Amanda Atkinson is a Senior Researcher within the Public Health Institute. Over the last 10 years Amanda has worked on a range of research projects within the Institute, predominantly relating to young people, drinking cultures, alcohol and substance use. Her general research interests relate to consumption and identity, media representations, and gender relations. She has a particular interest in media representations of substance use and gender and is currently writing in this area (PhD by publication). Recent research projects Amanda has led include a Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded project exploring the influence of media representations of alcohol on young people’s drinking, an ARUK funded project exploring the role of Social Network Sites (e.g. Facebook) in young people’s drinking cultures and gendered identities, and the 2011/2014 European School Survey on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD). She uses both qualitative and quantitative methods (with a specialism in qualitative methods) and has conducted research with a range of groups, including children and young people, substance users, prisoners, victims of domestic violence, young offenders, practitioners, policy makers and media professionals. Amanda is also the UK coordinator for the EMCDDAs Early Warning System on New Psychoactive Substances (NPS, popularly known as ‘Legal Highs)’ and lead on both local and European research projects on NPS. She is supervisor for a number of PhDs related to NPS, drug user identity and social media.
Amanda is as a volunteer for the Real Love street team, a group of volunteers who go out weekly to help meet the needs of people who are homeless and living on the streets of Liverpool. She is also a volunteer for The Homeless Period an initiative that provides sanitary items to homeless and vulnerable women across Merseyside, and an artist based at Ley Lines studios creating art works informed by her research findings.
She is peer reviewer for a number of journals including Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy, Addiction Research and Theory, Drug and Alcohol Review, BMC Public Health and Journal of Gender Studies, and a member of the Fawcett Society and the BSA Alcohol Study Group.