My research interests centre around:
- Early social-emotional development
- Parent-child interactions
- Child and parental mental health
- Ethnic and cultural diversity
Much of my research is focused on studying parent-child interaction and enhancing such interactions to optimise social-emotional development. My research cuts across a range of clinical, at-risk and normative groups, and I have an interest in addressing cultural and ethnic diversity.
I contribute to teaching on the BSc Psychology and MSc Clinical and Health Psychology. I teach primarily on developmental and clinical topics. I also supervise a number of project students at all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD, ClinPsyD). I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Within the BSc Psychology programme, I coordinate the International Study programme, and serve in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity in Teaching (EDIT) working group and on the School Academic Malpractice and Faculty Discipline Panels.
After completing my BSc and MSc (distinction) in psychology, I secured a Faculty bursary to pursue a PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Manchester, which kickstarted my career in Manchester. In 2003, I took a research fellow position in the School of Medicine, University of Manchester. I studied children of mothers with severe mental disorder and depression in the Centre for Women's Mental Health (led by Prof Kathryn Abel). During this time, I became incredibly interested in mother-infant interactions and attachment and my research evolved into studying parent-child relationships in other at-risk or vulnerable groups, such as autism risk. In 2009, I took on a lectureship, contributing to the MBChB degree programme (Medicine). I was postgraduate trainer, supervised postgraduate research students, and became part of the Social Development Research Group (led by Prof Jonathan Green). In 2017, I segued into the Division of Psychology of Mental Health, School of Health Sciences. This involved new roles teaching psychology at undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2020, PRIME-RU (Perinatal Mental Health and Parenting Research Unit) was founded (led by Dr Anja Wittkowski) in which I am a Co-Director. I continue to pursue my research interests within PRIME-RU and by working closely with other colleagues and collaborators.
I sometimes work with local community groups in Manchester with the aim of enhancing child and parental mental health through short guided activities, relating story and metaphor. I welcome enquiries from community projects and schools.