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Prof Antonia Lyons staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (04) 801 5799  ext. 63604

Prof Antonia Lyons

Professor of Psychology

School of Psychology

Antonia's research has explored issues around gender, health and identity; the social and cultural contexts of behaviours, particularly alcohol consumption; and the implications of dominant media representations for individual subjectivities and embodiment. Antonia has recently led a 3-year study on drinking cultures and new technologies.  She is currently co-editor of Qualitative Research in Psychology, an associate editor for Health Psychology Review, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Health Psychology, and Psychology and Health.

Research Expertise

Research Interests

gender, health and identity;the social and cultural contexts of behaviours; alcohol consumption; drinking cultures; social media and digital technologies; masculinities and femininities


21st Century Citizenship, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Gender Psychology (170105): Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106): Psychology (170100): Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (170000): Social and Community Psychology (170113)


health psychology, critical health psychology, social psychology, alcohol, young people, social media, identities,

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 6

Completed Projects

Project Title: Young adults, drinking stories and the cult of celebrity

Young adults in Aotearoa/NZ regularly engage in heavy drinking episodes with groups of friends within a collective culture of intoxication to `have fun¿ and `be sociable¿. This population has also rapidly increased their use of new social networking technologies (e.g. mobile camera/video phones; social networking Internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube) and are said to be obsessed with identity, image and celebrity. This project explores the ways in which new technologies are being used by young people (and others, including marketers) in drinking practices and drinking cultures in Aotearoa/NZ. It investigates questions such as: how do drinking practices impact on young adults¿ identities? How are drinking stories and digital images (photos/videos) used in telling these stories online and who are they shared with? How does this vary across young adults with different ethnicities (Maori, Pacific Island, Pakeha), social classes and genders? We will investigate these questions through 1) focus group discussions with friends from different backgrounds, 2) interviewing young adults individually while they demonstrate their use of new technologies, and 3) analysing popular online drinking stories/images/videos. Results will further our understanding and provide new knowledge regarding young adults, drinking cultures and new media technologies in contemporary NZ society.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2010 - 2013

Funding Body: Marsden Fund - Full

Project Team:

Supervision and Teaching


Antonia teaches the undergraduate third year paper 'health psychology' as well as the postgraduate paper 'Understanding health and illness'.

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Ross Hebden - Doctor of Philosophy
    Youth and Young Adults: Development in Mobile Technologies, Alcohol Marketing and Drinking Cultures
  • Michelle Pedersen - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    'Feels a bit naughty when you¿re a mum¿- Alcohol use amongst mothers with preschool children.

Co-supervisor of:

  • Samuel Lindsay - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Older New Zealand Men Negotiate Masculinity
  • Ria Pugmire - Doctor of Philosophy
    Healthy bodies: Picture books and children's perspectives

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2014 - Patricia Niland - Doctor of Philosophy
    Young adults' friendships: Over a network, over a drink
  • 2010 - Prudence Fisher - Doctor of Philosophy
    Young women, power, intimate relationships and wellbeing: The circumstances that enable young women's resistant subjective desires: "A pash and a dash"

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2016 - Nicola Pine - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Teenagers' perspectives on the Canterbury earthquakes: An insight into their needs and experiences
  • 2016 - Sylvia Pack - Doctor of Philosophy
    Racism in Aotearoa New Zealand : Analysing the talk of Maori and their Pakeha partners
  • 2015 - Anne Ryan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Making Sense of Euthanasia: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of Death and Dying
  • 2013 - Caroline McIntosh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Young children's meaning-making about the causes of illness within the family context
  • 2012 - Celia Falchi - Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Achieving positive step family relationships: Negotiating fairness, forgiveness and acceptance

Media and Links


  • 15 Jan 2014 - Television
    Neknominate news story
    interviewed on camera for TV One 6pm news, leading story, about online drinking culture
  • 15 Feb 2013 - Television
    Social issues in NZ documentary
    documentary filming with Nigel Latta about drinking & social networking research
  • 13 May 2013 - Magazine
    Alcohol and social media marketing
    article about my research in Defining NZ Massey magazine
  • 10 Apr 2014 - Radio
    Our changing world: Online drinking culture
    interviewed on National Radio for Our Changing World Science series

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