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Dr Paula Singleton

About Dr Paula Singleton

Paula Singleton is a critical psychologist with specialist expertise in qualitative methods, and phenomenology in particular. She has carried out research with a community drugs treatment service and collaborated with Stanford University on a study of a rare pregnancy complication.

Before coming to academia, Paula was a retail manager, ran a writers’ centre for the Arvon Foundation, was an NHS complaints officer and worked for the General Medical Council. Her Ph.D. was a critical psychology study of masculinities, considering men’s experience of cosmetic surgery to have unwanted breast tissue (gynecomastia) removed. Both this and her research on pregnancy complications drew on online discussion board data and she has also worked face to face with drug users in treatment.

Paula uses qualitative approaches to research, especially considering how people make sense of their everyday experiences, in phenomenological and narrative forms. She has a special interest in media text studies; it is vital to look at the cultural constructions (discourses) which surround us every day and often go unnoticed, and yet some of these are incredibly problematic for non-dominant identities. Paula has also offered qualitative research design guidance to the Leeds Primary Care Mental Health Service, and is used to working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Paula’s work on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a rare pregnancy complication which can be fatal, was used to inform a clinician toolkit which will save women's lives: https://www.cmqcc.org/resources-tool-kits/toolkits. Dr Christine Morton from the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative approached Paula for her expertise in online data collection and analysis, and they collaborated to generate descriptions of women's harrowing PPCM experiences - see Dekker, Morton, Singleton & Lyndon 2016, full reference below.

Current Teaching

Paula is the dissertations module leader for the Masters conversion course, and is supervising 5 masters and 9 undergraduate student dissertations. She is also module leader for the distance learning course "Applying Psychology".

Research Interests

Paula is currently working on a narrative analysis of men’s experiences of being a father to twins, and on a theoretical paper which contemplates the question, why is it so hard for women to have their healthcare experiences taken seriously?

In all of her work Paula strives to demystify power and its components, one of which is the production of masculinity and masculine behaviour. She believes that it is essential to highlight and critique the workings of ideology in everyday life. All of her work is based around these central ideas.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (3)

  • DELGADILLO J; GORE S; JESSOP D; PAYNE S; SINGLETON P; GILBODY S (2012), Acceptability of mental health screening in routine addictions treatment.
  • SINGLETON P; FAWKNER HJ; WHITE A; FOSTER S (2009), Men's experience of cosmetic surgery: A phenomenological approach to discussion board data
  • Singleton PM (2009), Research Review: Body projects and the regulation of normative masculinity
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