Emma Dobson: “Improving Sex and Relationship Education (SRE): An investigation of the processes taking place in peer-led interventions”

In Former students by jvnf65


My research explores the concept of peer education as an approach to educate adolescents about sexual health and wellbeing. Its aim is to understand how general beliefs have come to influence practice and whether this is an effective form of SRE provision. In investigating this I have adopted a multi-level strategy to analyse connections between popular beliefs in, and empirical evidence for, peer-led SRE. I have examined theoretical, empirical, practitioner and wider societal perspectives on peer-led SRE (via systematic reviews and interviews), as well as researching the approach in practice in both research and community settings (via experimental trials in local schools and an ethnographic study of existing practice in Shetland). Experimental trials are currently ongoing and focus on describing the communicative process between adolescents and educators within peer-led SRE and whether the use of peer educators in the SRE classroom can encourage the adoption of positive attitudes towards sexual health and wellbeing. It is hoped that by drawing together findings from separate studies, the work as a whole will form a complete, cohesive and comprehensive understanding of peer education as a phenomenon in its entirety.


Dobson, E., Beckmann, N. & Forrest, S. (2017). Educator-student communication in Sex and Relationship Education: a comparison of teacher and peer-led interventions. Pastoral Care in Education. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2017.1350202)

Dobson, E. (2016). For successful Sex and Relationship Education, effective communication is key: but with whom? Education & Health, 34:4, 91-94. (https://sheu.org.uk/sheux/eh344finaled.pdf)