Louise Arseneault, Professor of Developmental Psychology

Louise Arseneault’s research focuses on the study of harmful behaviours such as violence and substance dependence, their developmental origins, their inter-connections with mental health, and their consequences for victims. She is taking a developmental approach to investigate how the consequences of violence begin in childhood and persist to mid-life, by studying bullying victimisation and child maltreatment. Louise also studies the impact of social relationships including social support and loneliness on mental health. Her research aims are to answer questions relevant to psychology and psychiatry by harnessing and combining three different research approaches: developmental research, epidemiological methods and genetically sensitive designs. Louise’s work incorporates social as well as biological measurements across the life span.

Louise completed her PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal and moved to the UK for a post-doctoral training at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. She has been working with well-known longitudinal cohorts such as the Montreal Longitudinal Cohorts, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study and the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative sample of families with twins in England and Wales. She has also been exploring another important nationally representative cohort, the National Child Development Survey (NCDS).

Louise is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Mental Health Leadership Fellow. Louise’s fellow role with the ESRC includes providing intellectual leadership and strategic advice in the priority area of mental health. It is a broad agenda including engaging research communities, promoting collaborations, advocating for mental health research, championing the co-design and co-production of research and providing advice to the ESRC and other research councils. She provides advice on how social science research can best address the challenges that mental health poses for our society, communities and individuals.

Bridget Bryan, Research Assistant

Bridget’s research focuses on the production and maintenance of mental health inequalities using qualitative and quantitative approaches. She joined the team in July 2018 to undertake a review the mental health measures in British longitudinal studies and assist in the development of the catalogue. Before joining the project, she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Sydney and a Master of Science in Sociology at the University of Oxford. Previously, Bridget has worked in research focusing on workplace mental health and the Australian forensic mental health system at the University of New South Wales, the Mental Health Commission of NSW and the University of Oxford.


Ali Hussain, Project Coordinator

Ali studied his undergraduate degree in Politics and holds a Masters in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London. As Project Coordinator, he works with policymakers, charities and research councils to promote mental health research and deliver public engagement projects. Ali's projects include policy briefs, blogs, meetings, videos and social media to create greater engagement with people with lived experience and stakeholders across different fields.

Barbara Maughan, Professor of Developmental Epidemiology

Barbara Maughan’s research focuses on psychosocial and biological risks for mental health problems in childhood, and the long-term impact of early emotional/behavioural difficulties and early adverse experiences for health and well-being later in life. She has undertaken epidemiological and longitudinal studies of a range of child and adolescent difficulties including conduct problems and antisocial behaviour, severe reading problems, and depression, and has studied risk factors at the individual, family, school and broader societal levels. She uses a combination of research strategies centring on epidemiological and longitudinal methods; she has also used natural experimental designs to highlight the impact of environmental risks.

Barbara came into research from a background in social work; she completed her PhD while working at the Institute of Psychiatry and has since worked in both the MRC Child Psychiatry Unit and the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London. She has helped conduct the adult follow-up phases of epidemiological samples in inner London and the Isle of Wight and has also made extensive use of secondary analysis of data from the British birth cohort studies in conducting her research. She is currently Professor of Developmental Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.

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