Dr Lawler is a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology. She received a BSc in Sport Science and Health from Dublin City University (DCU), and holds a Post-graduate Higher Diploma in Psychology, Post-graduate Diploma in Statistics, and a PhD in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Margaret's research focuses on young people's health, well-being and behaviour change with a particular emphasis on physical activity.
Her doctoral research, which was funded by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship, explored adolescents' physical activity patterns and psycho-social predictors of physical activity maintenance and behaviour change over twelve months.
Margaret is currently managing a trial, jointly funded by the Medical Research Charities Group and Health Research Board (MRCG-HRB), examining the feasibility and effectiveness of a peer-led motivational interviewing intervention for increasing physical activity and decreasing smoking and alcohol consumption among at-risk adolescents from low socioeconomic status communities.
She has taught various modules in TCD and DCU including developmental psychology, cognition, neuropsychology, statistics and research methods.
Publications and Further Research Outputs
Lawler, M., Hickey, A., Hevey, D., Doyle, F., Nixon, E., Darker, C., Barry, M., & Field, C. , Effects of a peer-led motivational interviewing intervention on physical activity levels of adolescents in low SES communities, Psychology Health and Medicine Conference 2019, Maynooth University , 22nd March, 2019
O'Byrne, C., Jagoe, C., & Lawler, M. , Experiences of dyslexia and the transition to university: A case study of five students at different stages of study, Higher Education Research and Development, 38, (5), 2019, p1031 - 1045
Hickey, A., Lawler, M., Doyle, F., Nixon, E., Darker, C., Barry, M., Field, C., & Hevey, D. , The effects of training low-SES adolescents in Motivational Interviewing for health behaviour change among peers., 33rd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychological Society, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 3 - 7 September 2019, 2019
Lawler, M., Hickey, A., Doyle, F., Nixon, E., Darker, C., Barry, M., Field, C., & Hevey, D. , Effectiveness of a peer-led motivational interviewing intervention for increasing physical activity among at-risk adolescents, 33rd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychological Society, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 3 - 7 September 2019, 2019
Hickey, A., Lawler, M., Nixon, E., Heary, C., Darker, C., Barry, M., Filed, C., Doyle, F., & Hevey, D. , The effects of training adolescents in a proven method for behaviour change - A pilot Study, 10th IUHPE European Conference and International Forum for Health Promotion Research, Trondheim, Norway, 24th -26th September, 2018
O'Byrne, C., Jagoe, C., & Lawler, M. , "I May Have Dyslexia but Dyslexia Does Not Have Me" - Students experience of Dyslexia and their transition into third level education., European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations, Junior Researcher Programme Conference, Dublin, Ireland , 1st - 4th August , 2017
Lawler, M., Heary, C. & Nixon, E., Variations in adolescents' motivational characteristics across gender and physical activity patterns: A latent class analysis approach. , BMC Public Health, 17, 2017, p661 - 674
McNamara, J., & Lawler, M., Teachers' Perspectives and Practices Regarding the Irish Language Learning and Home Language Maintenance of Children for whom English is an Additional Language, 1st - 4th August, European Federation of Psychology Students' Associations, Junior Researcher Programme Conference, Dublin, Ireland , 2017
Battel I, Calvo I, Harpur I, Lawler M, Walshe M, 'Biofeedback to improve the safety and efficiency of the swallow function in people with Parkinson's disease and dysphagia', PROSPERO International Register of Systematic Reviews, NHS National Institute for Health Research , 2017, - 1-5
Lawler, M., Nixon, E., & Heary, C. , The relationship between physical activity behavioural patterns, BMI and body image among adolescents in Ireland. , Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA, 2015
Costello, E. & Lawler, M, An exploratory study of the effects of Mindfulness on perceived levels of stress among school-children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. , International Journal of Emotional Education, 6, 2014, p21 - 39
Lawler, M. , Review of the book Starving the stress gremlin. A cognitive behavioural therapy workbook on stress management for young people, by K. Collins-Donnelly]. , International Journal of Emotional Education, 5, 2013, p86-87
Lawler, M., Nixon, E., & Heary, C. , Patterns of physical activity among Irish adolescents: A latent class analysis approach. , - Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, Ghent, Belgium , 2013
Lawler, M., Nixon, E., & Heary, C. , Examining social and psychological predictors of continued participation in team sport during adolescence. , 22nd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, Edmonton, Canada, 2012
Lawler, M., Nixon, E., & Heary, C. , Exploring psychological influences on adolescents' participation in organised sport: A self-determination theory perspective., 9th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference of the Psychological Society of Ireland Division of Health Psychology & British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology, , Northern Ireland. , Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2012
Lawler, M. & Nixon, E., Body Dissatisfaction Among Adolescent Boys and Girls: The Effects of Body Mass, Peer Appearance Culture and Internalization of Appearance Ideals, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 40, (1), 2011, p59 - 71
Lawler, M., Nixon, E., & Heary, C. , Psychological and Social Factors Associated with Continued Participation in GAA Sport during Adolescence. , 41st Psychology Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Galway, Ireland , 2011
Theoretical & Methodological Considerations in Assessing Body Image among Children & Adolescents. in, editor(s)S.B. Greene , Body Image: Perceptions, Interpretations and Attitudes. , Nova Publishers, 2011, pp227 - 244, [Lawler, M. & Nixon, E.]
Coyne, I., Nixon, E., Greene, S., Doyle, E., Lawler, M., & Nugent, K. , Influence of parental ethnotheories on mother infant co-sleeping practices: Implications for health promotion. , 10th International Family Nursing Conference, Kyoto, Japan, 2011
- Peer-to-peer motivational interview intervention for smoking, alcohol and physical activity among at-risk adolescents in low SES communities: A feasibility trial.
- Postdoctoral Researcher. Principal Investigator: Prof. David Hevey. Co-investigators: Prof Elizabeth Nixon, Prof Catherine Darker, Dr Frank Doyle (RCSI),Prof Margaret Barry (NUIG), and Dr Catherine Anne Field (NUIG) https://www.hrb.ie/funding/funding-awarded/awards-made/award/peer-to-peer-motivational-interview-intervention-for-smoking-alcohol-and-physical-activity-among-at-3/
- Funding Agency
- Medical Research Charities Group and Health Research Board
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- Transitions in Physical Activity among Irish youth
- Principal Investigator
- Funding Agency
- Irish Research Council (formerly IRCHSS)
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- An analysis of social and psychological predictors of transitions in physical activity patterns during adolescence.
- Co-investigator. Principal Investigator: Dr Elizabeth Nixon. Co-investigator: Dr Caroline Heary(NUIG).
- Funding Agency
- Noel Hickey Research Bursary (supported by the Irish Heart Foundation)
Awards and Honours
Conference Bursary from the Children's Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
Travel Bursary from the Trinity Trust, Trinity College Dublin
Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship from the Irish Research Council (IRC)
George White Memorial Prize from School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin - I received this annual award for a research paper accepted for publication in Journal of Youth and Adolescence during my postgraduate studies (https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-009-9500-2)
Postgraduate Research Studentship from Trinity College Dublin