Paula Mayock

Paula Mayock

Professional Title: Assistant Professor
Institution: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Position: WHEN Co-Director

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Dr. Paula Mayock is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, where she is Course Director of the Masters in Applied Social Research.

Paula’s research focuses primarily on the lives and experiences of marginalised youth, covering areas including homelessness, drug use and drug problems, risk behaviour, and mental health. Since 2004, she has worked to build a programme of research on homelessness and has been the Principal Investigator of three studies of homeless youth, one of them a 6-year qualitative longitudinal study of homeless young people in Dublin.

More recently, Paula has undertaken a biographical study of homeless women in Ireland was Principal Investigator of an all-Ireland qualitative longitudinal study of homeless young people and their families, published in 2017.

Paula is the recipient of numerous research awards from statutory and voluntary agencies (e.g. Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Health Service Executive, Crisis Pregnancy Agency, Dublin Region Homeless Executive, National Office for Suicide Prevention, and Focus Ireland).

She is a NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) INVEST Post-doctoral Fellow (2006-07) and an IRC (Irish Research Council) Research Fellow (2009-10). She was also the recipient of an IRC ‘New Ideas’ Award (2012), which has supported a range of research initiatives aimed on fostering European collaborative research on women’s homelessness.

Paula is the author of numerous articles, chapters and research reports and is Assistant Editor to the international journal Addiction.

Recent Research Projects

Project Title: Migrant Homelessness in Ireland: A Mixed Methods Study

Summary: This research will combine an analysis of longitudinal administrative quantitative data and primary qualitative data, with the aim of generating robust empirical evidence on the range of factors and processes that: lead migrants into homelessness; influence their patterns of movement through service systems; and impact their ability to access and maintain housing over time. A fully funded PhD candidate will be appointed to work on this project for a 4-year period under the newly established Provost’s PhD Project Awards.

Funding Agency: Provost’s PhD Project Awards

Time Line: September 2018-August 2022

Project Title: Homeless Young People and their Families: A Qualitative Longitudinal Study

Summary: This qualitative logitudinal study aimed to examine young people’s paths to homelessness and trace their ‘journeys’ through and possibly out of homelessness. The study also aims to include a family member of the homeless young person (sibling, parent, carer) and to gain their perspectives on the young person’s current living situation.

Funding Agency: Focus Ireland (Phase 1); Focus Ireland in collaboration with Simon Communities of Ireland, Threshold, Peter McVerry Trust and Society of St Vincent de Paul.

Time Line: April 2013-March 2017

Project Title: Mapping Services for Homeless Women in Dublin

Summary: This mapping exercise was designed to support the commitment on the part of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive to conduct a review of service provision for homeless women. It primarily aimed to collect comprehensive information on the range of accommodation services currently available to women in the Dublin region in order to develop a clearer and more nuanced understanding of the nature of current provision for female service users women. It additionally aimed to gain service providers’ perspectives on the adequacy of existing services for homeless women.

Funding Agency: Dublin Regional Homeless Executive

Time Line: December 2012-March 2013

Project Title: Women and Homelessness: A Biographical Pathways Analysis Summary

Summary: The core aim of this research was to conduct an in-depth investigation of the lives and experiences of homeless women in Ireland with specific attention to their homeless ‘pathways’, that is, their entry routes to homelessness, the homeless experience itself and, possibly, their exit routes from homelessness. The study, which integrated biographical interviewing and ethnographic observation, aimed to contextualises and locate women’s homelessness within a continuum of precipitating, perpetuating and/or enabling factors, crossing both structural and individual factors, that help to explain their homeless/ housing ‘careers’.

Funding Agency: Irish Research Council Fellowship Scheme, 2009-10

Time Line: November 2009-October 2010

Project Title: The Process of Youth Homelessness: A Six-year Qualitative Longitudinal Study

Summary: This study set out to conduct an in-depth examination of the lives and experiences of homeless young people in the Dublin region. A core aim was to understand transition and change in their lives with a specific focus on their trajectories into, through and out of homelessness. The term ‘homeless’ was defined and operationalised to include young people who were ‘roofless’ or sleeping rough as well as those living in homeless hostels or other emergency or temporary accommodation types. It also included a small number of young people who had recently experienced homelessness. The study design was underpinned by a pathways approach, a conceptualisation which recognises the fluid and changeable nature of homelessness and the experiences that surround homelessness. Thus, homelessness is not viewed as static or fixed, but rather is an evolving status that is continually subject to change.

Funding Agency: Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.

Time Line: October 2004-May 2011.


Recent Publications

Mayock, P. & Parker, S. (2017) Living in Limbo: Homeless Young People’s Paths to Housing. Dublin: Focus Ireland in collaboration with Simon Communities of Ireland, Threshold, Peter McVerry Trus and Society of St Vincent de Paul.

Mayock, P. & Bretherton, J. (Eds) (2016) Women’s Homelessness in Europe. London: Plagrave Macmillan.

Mayock, P., Bretherton, J. & Baptista, I. (2016) Women’s homelessness and domestic violence: (In)visible interactions. In: P. Mayock & J. Bretherton (Eds) Women’s Homelessness in Europe. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 127-154.

Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. & Parker, S. (2015) “It’s just like we’re going around in circles and going back to the same thing …”: The dynamics of women’s unresolved homelessness. Housing Studies, 30(6), 877-900.

Mayock, P., Parker, S. & Sheridan, S. (2015) Women, Homelessness and Service Provision. Dublin: Simon Communities in Ireland.

Mayock, P., Cronly, J. & Clatts, M.C. (2015) The risk environment of heroin use initiation: Young women, intimate partners and “drug relationships”. Substance Use and Misuse, 50(6), 771-782.

Mayock, P., Corr, M.L. & O’Sullivan, E. (2013) Moving on, not out: When young people remain homeless. Journal of Youth Studies, 16 (4), 441 – 459.

Mayock, P. & Sheridan, S. (2013) ‘At home’ in prison? Women and the homelessness-incarceration nexus. Irish Probation Journal, 10, 118-140.$File/IPJ2013pages118to140.pdf

Mayock, P. & Corr, M.L. (2013) Young People’s Homeless and Housing Pathways: Key Findings from a Six-year Qualitative Longitudinal Study. Dublin: Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. & Parker, S. (2012) Migrant women and homelessness: The role of gender-based violence. European Journal of Homelessness, 6 (1), 59 – 82.

Mayock, P. & Sheridan, S. (2012) Women’s Homeless ‘Journeys’: Key Findings from a Biographical Study of Homeless Women in Ireland. Research Paper 1: Women and Homelessness in Ireland. Dublin: School of Social Work and Social Policy and Children’s Research Centre.

Mayock, P., Corr, M.L. and E.O’Sullivan (2011) Homeless young people, families and change: family support as a facilitator to exiting homelessness. Child and Family Social Work, 16 (4), 391 – 401.
Mayock, P., E.O’Sullivan and M.L. Corr (2011) Young People Exiting Homelessness: An Exploration of Process, Meaning and Definition. Housing Studies, 26 (6), 803 – 826.

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