 12-AUG-04. [Details]
(2004)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
O'Leary, E., Staunton, C. & O'Cinneide, D.; (2004) Quality of life of older adults: Mobility conditions. [Peer Reviewed Abstract], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork , 18-NOV-04 - 21-NOV-04. [Details]
(1999)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
O'Leary, E., & Staunton, C.; (1999) Quality of Life of older adults: The contribution of voluntary organisations. [N/A], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Cork - 2004 , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]
(1999)Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference,
O'Leary, E. & Staunton, C.; (1999) Psychological issues in the bereavement of older adults. [N/A], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Bunratty - 2003 November , 30-DEC-99 - 30-DEC-99. [Details]

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Ciara lectures on numerous forensic psychological and criminological topics on the BA Criminology and the Diploma in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour. She delivers The Criminal Mind Short Course through Adult Continuing Education. Ciara also delivers modules on the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community and contributes to the Diploma in Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies. Her teaching interests include criminal behaviour, forensic psychology, psychology and crime, sexual offenders, sexual offences, psychophysiology and psychophysiological assessment.   

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School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K

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