Ethel Quayle

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology


I trained as a clinical psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast before completing my doctorate at Surrey University. During this time I was employed in a variety of clinical positions in adult mental health in the UK and Ireland before joining University College Cork in 1995. In Cork I was responsible for post-graduate training in CBT (MA and HDip) as well as director of the COPINE Project. As a practitioner I had worked with both sex offenders and their victims and for the last fourteen years have been working in the area of Internet abuse images, collabourating internationally with governement and non-government agencies. The COPINE project took as its focus children made vulnerable through the new technologies.

Postgraduate teaching

I teach subjects related to adult mental health and qualitive research on the Doctoral Clinical Programme and am course co-ordinator for adult mental health as well as an undergraduate programme, Psychological Therapies.

Research summary

My primary research interest relates to Internet sex offending, and in particular to the role of abuse images in the offending process. This is collaborative work, largely funded by the EU STOP, DAPHNE and SAFER INTERNET programmes. Projects have included the development of a therapeutic programme for Internet sex offenders, a web-based self help (currently managed by Lucy Faithful Foundation), an analysis of adolescents displaying problematic sexual behaviour related to the Internet, a victim identification and the study of p2p networks. Our most recent study relates to the experiences of children exposed to online grooming. This next year we have funding for a project of user-generated content and mobile technology. I am also interested in qualitative research, in particular how people make sense of their experiences as it relates to diverse areas such as online behaviour, hepatitis C and hearing voices. 

Research activity

  1. Completing the write-up of research on technology facilitated grooming (ROBERT at This inclused focus-groups with children thought to come from vulnerable groups; interviews with children who have been groomed, and offenders.
  2. Collaborative work with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection on two projects. First, an anlysis of reports to of online grooming and related chat log data. Second, an analysis of data on child modeling sites.
  3. A new project (SPIRTO) with Sweden, Germany and the UK on an analysis of the Interpol ICSE data base, along with interviews with children who had self-generated content (sexting).

View all 77 publications on Research Explorer