I am committed to conducting applied social psychological research which has both theoretical and practical implications. In particular, I am interested in the problem of bullying in schools and domestic abuse. Supported by two research grants in 2009 (from the BPS and British Academy) I developed a humour styles questionnaire for children and young people and in 2012 completed a longitudinal study funded by the ESRC to examine the links between children’s humour styles and the problem of bullying in schools, in collaboration with Dr Simon Hunter at the University of Strathclyde and Dr Sian Jones at Oxford Brookes University (project blog). Another collaboration with Prof David Gadd and Professor Ian Butler resulted in a major ESRC award of £385,000 over three years to examine the question of how to prevent more boys from becoming perpetrators of domestic violence in later life (2010-2013). For further details see www.boystomenproject.com.
At the same time we led a European wide project supported by a substantial grant under the Daphne III call. The total sum was for 309,000 euros over 2 years 2011-2013. The READAPT project (Relationship Education and Domestic Abuse Prevention Tuition) involved us working with 6 partners across Europe in the UK, Spain, Malta, France, Sweden and Belgium (www.readapt.eu). The research findings from these two projects are presented in our book 'Young Men and Domestic Abuse' published by Routledge in 2015.
I lead the new Centre for Research with Children and Young People. Within the Centre for Psychological Research I am in the Social Psychological Research Group.
I am currently collaborating with West Midlands Police on an evaluation of a Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme and with New Vic Borderlines to evaluate the 'Love Hurts?' play shown in local schools. In collaboration with Dr Charlotte Barlow at the University of Lancaster, I am exploring the issue of 'sexting' among young people, in particular, how best to educate young people about the risks involved.
I currently supervise three PhD students: Lucy James (Humour styles in younger children); Nicola Ralph (Bullying and children with SEND) and Emma Harrison (Bullying in Higher Education).