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Research Groups

We have two research groups:

New Families

We investigate parent-child relationships and the psychological well being of children in new family forms.  These include lesbian mother and gay father families, solo mother families and families created by assisted reproduction procedures such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy.  We look at the experiences of these families and the social, emotional and identity development of the children.

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Social and Cognitive Development and the Family

We investigate children’s relationships within and outside the family in relation to their developing socio-cognitive skills.  In particular, we are interested in social influences and consequences of early individual differences in ‘theory of mind’ (the awareness of one’s own and others’ thoughts, feelings, etc.) and in executive functions (the higher order processes that underpin flexible, goal-directed behaviour).

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Genetics, Health and Families

The research interests within this group have evolved over the life of the Centre to enable research to be relevant to current concerns in health-related research into families. Previous and current research has addressed various psycho-social aspects of pregnancy and neonatal care; inherited genetic disorders; organ transplantation; and end-of-life care. The impact of new and changing technologies impacts all of these research areas.  Work is carried out within a clinical context and with clinical collaborations and addresses crucial ethical and policy related issues.

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We have close links to the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group directed by Professor Michael Lamb, and ReproSoc directed by Professor Sarah Franklin.