Research Profile

Ciara Staunton

Biography

I began my career in UCC as a research assistant in 2003. Since that time I have held many roles. But I have found my home at the wonderful Centre for Adult Continuing Education (ACE) where I am both a lecturer and a Senior Coordinator. 

My work at ACE is varied, diverse and always interesting. We have new projects and initiatives on the go at all times. 
However, my passion and area of expertise lies within the field of forensic and criminal psychology. I obtained my Degree in Applied Psychology from UCC in 1999, an MSc. in Applied Forensic & Legal Psychology from Leicester University in 2001 and my PhD in Forensic Psychology from UCC in 2009. I also completed a H.Dip in Computer Science in UCC in 2001.

My research focus has always been around the topic of sexual violence. For my MSc., I investigated the crime of rape and contributing factors to attrition rates within the Irish Criminal Justice System. My PhD research was more focused to methods of assessment for deviant sexual arousal patterns. This included understanding and measuring female sexual arousal patterns. 

I currently coordinate a number of programmes including the Diploma in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour, Diploma in Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies and the Certificate in Arts (Psychology). I offer a Short Course on The Criminal Mind which is great for all those True Crime fanatics. I also contribute a module on Mental Health and Well-Being to the Certificate in Mental Health Promotion.
https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-dpcb/ 
https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-dsmas/
https://www.ucc.ie/en/ace/courses/shortcourses/thecriminalmindanintroductiontoforensicandcriminalpsy...

I am very involved in the area of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). 


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

Edited Books

 YearPublication
Female Sex Offenders
Lambert, S., Staunton, C., & Hammond, S (Ed.). Female Sex Offenders Female Sex Offenders. Blackwell. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2017)'Supports for Offenders with Learning Disabilities in the Irish Judicial System: A Critical Review'
McNamee, G., & Staunton, C. (2017) 'Supports for Offenders with Learning Disabilities in the Irish Judicial System: A Critical Review'. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 17 (1):93-107 [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'The LifeMatters programme for developing life-skills in children: an evaluation'
O'Rourke, M;Hammond, S;O'Sullivan, D;Staunton, C;O'Brien, S (2016) 'The LifeMatters programme for developing life-skills in children: an evaluation'. International Journal Of Mentoring And Coaching In Education, 5 :144-157 [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Investigation of the labial photoplethysmograph (LPG) in the idiographic assessment of female sexual interest: its viability in the forensic context'
Staunton, C;Hammond, S (2016) 'Investigation of the labial photoplethysmograph (LPG) in the idiographic assessment of female sexual interest: its viability in the forensic context'. Journal Of Forensic Psychiatry &Amp; Psychology, 27 :110-134 [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Investigation of the labial photoplethysmograph (LPG) in the idiographic assessment of female sexual interest: It's viability in the forensic context'
Staunton, C., Hammond., S. (2016) 'Investigation of the labial photoplethysmograph (LPG) in the idiographic assessment of female sexual interest: It's viability in the forensic context'. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 27 (1):110-134 [Details]
(2016)'The LifeMatters Programme for developing life- skills in children : an evaluation'
O’Rourke M; Hammond S; O’Sullivan D; Staunton C and O’Brien S. (2016) 'The LifeMatters Programme for developing life- skills in children : an evaluation'. International Journal Of Mentoring And Coaching In Education, 5(2) :144-157 [Details]
(2014)'Biosignal measures of female sexual interest: Their feasibility in a forensic context'
Staunton, C., Hammond, S.M., Perkins, D., & Lambert, S. (2014) 'Biosignal measures of female sexual interest: Their feasibility in a forensic context'. Journal of Criminal Psychology, [Details]
(2014)'Biosignal Measures of Sexual Interest in Female Sex Offenders: Their feasibility within the Forensic Context'
Staunton, C. and Lambert S (2014) 'Biosignal Measures of Sexual Interest in Female Sex Offenders: Their feasibility within the Forensic Context'. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 4 (1) [Details]
(2014)'Biosignal measures of female sexual interest: their feasibility in a forensic context'
Staunton C.;Hammond S.;Perkins D.;Lambert S. (2014) 'Biosignal measures of female sexual interest: their feasibility in a forensic context'. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 4 (1):59-75 [DOI] [Details]
(2011)'An Investigation of the Guilty Knowledge Test Polygraph Examination'
Staunton, C. & Hammond, S.M. (2011) 'An Investigation of the Guilty Knowledge Test Polygraph Examination'. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 1 (1):1-14 [Details]
(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]
(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 (1-2):103-117 [DOI] [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

I deliver lectures and modules on numerous forensic psychological and criminological topics for the Diplomas in the Psychology of Criminal Behaviour, Substance Misuse and Addiction Studies and the Certificate in Mental Health in the Community. I offer a ten week short course on The Criminal Mind which is a great starting point for those interested in the area.
My teaching topics and interests include criminal behaviour, forensic psychology, psychology and crime, sexual offenders, sexual offences, victims of crime, mental health, mental disorder and crime, psychophysiology and psychophysiological assessment.   

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Adult Continuing Education

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The Laurels, University College Cork , Western Road, Cork

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