Niamh O’Brien

Senior Research Fellow

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Chelmsford

Niamh's expertise is in undertaking participatory approaches to research involving children and young people. Her interests are in bullying research and enabling children and young people to have a voice in areas which interest and/or affect them.

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niamh.obrien@anglia.ac.uk

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Niamh_OBrien/publications

Background

Niamh has worked at Anglia Ruskin University undertaking research since 2004 where she has both worked and led on a range of projects seeking the views of children and young people in a variety of settings (children’s homes, school and young people's projects).

She is in the final year of her PhD which explored bullying in a private day and boarding school. The study actively involved school students as researchers through the use of a Participatory Action Research (PAR) framework. This study is embedded in the philosophy of social constructionism.

Research interests

Niamh is interested in bullying research and participatory research methods. She is a core member of the university's Participatory Research Group and her past and current research includes:

2014 - 2015: Developing a bespoke engagement strategy for a Women’s Refuge. Funded by the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner. (Led by Professor Carol Munn-Giddings)

2013: EssexFamily Tendring: An Evaluation of the Family Worker Service. Funded by Tendring District Council. (Led by Niamh O'Brien).

2012 - 2013: CSV volunteers in Child Protection Scheme: The first Southend Families, where are they now? Funded by Community Service Volunteers (Led by Dr Jane Akister)

2010 - 2011: Is the CSV Volunteers in Child Protection Scheme 'Value for Money'? Funded by Southend Borough Council (Led by Dr Jane Akister)

2010 - 2011: The impact of cyber-bullying on young people's mental health. Funded by The National Children's Bureau. (Led by Niamh O'Brien)

2007 –2008: A consultation to find out from young people aged 11-19 in Pier Ward what services they consider are important and where they would access these services. Funded by Colchester Primary Care Centre. (Led by Niamh O’Brien)

May 2007 – June 2007: The needs of the local community in relation to the establishment of Children’s Centres. Funded by Cambridgeshire Country Council. (Led by Dr Jane Akister)

2007 – 2008: External evaluation of the In:Fusion project: Theatre workshops promoting dialogue between young people and youth offending teams. Funded by Escape Artists. (Led by Niamh O’Brien)

2006 – 2007: Exploration of the needs of Young Carers in Peterborough: an analysis of existing services and proposals for future development. Funded by Peterborough Department Management Team. (Led by Dr Janet Warren)

2004- 2006: Exploring the non-use of services in Essex. Funded by Children’s Fund Essex. (Led by Dr Tina Moules).

Qualifications

2007: MSc Child development, Research and Policy: Anglia Ruskin University

2001: BA Applied Social Studies in Social Care: Waterford Institute of Technology

Memberships, editorial boards

Member of the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN)

Member of Participation Works Network England (PWNE)

Member of the Department Research Ethics Panel (DREP) for social care and education

Reviewer for the Educational Action Research Journal.

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Researcher: Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex: Developing a bespoke engagement strategy for a Women’s Refuge. 2014. £19,648

Principle Investigator: Tendring District Council: EssexFamily Tendring: An Evaluation of the Family Worker Service. 2013. £17,138.00

Researcher: Community Service Volunteers: CSV Volunteers in Child Protection Scheme The First Southend Families: Where are they now? 2012. £5,000.00

Principle Investigator: National Children’s Bureau: The impact of cyber-bullying on young people’s mental health. 2010. £10,588.00.

Principle Investigator: Colchester Primary Care Trust: A consultation to find out from young people aged 11-19 in Pier Ward what services they consider are important and where they would access these services. 2007. £4,420.00

Principle Investigator: Escape Artists: External evaluation of the In:Fusion project: Theatre workshops promoting dialogue between young people and youth offending teams. 2007. £5,550.00

Selected recent publications

O’Brien, N., 2014. “I didn’t want to be known as a snitch”: Using PAR to explore bullying in a private day and boarding school. Childhood Remixed. Conference Edition, February, 2014, pp. 86-96

Akister, J., and O’Brien, N. 2014. The mental wellbeing of children and parents when there are child protection concerns— can volunteers help?. Childhood Remixed. Conference Edition, February, 2014, pp. 6-14.

O'Brien, N., and Moules, T., 2013. Not sticks and stones but tweets and texts: findings from a national cyberbullying project. Pastoral Care in Education, 31(1), pp.53-65.

Akister, J., and O'Brien, N., 2012. Combining State and Voluntary Provision: Using Volunteers in Home-Based Child Protection - Preliminary Indications for the Mental Wellbeing of Family Members. International Journal of Business and Social Research, 2(6), pp.226-240.

Moules, T., and O'Brien, N., 2012. Participation in perspective: reflections from research projects. Nurse Researcher, 19(2), pp.17-22.

Recent presentations and conferences

O’Brien, N., 2015. “I didn’t want to be known as a snitch”: Using PAR to Explore Bullying in a Private Day and Boarding School. In: The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, 3rd annual No 2 Bullying Conference. Outrigger Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia, 29-30 June 2015.O’Brien, N., 2014. Fear of reporting bullying in a private day and boarding school: Using a Participatory Action Research Framework to work collaboratively with students of the school. A Child’s World Conference, Aberystwyth University, 25-27th June 2014.

O’Brien, N., 2014. “I didn’t want to be known as a snitch”: Using PAR to Explore Bullying in a Private Day and Boarding School. “Behind closed doors” contemporary issues in safeguarding conference. Postgraduate Medical Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford. 2nd July 2014.

Akister, J., and O’Brien, N., 2013. The role of volunteers in home-based child protection intervention: Impact on mental health of family members. In: Children and Childhoods Conference. 8th July 2013. University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, United Kingdom.

O’Brien, N., 2013. Using a Participatory Action Research Framework to investigate Bullying in a Private Day and Boarding School. In: Children and Childhoods Conference. 8th July 2013. University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, United Kingdom.

O’Brien, N., 2013. Using a Participatory Action Research Framework to investigate Bullying in a Private Day and Boarding School. In: 7th Annual Research Conference. 28th June 2013. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

O’Brien, N., Marshall, L., and Moules, T., 2013. Exploring the support needs of looked after young people where a sibling(s) has been placed for adoption: A pilot study. In: Achieving the best outcomes for siblings: The challenge of planning permanence for sibling groups. 8th May 2013. British Association of Adoption and Fostering: Tavistock Square, London.

Munn-Giddings, C., and O’Brien, N., 2011. International Women’s Day: Women in Research. In: International Women’s Conference. 10th March 2011. Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Akister, J. and O’Brien, N. 2011. The role of volunteers in home-based child protection intervention: Impact on the mental health of family members. In: Vice Chancellors’ Research Conference. September 2011. Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, United Kingdom

Akister, J., O’Brien, N. and Cleary, T. 2011. The role of volunteers in home-based child protection intervention: key research findings. In: CSV (ViCP) Volunteers in Child Protection Conference, 29th November 2011, London.

O’Brien, N. 2010. Defining Bullying and Developing Initiatives: A case Study Approach using a Participatory Action Research Framework. In: Fourth Annual Research Student Conference. 22 May 2010. Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, United Kingdom.

Media experience

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O’Brien, N., 2013. “Making cyberspace safer”. Centre for Education Research and Practice. Available from: https://cerp.aqa.org.uk/perspectives/making-cyberspace-safer 19 November 2013.

O’Brien, N., 2014. Cyberbullying and young people. Drive-time on BBC Essex with Ian Puckey. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcessex/programmes/schedules 8th January 2014.