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Professor Claire Hughes

Professor Claire Hughes

Professor of Developmental Psychology

Fellow and Director of Studies at Newnham College, Cambridge

Directors of Studies Coordinator and Subject Convenor (PBS Tripos)


Office Phone: (+44) 01223 334517

Biography:

Having completed her degree and PhD (on the topic of executive function in autism) at the University of Cambridge, Claire Hughes moved to Paris for two years, working as a Fyssen Foundation post-doctoral research fellow at the Hopital Robert Debre and INSERM at the University of Paris V, investigating executive functions in parents and siblings of children with autism. Returning to the UK, Claire worked for 6 years at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, collaborating with Professor Judy Dunn. Claire then returned to Cambridge and joined the Centre for Family Research. Her research (funded principally by the ESRC) includes a number of longitudinal studies to investigate social and cognitive influences on children’s adjustment and was recognized by a 2011 ‘Women of the Year’ Award.  These studies include international collaborations with research partners in Hong Kong, Italy, the USA and the Netherlands.  Claire’s first book Social Understanding, Social Lives: From Toddlerhood to the Transition to School , published by Psychology Press in 2011 won the 2013 BPS Book of the Year Award (academic monograph category).  Together with a former PhD student, Naomi White, Claire has recently written a second book, also published by Psychology Press:

White, N. & Hughes, C. (2017): Why Siblings Matter: The role of brother and sister relationships in development and wellbeing.  Psychology Press DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.102.3.357

To watch a 2-minute video of Claire talking about this new book, click here.

Keywords

cognitive development ; conduct problems ; autism spectrum disorders ; executive functioning and theory of mind ; antisocial behaviour

Key Publications

For access to PDFs of Claire's papers, please refer to her ORCID account: orcid.org/0000-0003-2545-3025

Papers in 2016-2017

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2017). Let’s Talk: Parents’ Mental Talk (not Mind-Mindedness or Mindreading Capacity) predicts Children’s False Belief Understanding Child Development DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12990 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12990/full

Cassels, M.T., White, N., Gee, N., Hughes, C. (2017). One of the family? Measuring early adolescents' relationships with pets and siblings Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 49, pp. 12-20.

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2017). Family correlates of false belief understanding in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Child Development, Early Online View, DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12682.

Hughes, C., Aldercotte, A., Foley, S. (2017) Maternal Mind-Mindedness Provides a Buffer for Pre-Adolescents at Risk for Disruptive Behavior Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45 (2), pp. 225-235.

Hughes, C., Devine, R.T. & Wang, Z. (2017). Does parental mind-mindedness account for cross-cultural differences in preschoolers’ theory of mind? Child Development, Early Online View, DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12746

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (2017).  For better, for worse: Positive and Negative Parental Influences on Preschoolers’ Executive Functions.  Child Development. Early Online View, DOI: 08:26:38.770206

Hughes, C., White, N., Foley, S. & Devine., R.T. (2017). Family Support and Gains in School Readiness: Longitudinal Findings. Accepted for publication in British Journal of Educational Psychology.

Devine, R.T., Bignardi, G. & Hughes, C. (2016). Executive function mediates the relations between parental behaviours and children’s early academic ability. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1902

White, N. & Hughes, C. (2017): Why Siblings Matter: The role of brother and sister relationships in development and wellbeing. Psychology Press DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.102.3.357

Freeman, D., Sheaves, B., Goodwin,G.M., Hughes, C. et al. (2017). The effects of improving sleep on mental health (OASIS): a randomised controlled trial with mediation analysis. The Lancet psychiatry. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(17)30328-0/fulltext

Shahaeian, A., Razmjoee, M., Wang, C., Elliott, S. N., Hughes, C. (2017) Understanding relational aggression during early childhood: An examination of the association with language and other social and cognitive skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 40, 3rd Quarter 2017, Pages 204-214. 

Hughes, C., McHarg, G., White, N. (2018) Sibling influences on prosocial behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology, 20, pp. 96-101. http://communications.elsevier.com/r/?id=h4cc5adc9,1c7f05df,1c96b52a&p1=authors.elsevier.com/a/1VegT,rU~NcJZ1

Devine, R.T., White, N., Ensor, R., Hughes, C. (2016) Theory of mind in middle childhood: Longitudinal associations with executive function and social competence. Developmental Psychology, 52 (5), pp. 758-771.

Devine, R.T., Hughes, C. (2016) Measuring theory of mind across middle childhood: Reliability and validity of the Silent Films and Strange Stories tasks. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 149, pp. 23-40. DOI.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2017.04.002.

Devine, R.T., Hughes, C. (2016) Family Correlates of False Belief Understanding in Early Childhood: A Meta-Analysis. Child Development, Article in Press.

Ellefson, M., Ng, F., Wang, Q., & Hughes, C. (2016). Efficiency of Executive Function: A Two-Generation Cross-Cultural Comparison of Samples from Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Psychological Science. Article in Press.

Hughes, C. (2016) Theory of mind grows up: Reflections on new research on theory of mind in middle childhood and adolescence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 149, pp. 1-5.

Hughes, C., Devine, R.T. & Wang, Z. (2017) Does Parental Mind-Mindedness Account for Cross-Cultural Differences in Preschoolers’ Theory of Mind?  Child Development.  Article in press.

Hughes, C., Aldercotte, A., Foley, S. (2016) Maternal Mind-Mindedness Provides a Buffer for Pre-Adolescents at Risk for Disruptive Behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.

Roman, G.D., Ensor, R., Hughes, C. (2016) Does executive function mediate the path from mothers' depressive symptoms to young children's problem behaviors? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, pp. 158-170.

Wang, Z., Devine, R.T., Wong, K.K., Hughes, C. (2016) Theory of mind and executive function during middle childhood across cultures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 149, pp. 6-22.

Cassels, M., White, N., McGee, N. & Hughes, C. (2017) One of the family? Measuring early adolescents' relationships with pets and siblings. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

Papers in 2014-2015

Devine, R.T., Hughes, C. (2014) Relations between false belief understanding and executive function in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Child Development, 85 (5), pp. 1777-1794.

Ensor, R., Devine, R.T., Marks, A., Hughes, C. (2014) Mothers' Cognitive References to 2-Year-Olds Predict Theory of Mind at Ages 6 and 10. Child Development, 85 (3), pp. 1222-1235.

Healy, S.J., Murray, L., Cooper, P.J., Hughes, C., Halligan, S.L. (2015) A Longitudinal Investigation of Maternal Influences on the Development of Child Hostile Attributions and Aggression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 44 (1), pp. 80-92.

Hughes, C. (2015) The transition to school. Psychologist, 28 (9), pp. 714-717.

Hughes, C., Daly, I., Foley, S., White, N., Devine, R.T. (2015) Measuring the foundations of school readiness: Introducing a new questionnaire for teachers - The Brief Early Skills and Support Index (BESSI). British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85 (3), pp. 332-356.

Hughes, C., Devine, R.T. (2015) Individual Differences in Theory of Mind From Preschool to Adolescence: Achievements and Directions. Child Development Perspectives, 9 (3), pp. 149-153.

Hughes, C., White, N., Ensor, R. (2014) How does talk about thoughts, desires, and feelings foster children's socio-cognitive development? Mediators, moderators and implications for intervention. Contributions to Human Development, 26, pp. 95-105.

Lecce, S., Bianco, F., Devine, R.T., Hughes, C., Banerjee, R. (2014) Promoting theory of mind during middle childhood: A training program. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, pp. 52-67.

White, N., Ensor, R., Marks, A., Jacobs, L., Hughes, C. (2014)"It's Mine!" Does Sharing with Siblings at Age 3 Predict Sharing with Siblings, Friends, and Unfamiliar Peers at Age 6? Early Education and Development, 25 (2), pp. 185-201.

Wong, K.K., Freeman, D., Hughes, C. (2014) Suspicious young minds: Paranoia and mistrust in 8- To 14-year-olds in the UK and Hong Kong. British Journal of Psychiatry, 205 (3), pp. 221-229.

Papers from 2010-2013

Devine, R.T., & Hughes, C. (2013): Silent Films and Strange Stories: Theory of mind, gender and social experiences in middle childhood.  Child Development. 84, 989-1003.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12017/abstract;jsessionid=6EAF1EF433FF98ED8D2D9CBEA3D9DDEB.f03t02

Hughes, C., Roman, G., Hart, M.J & Ensor, R. (2013). Does Maternal Depression Predict Young Children’s Executive Function? A 4-year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 169-177.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcpp.12014/abstract

Ensor, R., Roman, G., & Hughes, C., (2012) Mothers’ Depressive Symptoms and Low Mother-Toddler Mutuality Both Predict Children’s Maladjustment. Infant and Child Development, 21, 52-66.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.762/abstract 

Ensor, R., Spencer, D., & Hughes, C. (2011). 'You feel sad?'  Emotion Understanding Mediates Predictors of Prosocial Behaviour: Findings from 2-to 4-years. Social Development. 20, pp. 93-110.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2009.00572.x/abstract

Ensor, R., Hart, M., Jacobs, L., Hughes, C. (2011). Gender differences in children's problem behaviours in competitive play with friends. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, pp. 176-187.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-835X.2010.02016.x/abstract

Hughes, C., & Ensor, R. (2011). Individual Differences in Growth in Executive Function Across the Transition to School Predict Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors and Children's Self-Perceived Academic Success at Age 6. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (special issue on Executive Functions).108, 663-676.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022096510001268

Hughes, C. & Ensor, R. (2011). Individual differences in false-belief understanding are stable from ages 3 to 6 and predict children's mental state talk with friends. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 108, 96-112.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022096510001608

Hughes, C., (2011). Changes and challenges in 20 years of research into the development of executive function. Infant and Child Development, 20 251-271.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.736/abstract

Lecce, S., Caputi, M., Hughes, C. (2011). Does sensitivity to criticism mediate the relationship between theory of mind and academic achievement? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110 313-331.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002209651100124X

Ensor, R., Spencer, D., & Hughes, C. (2011). 'You feel sad?'  Emotion Understanding Mediates Predictors of Prosocial Behaviour: Findings from 2-to 4-years. Social Development. 20, pp. 93-110.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2009.00572.x/abstract

Ensor, R., Hart, M., Jacobs, L., Hughes, C. (2011). Gender differences in children's problem behaviours in competitive play with friends. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, pp. 176-187.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-835X.2010.02016.x/abstract

Hughes, C., & Ensor, R. (2011). Individual Differences in Growth in Executive Function Across the Transition to School Predict Externalizing and Internalizing Behaviors and Children's Self-Perceived Academic Success at Age 6. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (special issue on Executive Functions).108, 663-676.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022096510001268

Hughes, C. & Ensor, R. (2011). Individual differences in false-belief understanding are stable from ages 3 to 6 and predict children's mental state talk with friends. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 108, 96-112.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022096510001608

Hughes, C., (2011). Changes and challenges in 20 years of research into the development of executive function. Infant and Child Development, 20 251-271.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.736/abstract

Lecce, S., Caputi, M., Hughes, C. (2011). Does sensitivity to criticism mediate the relationship between theory of mind and academic achievement? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110 313-331.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002209651100124X

Ensor, R., & Hughes, C. (2010). With a Little Help from My Friends: Maternal Social Support, via Parenting, Promotes Willingness to Share in Preschoolers Born to Young Mothers. Infant and Child Development. 19, 127–141.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/icd.643/abstract

Ensor, R., Marks, A., & Hughes, C. (2010). Trajectories of antisocial behaviour towards siblings predict antisocial behaviour towards peers. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 51, 1208-1216.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02276.x/abstract

Hughes, C., Ensor, R., Wilson, A., & Graham, A. (2010). Tracking Executive Function Across the Transition to School: A Latent Variable Approach. Developmental Neuropsychology, 35, 20-36.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/87565640903325691#.UlsDepX3AUs 

Hughes, C., Marks, A., Ensor, R. & Lecce, S. (2010). A Longitudinal Study of Conflict and Inner State Talk in Children’s Conversations with Mothers and with Younger Siblings. Social Development, 19, 822-837.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2009.00561.x/abstract

Lecce, S., & Hughes, C. (2010). ‘The Italian job?’: Comparing theory of mind performance in British and Italian children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28, 747-766.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1348/026151009X479006/abstract