Personal profile


Professional Qualifications and professional memberships

  • CQSW 1981
  • ASW (Approved Social Worker) 1984-1994
  • Registered Social Worker 2004-present

Research interests

  • Elder Abuse – including institutional violence
  • Adult protection/adult safeguarding
  • Domestic and intimate partner violence
  • Interpersonal violence and family violence
  • Attachment and intergenerational relationships in later life
  • Mental health of older people
  • Social care and older people
  • Loss, grief and bereavement in later life
  • Ethics and social care
  • Social care outcomes of stroke
  • Social work and health

Career summary

During the first sixteen years of my career I gained wide clinical social work and managerial experience across a variety of hospital and community services including: generic social work and specialisation with older people, including Approved Social Worker status (mental health). My first academic post was a joint appointment split between the School of Social Work, UEA and Norfolk Social Services (1989-1992). I later moved to a full-time post at the University of Hull (1996) and subsequently (in 2004) to the University of Sheffield, where I was predominantly involved in research concerning older people. Between 2006-2008 I held a joint appointment between the University of Sheffield and the Institute of Health and Social Care Studies, Guernsey, where I held a post as Head of Research.

Key Research Interests

Most of my research career, which has developed over the last 14 years, has been focused on elder abuse, the protection of vulnerable adults and domestic violence. The emphasis on elder abuse and vulnerable adults has developed in conjunction with the growing professional and political awareness about abuse and violence, which I have contributed to. I am acknowledged as a national expert in relation to both elder and adult abuse and have received international recognition in elder abuse.


·         I have received funding for projects on Impact of ward changes on NHS staff (1996-7); Reminiscence and Dementia (1997-8) an EU funded comparative project in 3 countries, which I co-ordinated; Administrative justice and charging for care (1998-2000) funded by the Nuffield Foundation and Maternal mental health and child protection (1998-2000), which was funded between the University of Hull and the NHS.

·         I was PI for a 3-year Department of Health funded (£250,000) study from 2004-2007, as one of 9 projects, which formed the Modernising Adult Social Care Research Programme. This study explored Partnerships and Regulation in Adult Protection and was the first major study of Adult Protection to attract government support and funding.

·         I acted as project manager for the UK Study on Elder Abuse, 2005-2007, received EC funding for a 6-month review on elder abuse (by restricted tender), 2007-8. I also acted as Academic facilitator for a RIPfA Change Project on Adult Protection (2007-2009).

·         I was Scientific advisor to the DH/Comic Relief Research Programme on Abuse, Neglect and Lack of Dignity in Care Settings (2008-2012).

·         I have also recently been involved in 5 other research projects (2 UK based; 3 European initiatives). UK based studies were as co-applicant in an ESRC New Dynamics of Ageing grant (2008-2010) and as co-applicant in a DH/SCIE grant (2008 - 2009).

Selected publications:

STOECKL, H., WATTS, C. and PENHALE, B. (2012) Intimate Partner Violence Against Older Women in Germany: Prevalence and Risk factors, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(13) 2545–2564


DE DONDER, L., LANG, G., LUOMA, M-L., PENHALE, B., ALVES, J-F., TAMUTIENE, I., SANTOS, A., KOIVUSILTA, M., ENZENHOFER, E., PERTTU, S., SAVOLA, T., and VERTE, D. (2011) Perpetrators of abuse against older women: a multi-national study in Europe, Journal of Adult Protection, 13, 6, 302-314


DE DONDER, L., LUOMA, M-L., PENHALE, B., LANG, G., SANTOS, A., TAMUTIENE, I., KOIVUSILTA, M., SCHOPF, A., FERREIRA-ALVES, J., REINGARDE, J., PERTTU, S., SAVOLA, T., and VERTE, D. (2011) European Map of Prevalence: rates of elder abuse and its impact on future research, European Journal of Ageing, 8, (2), 129-143


DAVIES, M., HARRIES, P., CAIRNS, D. STANLEY, D., GILHOOLY, M., GILHOOLY, K., NOTLEY, E., GILBERT, A., PENHALE, B., and HENNESSY, C. (2011) Factors used in the detection of elder financial abuse: A judgment and decision-making study of social workers and their managers International Social Work 2011; 54, (3), 404-420


PARKER, J., PENHALE, B. and STANLEY, D. (2010) Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Journal of Social Care and Neuro-disability, 1, 2, 22-32


HUSSEIN S., MANTHORPE J., REID D., PENHALE B., PERKINS N., and PINKNEY L. (2010) Working together in adult safeguarding: findings from a survey of local authorities in England and Wales, Research Policy and Planning 27, (3), 163-176


PODNIEKS, E and PENHALE, B. (2010) Elder Mistreatment: An International Narrative, Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 22 1, 131-163


REID, D., PENHALE, B., MANTHORPE, J., PERKINS, N., PINKNEY, L. and HUSSEIN, S. (2009) Form and function: views from members of Adult Protection Committees in England and Wales, Journal of Adult Protection 11, 4, 20-29


PEREZ-ROJO, G., IZAL, M., MONTORIO, I. and PENHALE, B. (2009) Risk Factors of Elder Abuse in a community dwelling Spanish sample, Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 49, 1, 17-21


HUSSEIN, S., MANTHORPE, J. & PENHALE, B. (2007) Public Perceptions of the neglect and mistreatment of older people: findings from a UK survey, Ageing & Society, 27, 6, 919-940


ALAZEWSKI, A, ALAZEWSKI, H. POTTER, J. AND PENHALE, B. (2007) Working after a stroke: Survivors' experiences and perceptions of barriers to and facilitators of the return to paid employment, Disability and Rehabilitation, 29, 24, 1858-1869


MANTHORPE, J, PENHALE, B, PERKINS, N, PINKNEY, L, and KINGSTON, P. (2005) Modernising Adult Protection: An Inside or an Outside Job? Journal of Integrated Care, 13, 6, 26-33


PENHALE, B. (2003) Older women, domestic violence and elder abuse: a review of commonalities, differences and shared approaches, Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect: an International Journal, 15, 3-4, 163-183.


PENHALE, B. (2003) Financial abuse and charging for care: the views of social work and legal professionals, Journal of Adult Protection, 5, 2, 11-20.


STANLEY, N, PENHALE, B, RIORDAN, D., BARBOUR, R. and HOLDEN, S. (2003) Working on the Interface: Professional Responses to Families with Identified Mental Health and Child Care Needs, Health and Social Care in the Community, 11, 3, 208-218.


PENHALE, B. (2002) Ethical dilemmas in charging for care: contrasting the views of social work and legal professionals, Journal of Inter-professional Care, 16, 3, 235-247.

Key Responsibilities

My main administrative functions currently relate to research administration. Previous experience as Disability Tutor (2008-2010); Chair of School Ethics Review Panel (2006-2010); Admissions Officer (1999-2004); Programme Director (BA Social Work, 2002-2004); Member of various committees (e.g. Faculty Fitness to Practice Panel, Learning and Teaching Committee; Research Committee)

Areas of Expertise

Elder abuse, including institutional forms of abuse; adult safeguarding (also known as adult protection or adult abuse); intimate partner violence/domestic violence; attachment and intergenerational relationships in later life; mental health of older people; loss, grief and bereavement in later life; adult social care and community care; ethics and social care; health-related social work.

Teaching Interests

Teaching activity in past four years has been mainly focussed on research degree and taught postgraduate students (PGR and PGT). I also regularly teach sessions on Adult Safeguarding and Domestic Violence for the BSc Nursing Programme. I am the Course Director for the PG Certificate in Leadership in Dementia Care and module organiser for the module Advanced Practice in Dementia Care.


Contributions to national and international reports/position papers:


    PENHALE, B. (2009) Adult Safeguarding: a Literature Review, Totnes: Dartington Trust (Research in Practice for Adults)


    PARKER, J., PENHALE, B. and STANLEY, D. (2009) Mental Capacity Act & University Ethics Committees, London: SCIE


    KALAGA, H., KINGSTON, P., PENHALE, B. and ANDREWS, J.A, D. (2007) A Review of the Literature in Effective Interventions that prevent and respond to harm against Vulnerable Adults, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive


    PENHALE, B., PERKINS, N., PINKNEY, L. REID, D., HUSSEIN, S. and MANTHORPE, J. (2007) Partnerships and Regulation in Adult Protection: Final Report to the Department of Health, Sheffield: University of Sheffield


    PENHALE, B. (2007) Stopping Elder Abuse (a public information booklet), London: Help the Aged


    HAGEMANN-WHITE, C. et al (2007) Gendering Human Rights Violations: The case of interpersonal violence Coordination Action on Human Rights Violations (CAHRV) Final Report 2004-2007, Brussels: European Commission


    SCHROTTLE, M., MARTINEZ. M., CONDON, S., JASPARD, M., PIISPA, M., WESTERSTRAND, J., REINGARDIENE, J., SPRINGER-KREMSER, M., HAGEMANN-WHITE, C., BRZANK, P., MAY-CHAHAL, C. and PENHALE, B. (2006) Comparative re-analysis of prevalence of violence against women and health impact data in Europe – obstacles and possible solutions. Testing a comparative approach on selected studies, Bielefeld, Germany: University of Bielefeld

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or