Honor Young


Honor's research into "risk-taking" hopes to help Welsh teenagers

Honor Young came to Cardiff Metropolitan to study a Masters degree in Health Psychology and was so impressed with the research opportunities afforded by the School of Health Sciences that she stayed to undertake two more qualifications.

After completing her BSc in Psychology, Honor was keen to continue her education and the School of Health Sciences at Cardiff Met offered the specialist course she was seeking.

Honor said: "Health Psychology is an important and highly relevant area of psychological study, and the MSc course at Cardiff Met covers a broad range of topics so you get the best insight into the practise and application of psychological research into health related behaviours".

"I thoroughly enjoyed conducting the research for my MSc dissertation which used psychological theory to understand females' attitudes towards teenage pregnancy and parenthood; this got me thinking about continuing to study at doctorate level."

"My PhD research has focused on teenagers' attitudes towards sexual risk-taking and pregnancy, which although controversial, is an important and highly relevant area of psychological research - I want to understand the factors driving teenagers' sexual behaviour and the rates of teenage pregnancy in Wales."

As part of her PhD thesis, Honor has completed a three-year research project using both questionnaires and interviews to investigate teenagers' attitudes towards unprotected sex and pregnancy.

In recognition of the importance of Honor's research, her PhD has received funding from the Welsh Government's National Institute for Social Care and Health Research.

She said: "My PhD work aims to highlight prominent factors which may set adolescents on a trajectory to young parenthood, and ultimately I hope it will increase understanding of the risks which young people are taking and can be used inform more focused interventions to help teenagers make more informed sexual health decisions."

Alongside her PhD, Honor also taught undergraduate psychology students and completed a 15,000-word portfolio as part of a Post-graduate Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education.

Having completed her PgCTHE, she is now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and will be recognised as a highly qualified and competent teaching practitioner, should she choose to become a university lecturer.

Honor said: "A PhD is a challenge in itself, and balancing it with the PgCTHE took a lot of discipline and strong time management."

"The support I've received from the Cardiff Met Psychology staff made so much difference, they even helped me secure funding for my research - I cannot speak more highly of them."

Honor is currently writing up her PhD thesis, whilst working as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the National University of Ireland in Galway on a cross-national study into teenagers' sexual behaviour.

She is also studying for the British Psychological Society Stage 2 Health Psychology Qualification, which will allow her to become a Chartered Psychologist and HCPC-registered Health Psychologist.

Under the spotlight:
2004    A Levels in Maths, Biology and Welsh
2006    BSc in Psychology at Cardiff University
2009    MSc in Health Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University
2013    Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the National University of Ireland, Galway

Find out more about MSc Psychology and PhD research opportunities.