Hughes, C., Devine, R.T. & Wang, Z. (2017). Does parental mind-mindedness account for cross-cultural differences in preschoolers' theory of mind? To appear in Child Development. Watch a video about this study here.
A new study of children in gay father families formed through surrogacy is published this week. Click on the link to view: 'Parenting and the Adjustment of Children Born to Gay Fathers Through Surrogacy'
'One of the family? Measuring early adolescents' relationships with pets and siblings', Matthew T Cassels, Naomi White, Nancy Gee, Claire Hughes in the JADP. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193397317300084
One of the key findings was that young teenagers seem happier with their pets than with their siblings!
The Centre hosted 2 events at this year's University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas:
'Journeys to personhood and parenthood', 22 October, 11am-12pm.
'Moving towards modern families', 28 October, 6pm-7pm.
The Centre for Family Research celebrated 50 years on 6 October with a wonderful event at Peterhouse College, Cambridge.
To see the programme of the 50th Anniversary event please click here.
Further details can be found in the 2015-2016 Annual Report here.
Congratulations to Elena Ilioi who passed her viva with flying colours. Well done Elena!
Professor Susan Golombok has been chosen to receive the prestigious for her book 'Modern Families'.
'Half of Me' was performed again on 6 October as part of the Centre for Family Research's 50th anniversary celebrations, and will be performed throughout 2017 as a prelude to Satinder Chohan's next production, ''.
has been Writer-in-Residence at the Centre for Family Research, exploring our work and developing creative ideas, in collaboration with Senior Research Associate, Dr Vasanti Jadva.
Dr Rory Devine gave an invited keynote address on 20 July 2016 at the Early Career Conference on Executive Functions and Self-regulation at the University of Ulm, Germany, entitled 'Individual Differences in Executive Function in Early and Middle Childhood: Social Correlates and Consequences'. The conference was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and provided early career researchers working on children's executive function and self regulation an opportunity for networking, exchange and career development.
Dr Rory Devine gave a talk on 'Family Influences on Children's Theory of Mind' at the EARLI Conference on Learning and Development in Early Childhood in Porto, Portugal on 29 June. This talk was part of a symposium entitled: 'Theory of Mind in Early Childhood: Development, Correlates and Training' and featured presentations from Dr Serena Lecce and Dr Federica Bianco (University of Pavia, Italy), Dr Anike Fasche (University of Freiburg, Germany) and Dr Wiebke Evers (University of Ulm, Germany). More information:
Professor Susan Golombok gave a talk on 'Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms' at the Sapienza University of Rome, on 23 June as part of a conference on 'Conceiving Families: Children's well-being with gay and lesbian parents'.
Dr Rory Devine hosted a 'Psychology Taster Day' for Sixth Form Teachers and Year 12 Students at Clare College, Cambridge on 21 June. This event was targeted at students interested in learning more about Psychology and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and featured two lectures by members of the Centre for Family Research. Dr Sophie Zadeh gave a presentation on 'Groups, Crowds and Social Identity' and Dr Rory Devine gave a talk about 'Children's Understanding of Others' Minds'. More information:
Dr Gail Ewing gave a talk at the European Association for Palliative Care conference in Dublin on 8 June 2016 on implementing complex interventions using the CSNAT as an example of a complex intervention.
Gail also travelled to Denmark and Austria in June to meet collaborators on two CSNAT projects:
The Austrian team’s project is entitled - 'Listening to family carers: Developing support for informal carers in palliative home care based on the CSNAT tool'. Gail was in Vienna to facilitate a full-day workshop with the scientific core team: Dr Sabine Pleschberger from the Austrian Interdisciplinary Platform of Studies on Ageing, Vienna and Dr Christiane Kreyer from the University for Health and Life Sciences, Tyrol.
The Danish Team’s project is called - 'Testing a caregiver-led intervention to improve support to caregivers of cancer patients in palliative care at home: a stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial'. The Danish team is led by Professor Mogens Grønvold, University of Copenhagen. Professor Gunn Grande, University of Manchester and Dr Gail Ewing travelled over to join the team for two days of study planning.
Professor Susan Golombok gave two talks in London in June:
'The third parent: Donation and surrogacy'. Invited presentation at Fertility Fest, London, 11 June 2016.
'The changing face of the modern family'. Invited presentation to the British Fertility Society Study Day, London, 10 June 2016.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a talk on 'Parenting and Child Development in Gay Father Families' at Columbia University, USA, on 23 May 2016.
Professor Susan Golombok gave two talks at the 3rd Annual 'When it takes more than two to make a baby' Conference, Philadelphia, USA, on 18-20 May 2016, on 'Thinking about the children: Are the kids alright?' and 'LGBT families: Getting up to speed on emerging research'.
Professor Claire Hughes has been awarded a Commendation in the Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) Student-Led Teaching Awards. The CUSU received 700 submissions from students who were invited to nominate the lecturers, supervisors, pastoral or student support staff that have really enhanced their education. Claire's Commendation is in the Student Support category.
"Regulating Reproductive Regulation" has been published and is now available!
Bridget Lindley's obituary in The Times, 22 April.
We are delighted to announce that our new book, "Regulating Reproductive Regulation", edited by Susan Golombok, Rosamund Scott, John B. Appleby, Martin Richards and Stephen Wilkinson, was published on 23 March.
In this multidisciplinary book, social scientists, ethicists and lawyers offer fresh perspectives on the current challenges facing the regulation of reproductive donation and suggest possible ways forward. They address questions such as: what might people want to know about the circumstances of their conception? Should we limit the number of children donors can produce? Is it wrong to pay donors or to reward them with cut-price fertility treatments? Is overseas surrogacy exploitative of women from poor communities? Combining the latest empirical research with analysis of ethics, policy and legislation, the book focuses on the regulation of gamete and embryo donation and surrogacy at a time when more people are considering assisted reproduction and when new techniques and policies are underway.
This book resulted from a workshop we held at the Centre for Family Research, Cambridge, and was produced as part of a Wellcome Trust Enhancement Award in Biomedical Ethics. We would like to thank all those involved in this project.
Professor Susan Golombok and Dr Lucy Blake presented at the New Family Frontiers seminar on the theme ofon 18 March, Cambridge.
Dr Keri Wong gave a talk at The Warwick Globalist Mental Health Launch Event, Warwick, on 8 March.
Dr Keri Wong participated in the Cambridge Science Festival at The Spinney Primary School and Park Street Primary School, Cambridge, on the theme of 'Exploring Emotions using Psychology, Art, and Music', on 2 & 3 March.
It is with great sadness we report the death of Bridget Lindley on 2 March.
Bridget was a Senior Research Associate in the Centre in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She pursued research on the provision and processes of providing advocacy and support for parents those children were involved in child protection cases with a grant from the Nuffield Foundation. And later on behalf of the Department of Health she drafted protocols about how advocates might intervene more effectively on behalf of parents in these cases.
Bridget was also a very active member of the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group contributing to several of our books and serving as an editor. Notably she was responsible for recruiting Bob Geldof as a contributor to our volume on Children and their Families (2003), leading to the only occasion on which we had to contemplate a crowd control plan for one of our academic workshops.
Bridget is known for her significant contributions to the fields of child welfare and family law. She worked as a family lawyer for 35 years, and was Deputy Chief Executive and Principal Legal Adviser for Family Right Group, where she advised thousands of families whose children were in need and had a significant influence of law and practice. She was co-convener of the Adoption Law Reform Group that influenced the Adoption and Law Reform Act 2002, sat on the Government Review of Child Care Proceedings, led the legal work of the Kinship Care Alliance and trained the judiciary in using Family Group Conferences. She also worked part-time for the Cambridge Mediation Service, where she was a Family Mediator. She was a Trustee of Amnesty International UK, and sat on the Family Justice Council as the Parents and Relatives Representative, UK.
We send our sincere condolences to her partner Simon and their family.
Donations can be made to the Bridget Lindley Memorial Trust in support of legal work to promote human rights, particularly for vulnerable families, bringing together Family Rights Group and Amnesty International UK, via www.justgiving.com/bridgetlindleymemorialfund
Dr Keri Wong was part of the CAMbrain Cambridge Neuroscience Society panel discussion on 'Adolescent Gaming: help of hindrance?' on 22 February.
We are excited to report that the Wellcome Trust has awarded funding for a collaboration between Tamasha Theatre Company, youth theatre Generation Arts and the Centre for Family Research to produce a 40 minute play inspired by the Centre's work examining the experiences of young people born by Assisted Reproductive Technologies. The project will be overseen by Fin Kennedy, an award-winning playwright, producer and dramaturg and Artistic Director of Tamasha. from Tamasha, will work as writer-in-residence at the CFR, exploring the Centre's work and developing creative ideas. The resulting play will be produced in London by Generation Arts, a youth theatre working with youngsters in the care system, and in Cambridge as the centrepiece of CFR's 50th anniversary celebrations in October 2016.
Professor Susan Golombok received an Honourable Mention in the PROSE international book awards for her recent book "Modern Families".
Professor Howard Steele from the New School for Social Research in New York ran a workshop on the Friends and Family Interview, a measure of children’s attachment relationships, at the Centre for Family Research on 18 & 19 January.
Dr Sophie Sophie Zadeh and Nishtha Lamba presented at the British Fertility Society Annual Meeting, Newcastle, 7-8 January. Sophie gave a paper on solo mothers and Nishtha on egg donors in India.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a talk on "Do you need to be female to ‘mother’?" at the Foundling Museum London event on 'The Fallen Woman' on 7 December.
Hidden Voices - Family Estrangement in Adulthood, a collaboration between the charity Stand Alone and the Centre for Family Research, is the first in depth piece of UK research on family estrangement. Further information on the research here.
Research carried out at the Centre was reported in 'Britain in 2016' a magazine for the public published by the ESRC to highlight key areas of social science research in 2016. Click here to view article.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a Keynote Lecture on 22October at a conference on the 'Disclosure of donor conception' at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid.
Sophie's talk: 'Quality of parenting, mother and child wellbeing and 'daddy talk' in single parent families formed through the use of donor insemination'.
Susan's talk: 'Families created through egg donation: parental psychological health and quality of parenting in infancy'.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a seminar on 'Modern Families' at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, on 12 October.
New Fathers and Mothers Study led by Prof Claire Hughes - Garden Party at Newnham College to thank families who are taking part in the study. Pictures: Cambridge Evening News.
'Single women aren't scrambling to use IVF - and the media focus on them is irresponsible', Dr Sophie Zadeh, Huff Post Blog.
Congratulations to Dr Sophie Zadeh, Dr Tabitha Freeman and Prof Susan Golombok whose abstract, 'Quality of parenting, mother and child wellbeing and 'daddy talk' in single parent families formed through the use of donor insemination', has been selected by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to receive the 'Mental Health PG Prize Paper'. These awards are given in recognition of outstanding research. Abstract available here.
Dr Vasanti Jadva gave a talk at the 23rd Nordic Fertility Society Meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 3 August on 'Telling the children after gamete donation and surrogacy'.
Dr Tabitha Freeman presented findings from our recent survey of men registered as online sperm donors on the connection website, Pride Angel, at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology 31st Annual Meeting in Lisbon, 14-17 June.
The Centre for Family Research 'NewFAMS' team has launched a new website. You can learn all about the study and keep up-to-date with the latest news and findings from the study team. Click here for NewFAMS blog.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a talk at the Hay Festival on 24 May on 'Modern Families - are the kids alright?'.
Jon Sutton reports on Professor Susan Golombok's talk at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference.
Matt Cassels had at least 10 pets when he was growing up and yet it had never occurred to him to think about how important his relationships with them were. Until he came to Cambridge and started working on a rich data set from The led by Professor Claire Hughes.
Dr Gail Ewing gave a presentation on 'Sharing Bad News' at the European Association for Palliative Care Conference on 9 May in Copenhagen. Gail's presentation was very well-received. See link.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a Keynote presentation on her new book, 'Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms' at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference on 5 May in Liverpool.
Professor Susan Golombok on BBC R4 Woman's Hour talking to Jenni Murray about New Families - 'do gay men make better dads? How close are children born through surrogacy to their parents?'. Listen here.
Professor Susan Golombok press articles, March 2015:
'Kids thrive just as well in non-traditional families' (Toronto Star, 23/03/15)
'The Rocket Man is right to go ballistic - gay fathers are best' (Sunday Times, 22/03/15)
'Supportive families help children to flourish no matter what' (The Independent, 12/03/15)
Professor Susan Golombok's book 'Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms' published on 12 March.
The Centre was very well-represented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Meeting in Philadelphia, USA, 19-21 March. Amanda Aldercotte, Nik Darshane, Dr Rory Devine, Sarah Foley, and Dr Naomi White presented posters; Dr Lucy Blake gave a talk on 'Parenting and the Psychological Development of Children born to Gay Fathers by Assisted Reproduction'. Further details on the SRCD Meeting here.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a lecture at the University of the Third Age in Cambridge on Wednesday 4 March. The lecture was based on her new book, 'Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms'.
Launch of Nuffield Council on Bioethics Report, 'The collection, linking and use of data in biomedical research and health care: ethical issues'. Professor Martin Richards chaired the NCoB Working Party which produced the report. For a summary of the report, please click here.
Sheila Ernst (1941-2015)
It is with great sadness we record the death of Sheila Ernst (Young) who carried out graduate work in the Centre in the late 1960s. Her project concerned the politics of abortion and pregnancy outside marriage. As part of this, she interviewed young unmarried women residing in the local mother and baby home in Bateman Street where they spent their pregnancy and gave birth, after which their children were removed for adoption.
Sheila was very much engaged in the radical feminist politics and life of the time, living with her then husband (Bob Young) and her young children in the notorious Chesterton commune.
Coming from a family of psychotherapists, Sheila became a pioneer of radical and feminist psychotherapy and later a leading group analyst. Moving to a collective household in London she helped to create Red Therapy in 1974, a group aiming to democratise therapy and empower people to form their own skilled self-help groups (S. Ernst and L. Goodison. In Our Own Hands. A Book of Self Help Therapy. Women’s Press, 1981). She later worked for many years at the Women’s Therapy Centre where she developed forms of individual psychoanalysis that addressed the internalised aspects of women’s oppression and disadvantage. Sheila argued that psychological differentiation between mothers and daughters was impeded by social factors, leading to women’s fears of autonomy, achievement and other’s envy. She taught at Birkbeck College, London where she set up a pioneering master’s degree in group analysis.
In her last years Sheila suffered from a progressive and crippling neurodegenerative disorder. She ended her own life at Dignitas in Switzerland. She approached death as she had lived, honestly and determinedly and engaging her family and friends in the complexities of the decisions, always receptive to their feelings.
A fuller obituary of Sheila appears in the Guardian (25 April 2015) written by Joanna Ryan, her life long friend and a colleague at the Centre in those early years.
Congratulations to Dr Keri Wong who has been successful in obtaining a Clare Hall Betty Behrens Fellowship. This fellowship is funded to encourage research into the causes of, and/or ways of mitigating, those forms of anti-social behaviour (including such as result from personality defects and disorders) which cause severe unhappiness to, and/or frustrate the talents or capacities of, those who suffer from them. Keri's work on social mistrust fits very neatly into this brief.
Professor Susan Golombok gave two lectures at the University of Leiden:
'Children and families in the 21st century' at the University of Leiden Law School. and 'Lesbian and gay families: Are the kids alright?' at the University of Leiden Department of Child and Family Studies.
Dr Sophie Zadeh and Professor Martin Richards organised a workshop on 'Eugenics: Critical historical and ethical reflections' in Cambridge on 21 January 2015. Speakers included Professor Alison Bashford, Dr Veronique Mottier, Professor Martin Richards, Professor Stephen Wilkinson, and Dr Sophie Zadeh.
Congratulations to Sophie Zadeh who passed her viva with flying colours. Well done Sophie!
Congratulations to Adelle Pushparatnam, Naomi White and Keri Wong who all passed their vivas with minor corrections. Well done all!
Professor Susan Golombok gave a Keynote Lecture on surrogacy at the 'Men Having Babies' 10th Annual Conference in New York on 2 November 2014.
Dr Leire Salazar (together with Hector Cebolla and Jonas Radl) has been awarded the latest (2013) edition of la Caixa Prize in the Social Sciences for their manuscript Aprendizaje y ciclo vital: la desigualdad de oportunidades desde la educacion preescolar hasta la edad adulta [Learning and the Life Course: Inequality of Educational Opportunities from Preschool to Adulthood]. The book analyses, for a large sample of rich countries, inequalities by social background in several indicators of learning and school performance in the various stages of the academic trajectories of individuals. The manuscript is expected to be published in three languages and will be presented to the media before the end of 2014.
The aim of the la Caixa Prize is to reward analysis and debate on the transformations that contemporary society faces. This could relate to social, environmental, technological and health related challenges, or a combination of this. la Caixa Banking Foundation is the largest foundation in continental Europe and the world’s third largest.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a talk about her research on 'New Family Forms' as part of a discussion on 'Challenges to sexual identities: global perspectives' at the Festival of Ideas, University of Cambridge, 25 October.
Professor Susan Golombok gave the Annual Keynote Lecture on 'Lesbian and gay families: What do we know about the quality of parenting and the socio-emotional development of the children?' at the School of Social Work, University of East Anglia, 16 October 2014.
Helen Statham, Gail Ewing, Claire Hughes, Sarah Foley, Lucy Blake and John Appleby took part in the Chariots of Fire relay race to raise funds for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity on Sunday 21 September. The team raised the magnificent sum of £900!
Karin Eklund, who designed all the wonderful illustrations for the Centre for Family Research website, has launched her new website:
We are delighted to announce the publication of our new book, ‘Relatedness in Assisted Reproduction: Families, Origins and Identities’, edited by Tabitha Freeman, Susanna Graham, Fatemeh Ebtehaj and Martin Richards, and published by Cambridge University Press.
This multidisciplinary book brings together an international team of academics and clinicians to explore the central issue of relatedness in assisted reproduction. Drawing on social science, legal and bioethical perspectives and the latest empirical research, this book considers questions raised by sperm, egg and embryo donation and surrogacy about the meaning of family, kinship and identity. This book resulted from a workshop we held at the Brocher Foundation, Geneva, and was produced as part of a Wellcome Trust Enhancement Award in Biomedical Ethics. We would like to thank all those involved in this project.
Professor Susan Golombok gave a Keynote Lecture at the University of Malta on Friday, 16 July as part of Malta's celebration of their newly introduced same-sex marriage legislation.
Keri Wong, Daniel Freeman (Oxford), and Claire Hughes' paper 'Suspicious young minds: paranoia and mistrust in 8- to 14-year-olds in the UK and Hong Kong'.
Dr Tabitha Freeman gave an invited talk on 'Psychosocial aspects of gamete donation' for a pre-congress workshop at the ESHRE 30th annual meeting in Munich.
Dr Susanna Graham on BBC R4 Woman's Hour talking to Jenni Murray about why more women are choosing to start a family without a partner and the implications for children born by donor insemination.
Oldie but goodie?
Martin Richards, John Davis and Cliff Roberton's edited book, 'Parent-Baby Attachment in Premature Infants' which was first published in 1983 is to be re-issued as part of the Routledge - Psychology Press new Psychology Revivals Programme. This aims to return distinguished, but currently out of print, psychology books back into print.
Dr Vasanti Jadva and Susan Imrie gave talks at the Families through Surrogacy conference in Winsdor.
Researchers from the Centre for Family Research organised a Science Week event for children and parents: 'What makes a family?'. There was lots for children to do as well as talks by researchers at the Centre. More information about the event can be found here.
This October an exciting new three-year international study will begin at the Centre for Family Research. The ‘New Families’ study will examine infant development and parent-child interactions across the first two years of life, with funding from an internationally competitive Open Research Area grant from the ESRC, NIH and NWO (Value). This collaborative study draws on the expertise of Professor Clancy Blair (New York University) and Professor Judi Mesman (Leiden University). Professor Claire Hughes, Dr Rory Devine, Dr Rosie Ensor and Ms Sarah Foley will lead the UK arm of the study.
To learn more about the study please click here.
Professor Susan Golombok spoke on 'The Changing Dynamics of the Family' on 27 February in New York at an event hosted by Cornerstone Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Coda leadership and CBST.
The Centre's study of adoptive gay father families was rated 'Outstanding' by the ESRC.
Dr Nothando Ngwenya awarded first prize for the SBN poster at the 12th Annual BTOG Conference 2014. Poster: 'Sharing bad news understanding the communication processes of a lung cancer diagnosis'.
Sophie Zadeh has now been officially elected to a highly competitive Junior Research Fellowship at Corpus - very well deserved and very well done!!!
Dr Tabitha Freeman: invited presentation on 'Donor identification and the best interests of the child: a social science perspective' at a symposium for interdisciplinary and empirical bioethics , 'On gametes and guidelines', at the Brocher Foundation, Geneva.
Dr Lucy Blake gave a presentation entitled 'We're just a normal family, like any other: Family Relationships and Child Development in Families created using ARTs' at the Nordic Fertility Society Conference in Haugesund, Norway.
Congratulations to Professor Claire Hughes for winning the 2013 British Psychological Society Book Prize - Academic Monograph:
Bob Edwards the Early Years, talk by Martin Johnson
The Centre for Family Research hosted a packed lecture theatre in Cambridge on 8th March 2011 when Professor Martin Johnson gave a lecture based on the one he had delivered at the Nobel Symposium in December 2010. Afterwards a reception in Newnham College was attended by Ruth Edwards and members of Bob's family, staff from Bourn Hall, RBM Online, the Physiology Department and the Centre for Family Research, members of the public, and doctors and scientists from across the world including former members of Bob's lab such as Carol Readhead and Richard Gardner (two of Bob's grad students), Barbara Rankin and Caroline Blackwell (both Bob's secretaries in the past), Alan Handyside, David Griffin and Hester Pratt.
To listen to the talk, please click:
To download the lecture, please click here