Thursday, 26 September 2013

An introduction to Antonia Bifulco, our new Head of Department

Antonia Bifulco – Professor of Lifespan Psychology and Head of Department.  (room TG34; tel 0208 411 3705)

I joined the Psychology Department in July 2013, having been at Kingston University for the last 2 years, and before that at Royal Holloway for most of my career. I have also brought my research team – Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS) which I co-direct with Prof Julia Davidson from Criminology. The Centre is multidisciplinary in its focus on victims and perpetrators of abuse and aims to engage in both academic and applied research with relevant services. We currently have projects involving youth violence, young people in residential care and cyberbullying as well as conducting CPD training for practitioners in health and social care in standardised assessments on childhood neglect/abuse, attachment style and parenting. We have recently completed an EU study of online grooming for sexual abuse, and working with a child protection team on improving case assessment and analysis. My interest in Lifespan Psychology in relation to vulnerability and clinical disorder is around childhood and adolescent experience as a primer for later risk and disorder as well as intergenerational transmission of risk from parent to offspring. My interests combine both Health and Forensic domains.

I have a new 3-year ESRC project grant beginning in November called: ‘Stress online: Developing a reliable and valid interactive online method for measuring stressful life events and difficulties’. This is held with partners at the Institute of Psychiatry (KCL) and Goldsmiths. It aims to mimic a face-to-face contextualised interview online, testing this with existing samples with depression, physical illness and controls, as well as in a first year student group. The aim is to validate the new interview alongside the in-person interview and then to examine the relationship of stressful events and difficulties to depression and physical illness and to drop-out or poor exam results in students.

I am very pleased to be taking on a head of department role for this vibrant and talented staff group! I look forward to a productive year of work and the department’s success in both teaching and research programmes.

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