Reader in Social Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol

My research broadly centres on the processes and mechanisms that drive adult attachment. Briefly, on the basis of information abstracted from consistent and long-term attachment relationships, individuals develop mental models of attachment, or attachment styles. A key feature of attachment styles is that they predictor how individuals respond to threat and deal with stress and distress. Much of my research over the years has been concerned with the way that attachment styles and attachment-relevant hormones influence thought, behaviour and feelings in interpersonal relationships and social life more generally. In recent years, one line of my research has focused on the relationship between attachment styles and mental health. While insecure attachment styles represent a vulnerability for the development and maintenance of ill mental health, secure attachment acts as a buffer against its development. Across a number of studies we find that the experimental enhancement of attachment security has many positive personal and interpersonal outcomes, including positive effects on mental health.

Experience

  • –present
    Reader in Social Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol