© 2018 by Karen Patterson

New Projects 

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If you are interested in applying for an Honours or PhD position in one of these new areas of research, please contact the Collective here.

Hard of hearing and social eating

Current evidence demonstrates a relationship between increasing difficulties with hearing and withdrawal from social eating events. Individuals who are having increasing problems with hearing are more likely to remove themselves from shared eating events due to difficulties with conversation and easy social interaction. Research in this area will examine the nature of the relationship between hearing competence and social eating, especially to explore way in which homes, cafes and restaurants may be more accommodating of hard of hearing people.

Sharing the load

In many countries the burden of the tasks required for food provisioning for family meal fall to women. There is evidence that shared mealtimes can be stressful and difficult to arrange when the bulk of the tasks related to home cooked meals is not shared. Research in this area will examine ways in which the tasks of sharing the responsibilities for food provisioning in families may be shared. This could include the use of many recent developments in the hospitality industry, including food delivery systems (Deliveroo, Uber eats) and ready to prepare meals.

Food responsibilities of the ‘sandwich generation’

The so-called ‘sandwich generation’ comprises those people who are primary carers for their children and for their parents and sometimes grandparents. The term ‘sandwich’ here is used to signify the position of those carers who are ‘sandwiched’ and carry a double burden of responsibility including juggling time and resources to support the needs of the cared for groups. Much of the sandwich generation responsibilities concern food provisioning and associated responsibilities. Research in this area will further define the experiences of people in the sandwich generation in relation to food provisioning, and consider ways to support carers

Eating Alone Together (virtually)

For older people, eating alone has consistently been found to be associated with increased nutritional risk and social isolation. This research will examine the health and social benefits of sharing mealtimes using ‘virtual’ communities