Understanding children’s and adolescents’ social, emotional and cognitive development to improve their wellbeing and attainment.

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About us

This Psychology research subgroup aims to understand children’s and adolescents’ social, emotional and cognitive development, with the aim of improving psychological wellbeing, relationships at home and school, and academic achievement.

We conduct research in collaboration with an extensive network of nurseries, primary and secondary schools in the South West of the UK, and with other universities and charities in the UK and overseas, from the Universities of Surrey and Edinburgh to the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain) and Maryland University (U.S.).

We regularly involve undergraduate and postgraduate students in our research as paid or voluntary research assistants.

Selected current research themes

  • How did parents/carers manage the demands of homeschooling and parenting during the coronavirus lockdown? (see below)
  • Maths anxiety in primary and secondary school aged children
  • Factors influencing student and parental anxiety and their relation with non-clinical inflated responsibility beliefs
  • Is moral disgust socially learnt?
  • The relation between mothers’ and children’s beliefs about the controllability of their emotions
  • Fear of Missing Out (FoMO): Why wasn’t I invited to the party?
  • Reading fictional stories: the benefits for cognitive and emotional development
  • Creative and critical thinking in Higher Education
  • The development of creativity

Book launch of Mental Wellbeing in Schools 

Join us on 10 October 2022 for the launch of Mental Wellbeing in Schools: what teachers can do to support pupils from diverse backgrounds, co-edited by research group member Dr Liam Satchell. This event is hosted in collaboration with the University's Centre for Professional Learning in Education.

Find out more and book your free seat

Recent research projects

Homeschooling during Lockdown: investigating the psychological, emotional and learning effects of homeschooling on parents/carers and children during the 2020-21 lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and providing practical, evidence-based support.

Emoread Study: Investigating the effect of touch-screen technology on children’s reading comprehension and shared reading experiences

Group members

For more information, contact Dr Rachel Wilcock.

Find out more

Social media

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Research blogs

Smacking children: what the research says

Over-parenting teaches children to be entitled - let them fail and learn to be resilient instead