YARA BARRENSE-DIAS

Research manager, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne, SWITZERLAND

After finishing her law studies, she decided to pursue her studies in criminology to understand mechanisms of deviant and delinquent behaviors, and social reactions towards them. Since 2014, she thus holds a Master’s degree of Law in Criminal Justice, subject area Criminology and Security from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

A few months later, she started to work in the Research Group on Adolescent Health (GRSA; Research Head Prof. Suris) as a research and project manager. Since then, her studies focus on substance use, Internet and media use, violence, gambling and sexual behaviors among adolescents and young adults. Since 2016, she has also conducted several studies on sexting and its potential problems. This topic is also part of her PhD in life sciences (started in November 2016).

Her studies on sexting started with a literature review aiming to determine how this activity was defined and measured. As one of her conclusions was that the definition of sexting and, consequently, its measure were still under discussion, she conducted an exploratory research on this topic with focus groups among teachers, parents and youths (16-21 years old). Given the results of this first study, she is currently repeating this research with focus groups among youths aged between 12 and 15 years old. In parallel, she also accomplished an inventory of prevention and educations programs led in Switzerland and worldwide to collect information on the different messages, materials and actors used to deal with this topic. Based on this review, she organized a study among young people aged between 12 and 18 years old, and professionals in the field of education or prevention (teachers, social workers, school nurses, etc.) to gather their opinions and their demands on prevention and education around this activity to improve the offer.

Her work on sexting has widely resonated in practice, particularly in schools where she is regularly called to give talks and workshops to teachers and young people. She is currently working with a unit specialized in the health promotion and prevention in schools to establish a stable education and prevention project around this theme.

 

 

 


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