Dr Paul Toner

Dr Paul Toner leads research which aims to prevent and alleviate the suffering and economic burden caused by addiction and common mental health difficulties. Through rigorous development work, experimental and mediation testing utilising innovative methods his research attempts to improve ways of preventing, assessing and treating these issues at individual, family, community and population levels.

Paul has received two personal awards from the ESRC and the SSA for doctoral and post-doctoral research respectively, and with colleagues has generated a research income of approximately £1 million from funders including the NIHR, Wellcome Trust, DFID and Alcohol Change UK.

Capturing youth drinking: what’s been done and what needs to be done in psychometrics

In the UK 15 to 16 year olds have one of the highest rates of heavy drinking in Europe. Expert guidance and recent reviews have called for research to identify a ‘gold standard’ for assessing the drinking behaviour of those under the age of 18. I describe a systematic review conducted to address this important research need.  Initial findings show that three quarters of included validation studies have been conducted in the USA and there are more validation studies of screening instruments than assessment measures. Also there is much scope for improving the quality of existing validation studies. This talk will explore possible directions for research to produce age appropriate, reliable and valid screening and assessment measures.

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