David obtained his PhD in September 2015 at Ulster University under the guidance of Professor Mark Shevlin and has conducted research examining the relationship between psychological trauma and psychotic symptoms. Soon after completing his PhD, David accepted a position with Ulster University as a post-doctoral researcher examining the mental health of military veterans and their families. During that time, David began developing a strong interest in factors which may influence individuals to participate in suicidal behaviours (ideation, plan, gesture, attempt), and has successfully published in this area.
The focus of David's research spans many areas such as, childhood maltreatment including domestic violence in adults, factors which may influence suicidal behaviours, PTSD, epidemiology of trauma/suicide. David also has a special interest in research methods particularly Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) (Path Analysis, Latent Class Analysis, Latent Profile Analysis, Mediation including Logistic Mediation analysis).
Research has demonstrated that professionals’ priorities and attitudes towards patients who are suicidal are important in motivating these individuals to engage in treatment and manage suicidal indications. Also, since attitudes affect emotions, cognition and behaviour; adopting and conveying the appropriate attitudes towards suicidal individuals is essential in order to achieve effective intervention and treatment strategies. As such, understanding the underlying factors which influence attitudes towards suicide among this key group is an important initial step in helping to promote positive interactions between patients and professional groups.