Dr John Joseph Fenaughty

BA, MA (Hons), PhD (Auckland)


John has been working in, and researching, wellbeing, and youth and community development for around 20 years. He brings with him a long experience working with community groups, including specialist expertise in working with gender and sexually diverse young people and communities.

He has worked in the social and human services sector on local and international issues associated with digital citizenship, young people's resilience to online problems and challenges, bullying prevention, the wellbeing of gender and sexually diverse [young] people and communities, school and teacher professional development, and participatory action research.

He believes in the power of education and communities to promote social change and equality of opportunity. This drives his passion to ensure that communities, youth groups, and schools are well supported to foster diversity and celebrate what happens when we create a sense of belonging.

Research | Current

  • Understanding young people's digital challenges, and their effective management
  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • School policy and bullying prevention
  • Fostering digital citizenship in schools: a positive youth development approach
  • Using norm-challenging pedagogies to reduce homophobia and transphobia
  • Practioner- and community-action research

You can view John's Google Scholar profile here.

Teaching | Current

Youth Development

Community Development

Culture and Diversity

Culturally Responsive Practice

Postgraduate supervision

Doctoral Supervision:

Szu-Ying (Xavier) Chiang: Mental Health Needs and Therapeutic Recommendations of Chinese Sexual/Gender Minority Young People: The Views from Young People and Practitioners. (Primary Supervisor - With Assoc. Prof Christa Fouche and Dr Terry Flemming)

Liyun (Wendy) Choo: Localisation and socialisation: A case study of English education in Bhutan. (Co-Supervisor - With Dr Ritesh Shah [Primary])

Ladan Hashemi: The Immigration experience and adaptation of Middle Eastern immigrant families to New Zealand: The case of Iranian families. (Co-Supervisor - With Dr Allen Bartley [Primary]).

Masters Supervision:

Dumindri Amerasinghe: “Coming out” of the Asian closet: experiences of LGBTQI+ Asian New Zealanders. (Co-Supervisor with Professor Elsie Ho).

Matt Jones: A home away from home: A professional view of remand placements. (Co-Supervisor with Mike Webster).

Kiri Wilder: Social Worker Perspectives of Open-Entry Group Work Practice. (Co-Supervisor with Dr Barbara Staniforth).

Honors Supervision:

Sonia Pope. Cultural Identity as a Protective Factor for Suicidality among Tongan Secondary School Students. (Co-supervisor) (Completed)


Bright Futures: Top Achiever Doctoral Award

University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship Award

University of Auckland Masters Scholarship Award

Health Research Council Summer Studentship Award

University of Auckland Annual Prize in Psychology Award

Areas of expertise

John is interested in a range of topics that are about promoting social justice, equality of opportunity, and equity, including:

  • School safety and bullying prevention
  • Inclusive schools
  • Wellbeing of queer, trans, takataapui, lesbian, bisexual, gay, and other sex, gender, and sexuality diverse young people
  • Positive Youth Development
  • Digital citizenship (including cybersafety and cyberbullying)
  • Community development
  • Discourse analysis
  • Mixed methodologies
  • Action research

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Faculty Equity Committee

School Research Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Fenaughty, J., & Harré N (2013). Factors associated with distressing electronic harassment and cyberbullying. Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (3), 803-811. 10.1016/j.chb.2012.11.008
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31608
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Niki Harre
  • Fenaughty, J., & Harré N (2013). Factors associated with young people's successful resolution of distressing electronic harassment. Computers & Education, 61, 242-250. 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.08.004
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/23412
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Niki Harre
  • Fenaughty, J. J. (2010). Challenging risk: NZ high-school students’ activity, challenge, distress, and resiliency, within cyberspace The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/6775
  • Braun, V., Schmidt, J., Gavey, N., & Fenaughty, J. (2009). Sexual Coercion Among Gay and Bisexual Men in Aotearoa/New Zealand. JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, 56 (3), 336-360. 10.1080/00918360902728764
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicola Gavey, Virginia Braun
  • Fenaughty, J. J. (2008). The Convergence Generation: Contexts of Risk and Resiliency in Cyberspace for NZ High School Students.. Paper presented at U.S.A. American Educational Research Association, Annual Meeting., New York, U.S.A.. 24 March - 28 March 2008. Related URL.
  • Fenaughty, J. J., Braun, V., Gavey, N., Aspin, C., Reynolds, P., & Schmidt, J. (2006). Sexual coercion among gay men, bisexual men and takatapui tane in Aotearoa/New Zealand. 1-49. Department of Psychology, The University of Auckland.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Virginia Braun, Nicola Gavey
  • Fenaughty, J., & Harré N (2003). Life on the seesaw: a qualitative study of suicide resiliency factors for young gay men. Journal of homosexuality, 45 (1), 1-22. 10.1300/j082v45n01_01
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24088
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Niki Harre