Ms Jessica Botfield

Postgraduate Research

Research Areas: Health Promotion Development & Evaluation, Sexuality, Health & Education

Research Topic: Engaging young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with sexual and reproductive health services in Sydney, Australia
Supervisors: Prof Anthony Zwi, A/Prof Christy Newman

Degree: PhD
Enrolled: UNSW School of Social Sciences

Jessica Botfield commenced her PhD with the School of Social Sciences in Semester 2, 2014, and is jointly supervised by Professor Anthony Zwi (UNSW Arts & Social Sciences) and Dr Christy Newman (UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health), and co-supervised by Dr Alison Rutherford (School of Public Health and Community Medicine). She holds a BN from UTS and an MPH/MIPH from UNSW.

Jessica works at Family Planning NSW, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health projects and qualitative research and evaluation in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Prior to this she worked as a Research Associate with the Health, Rights and Development (HEARD@UNSW) team at the School of Social Sciences, UNSW Australia, focussing on global health and development research. She has strong interests in sexual and reproductive health, and global health and development, with experience in both Australia and low- and middle-income country contexts. She is also a Registered Nurse with experience in sexual and reproductive health care.

Research thesis

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental to individuals, couples and families, and to social and economic development. Despite increasing recognition of this, the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people are largely overlooked, in part because adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights and needs are often considered sensitive and contentious. Young people from culturally diverse backgrounds especially remain vulnerable to poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes and are an often neglected group.

This research will explore the sexual and reproductive health experiences of culturally diverse young people living in Western and South Western Sydney, with particular emphasis on understanding their views on and use of services in this field, as well as community, provider and policy perspectives on engaging this group of young people with sexual and reproductive health care. Research findings will promote healthy and safe sex lives for culturally diverse young people, and aim to increase their ability to exercise choice and control over their sexual and reproductive health. It will contribute to conceptual and methodological understandings, and influence health care provision, policy, and practice for sexual and reproductive health services and for culturally diverse young people in NSW and nationally.

Publications

Botfield, J.R., Newman, C.E., & Zwi, A.B. (2017). Drawing them in: Professional perspectives on the complexities of engaging ‘culturally diverse’ young people with sexual and reproductive health promotion and care in Sydney, Australia. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 19(4): 438-452. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2016.1233354

Botfield, J.R., Zwi, A.B., & Newman, C.E. (2016). Young migrants and sexual and reproductive health care. In F. Thomas (Ed.), Handbook of Migration and Health. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 438-458. http://www.e-elgar.com/shop/handbook-of-migration-and-health

Botfield, J.R., Newman, C.E., & Zwi, A.B. (2015). Young people from culturally diverse backgrounds and their use of services for sexual and reproductive health needs: A structured scoping review. Sexual Health, 13(1), 1-9. doi: 10.1071/SH15090

Conference presentations

2017: Oral presentation at the Youth Health Conference, Sydney: Migrant and refugee young people on sexual health care in Sydney

2016: Oral presentation at the Youth, Health and Practical Justice: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Sydney: Drawing them in: Professional perspectives on engaging culturally diverse young people with sexual and reproductive health care in Sydney, Australia

2015: Oral presentation at the Australian Social Policy Conference 2015, UNSW Australia: Young people from culturally diverse backgrounds and their use of services for sexual and reproductive health needs: A structured scoping review.