Week 12 * Describe the changes in sexual attitudes and behaviour of young people in Ireland. * Discuss the social, economic and cultural explanations for the increase in the rate of teenage pregnancy in Ireland over the past decade. * Describe current public policy and guidance as it pertains to the sexual health of young people.
Describe the psychology of bereavement with reference to adult grief responses and the stages of mourning.
Discuss issues arising in relation to patients diagnosed with an ultimately fatal disease.
1. Introduction to health Psychology 2. Abnormal psychology 3. Psychological responses to illness 1 4. Stress and health 1
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The Catholic Church was the dominant influence on the attitudes and beliefs of Irish society as regards sexual practises until the 1970’s/1980’s. Though the restraining influence of the church on younger generations has all but disappeared sex has remained a taboo subject in formal social situations. Due to declining religiosity pre-marital, casual and homosexual sex has become widely accepted and thus commonplace in Ireland. These factors combined with the decreasing age of the sexually active population logically leads to an increased risk of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The reluctance of societies policy makers to bring sex into the public forum has resulted in an embarrassing deficit of understanding within certain subgroups of the Irish population when it comes to contraception and STI’s. This has also meant that the services currently available in Ireland are insufficient to deal with increased levels of “risky” sexual behaviour. Contraception in is practically inaccessible when compared with Britain; especially to young people with minimal financial resources. Sex education in schools has been described as “patchy”, “unregulated”, and crucially unmatched to the needs of the target group. Social policy in this country also encourages single parents to stay at home due to lone parent allowance and medical benefits thus