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Centre for Family Research



Following my degree in zoology at Cambridge, I did my PhD at the Sub Department of Animal Behaviour on the Maternal Behaviour of the Golden Hamster (1956) supervised by Robert Hinde and Alan Parkes and proceeded to postdoctoral fellowships at the Biology Department at Princeton University (Robert Lisk) and then the Centre for Cognition Studies at Harvard University (Jerome Bruner).

Returning to Cambridge (and a Research Fellowship at Trinity College), I followed up my initial interest - maternal behaviour in our own species, and set up an observational follow-up study of mothers and their babies (born at home) in 1967. Judy Dunn became a co-investigator in this work. As this project grew and others came to join our research group as researchers or PhD students, the nucleus was formed of what became the Medical Psychology Unit and subsequently (1992) the Centre for Family Research. My own research increasingly focussed on families and medical care with studies of antenatal, maternity care and neonatal care. Later I turned my attention to divorce and children and the legal regulation of divorce. I had an advisory role in the Lord Chancellor's Department for the passage of what became the Family Law Act and was involved in pilot work on its provisions related to divorce. Together with Andrew Bainham and others we established the Cambridge Sociolegal Group that ran workshops which resulted in a series of edited volumes on social legal topics related to family life.

With the coming of 'The new genetics' in the 1980s we began a series of studies of families that carried genetic disorders and their encounters with clinical genetics. Through this work I became increasingly drawn into considerations of bioethical issues, serving on the Human Genetic Commission and a number of other policy, regulation and bioethics bodies.

In 1970 I was appointed to a University Lectureship in Social Psychology - in what became the Social and Political Sciences Faculty. In 1989 I became Reader in Human Development and in 1997 Professor of Family Research.

Following my retirement from my University post in 2005 I have continued to work in the Centre for Family Research largely on the history of assisted reproduction and remain engaged with my interest in bioethics, writing on some of the current issues and serving on some public bodies:

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Tissue Management Committee (2008-2017).

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority: Ethics and Law Committee (2003-2009).

Human Genetics Commission (1999-2005).

UK Bioethics and Governance Council (2006-2014).

Nuffield Council on Bioethics: Working Party Chair and Council Member (2013-2015). The Collection, Linking and Use of Data in Biomedical Research and Health Care (2015).

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Clinical Ethics Forum (2014-2017).

UNESCO and the Human Variome Project, Ethics and Standards Project. Member of the International Expert Panel (2015-2016).




Current research interests

Together with Dr Sophie Zadeh we have continued work on the history of assisted reproduction in Britain. The current focus of the work is on the use of artificial insemination for infertility treatment pre 1970.

Together with Effy Vayena, Tobias Haeusermann and colleagues I am involved a project on the open sharing of genomic data on the web for research and other purposes.

I am looking at ethical, social, and especially family aspects of uterine transplantation and at the notion of gifting in tissue transplantation.

I have also been continuing work on the history of the Centre for Family Research. In practical terms this has involved sorting and boxing documents, research proposals etc. so that these may be transferred to the Centre of Family Research Archive which is held by the Wellcome Trust Library. I have also continued work on a series of oral history conversations with past members of the Centre. Edited transcripts of these are going onto the archive section of the Centre website. The first of these to be completed can now be accessed there. This is with Dr Joanna Ryan who was a founder member of the Centre which started its life as The Unit for Research on Medical Applications of Psychology based in Salisbury Villas, in Station Road.

Forthcoming publications

Murray, L., Richards, M and Nihouarn - Sigurdardottir, J.  Mothering. In  M.E. Bornstein. (Ed). Handbook of Parenting: Vol. 3 : Being and Becoming a Parent. Third edition. Routledge. In press.

Haeusermann, T., Richards, M. et al. A Human Geography of Open Genomic Data Sharing. Submitted.

Recent Publications

Richards, M. 2018. A rejoinder to ‘Concepts of health, ethics and communication in shared decision making’ by L C Kaldjian.  Communication & Medicine, May 2018.

Richards, M. 2018. Autumn Lady’s-Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) on Ynys Enlli.  Bardsey Wildlife 2017. Bardsey Bird Observatory Annual Report.


Key publications: 

(list updated October 2018)


Regulating Reproductive Donation. (S. Golombok, R. Scott, S. Wilkinson, M. Richards and J. Appleby, eds). Cambridge University Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-107-09096-5

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families (J. Treas, J. Scott and M. Richards, eds). Wiley-Blackwell. 2014.  ISBN. 978-0-470-67353-9.

Relatedness in Assisted Reproduction: Families, Origins and Identities (T. Freeman, F. Ebtehaj, S. Graham and M. Richards, eds). Cambridge University Press. 2014. ISBN. 978-1-107-03828-8.

Reproductive Donation: Practice, Policy and Bioethics (M.Richards, J. Appleby and G. Pennings,eds). Cambridge University Press, 2012.ISBN 978-1-107-00777-2.

Birth Rites and Rights (edited with F.Ebtehaj, J. Herring, M. Johnson). Hart Publishing. 2011. ISBN. 978-1-84946-188-7.

Regulating Autonomy: Sex, Reproduction and Families (edited with S. Day-Sclater, F. Ebtehaj and E. Jackson) Hart Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84113.946-3.

The Limits of Consent: A Socio-ethical Approach to Human Subject Research in Medicine (edited with O. Corrigan, K. Liddell, J. McMillan and C. Weijer). Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-923146-1.

Death Rights and Rites (edited with F. Ebtehaj, M. Johnson and J. Herring). Hart Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84113-732-2.

Kinship Matters (edited with B. Brookes-Gordon, F. Ebtehaj and B. Lindley) Hart Publishing, 2006. ISBN. 1-84113-697-2.

Hawthorne, J., Jessop, J., Pryor, J. and Richards, M. Supporting Children Through Family Change: A Review of Interventions and Support Services for Children of Divorcing and Separating Parents.  YPS for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York, 2003. (ISBN 184263.073).  Also available at

Children and their Families: Contact, Rights and Welfare (edited with A. Bainham, B. Lindley and L. Trinder). Hart Publishing, 2003. ISBN. 9781-8411-32532.

Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families (edited with J. Scott and J.K. Treas). Blackwell, 2003. ISBN. 0-631-22158-1.

Body Lore and Laws (edited with A. Bainham and S. Day-Sclater). Hart Publishing, 2002.   ISBN, 9781.8411-31979.

What is a Parent?  A Socio-Legal Analysis (edited with A. Bainham and S.Day-Sclater). Hart Publishing, 1999. ISBN. 9781-8411-30439.

Transitions to Adulthood: A Family Matter? (with V. Morrow). Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1996. ISBN. 1.899987.18.5.

The Troubled Helix: Social and Psychological Implications of the New Human Genetics (edited with T. Marteau) Cambridge University Press, 1996. Paperback 1997.

Obstetrics in the 1990s: Current Controversies (edited with T. Chard) Mac Keith Press/Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Sexual Arrangements: Marriage and Affairs. (with J. Reibstein). Heinemann. 1992. Mandarin, 1993. Charles Scribners' Sons, 1993.

The Politics of Maternity Care, (edited with J. Garcia and R. Kilpatrick). Oxford University Press, 1990.

Family Life. A series of books edited with C. Hardyment and A. Oakley, published by Polity Press/Blackwell.

Children in Social Worlds: Development in a Social Context. (editor with Paul Light). Polity Press/Harvard University Press, 1986. Paperback 1988.

Divorce Matters (with J. Burgoyne and R. Ormrod), Penguin Books, 1987.

Parent-Baby Attachment in Premature Infants (editor with J.A. Davis and N.R.C. Roberton). Croom Helm, 1983.  Republished Psychological Revivals.  Routledge. 2014. ISBN, 978-1-138-81228-4.

Infancy: the World of the Newborn, Harper & Row, 1980. (7 foreign language editions).

Separation and Special Care Baby Units (editor with F.S.W. Brimblecombe and N.R.C. Roberton), Clinics in Developmental Medicine, No. 68, SIMP/Heinemann Medical Books, 1978.

Benefits and Hazards of the New Obstetrics (editor with T. Chard), Clinics in Developmental Medicine, SIMP/Heinemann Medical Books, 1977.

The Integration of a Child into a Social World (editor), Cambridge University Press, 1974. (Translated into Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.)

Race, Culture, and Intelligence (editor with K. Richardson, J. Spears), Penguin Books, 1972.


Journal publications and chapters

New Human Genetics and Reproductive Technologies

Haeusermann,T., Greshake,B., Blasimme, A., Irdam.D., Richards,M. and Vayena,E. 2017. Open sharing of genomic data: who does it and why? PLUS ONE, 12 (5).e0177158.

Weiner, K., Tutton,R.,  Richards, M. and Martin, P. Have we seen a genetisation of society? Expectations and evidence. J.Sociology of Health and Illness. Doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.12551.

Nuffield Council on Bioethics.  The Collection, Linking and Use of Data in Biomedical and Health Care.  London, 2015.

Vayena, E., Brownsword, R., Edwards, S.J., Richards, M. et al. 2015. Research led by participants: a new social contract for a new kind of research.  J. Medical Ethics, doi:10: 1136/medethics-2015-102663.

Richards, M. A history of collaborative reproduction and the rise of the genetic connection. In T.Freeman, F.Ebtehaj, S.Graham and M.Richards. (eds). Relatedness in Assisted Reproduction: Families, Origins and Identities.  Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Richards, M. Assisted reproduction, genetic and genomic technologies and family life. In J.Treas, J.Scott and M.Richards, (eds). The Wiley–Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell. 2014.

Richards, M. When was eugenics? An essay review of The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. New Genetics and Society, doi: 10. 1080/14636778. 2013. 784062. 2013.

Blake,L.,Richards, M. and Golombok, S. The families of assisted reproduction and adoption. In F. Baylis and C. McLoed (eds) Family Making: Contemporary Ethical Challenges. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Freeman, T. and Richards, M. Kinship, paternity and DNA testing. In R. Esteinou (ed). The New Social Generation of Families. Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Contemporary Issues, 2013. (translation of Spanish text) La Neuva Generacion Social de Familias. Technologicias de Reproduction Asistida y Temas Comtemporaneos.

Richards, M.P.M. How do we begin?  A review of Books and Babies.  Brit. Med. J. 2011:343:d5380

Richards, M.P.M. An ethical review of the uses of fMRI and DNA analysis in birth cohort studies.  Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, London, 2011.

Richards, M.P.M. DNA paternity testing, parentage and kinship. In Blut, Milch und DNA, L’Homme. Europäische Zeitschrift fűr Feministische, 21, 101-105, 2010.

Richards, M.P.M. Who are fathers in the realms of DNA relationships testing and collaborative reproduction? Unpublished manuscript, 2010.

Richards, M.P.M. The Oneida stirpiculture experiment (1869-1879).  Oneida Community Journal, 24, 3-7.2010.

Richards, M.P.M. Reading the runes of my genome: a personal exploration of retail genetics.  New Genetics and Society, 29, 291-310, 2010.

Statham, H., Ponder, M., Richards, M. et al.  A family perspective of the value of a diagnosis for intellectual disability: experiences from a genetic research study.  Brit. J. Learning Disabilities. 2010. doi:10.111/j.1468-3156,2010.00615.

Middleton, A., Turner, G.H., Bitner-Gindziez, M., Lewis, P., Richards, M. et al.  Preferences for communication in the clinic from deaf people: a cross-sectional study.  J. Evaluation in Clinic Practice, doi:10.11/j1365-2753. 2009. 01207X. 2009.

Richards, M.P.M., Hunt, A. and Laurie, G. UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council: an exercise in added value. In J. Kaye and M. Stranger (eds) Principles and Practice in Biobank Governance. Ashgate, 2009.

Richards, M.P.M. Which children can we choose? Boundaries of reproductive autonomy.  In S. Day-Sclater, F. Ebtehaj, E. Jackson and M. Richards (eds) Regulating Autonomy: Sex, Reproduction and Families.  Oxford. Hart Publishing, 2009.

Liddell, K. and Richards, M.P.M. Consent and beyond: some conclusions.  In O. Corrigan, K. Liddell, J. McMillan, M. Richards and C. Weijer (eds) The Limits of Consent: a socio-ethical approach to human subject research in medicine.  Oxford University Press, 2009.

Ponder, M., Statham, H., Hallowell, N. and Richards, M.P.M.  Is consent sufficient? A case study of qualitative research with men with intellectual disabilities. In J. McMillan, O. Corrigan, K. Liddell, M. Richards and C. Weijer (eds) The Limits of Consent: a socio-ethical approach to human subject research in medicine.  Oxford University Press, 2009.

Kranenburg, L.W., Richards, M., Zuidema, W.C., et. al.  Avoiding the issue: patients (non) communication with potential living kidney donors.  Patient Education and Counseling. doi:10:1016/jpec.2008.07.028.

Richards, M.P.M. Artificial insemination and eugenics: celibate motherhood, eutelegenesis and germinal choice.  Studies in History and Philosophy of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, 39, 211-221, 2008.

Ponder, M., Statham, H., Hallowell, N., Moon, J., Richards, M. and Raymond, F.L. Genetic research on rare familial disorders: consent and the blurred boundaries between clinical service and research.  J. Medical Ethics, 34, 690-694, 2008.

Richards, M.P.M. Commentary – Genetic diversity and science communication – some issues of ‘translation’ and language.  Clinical Genetics, 70, 451-454, 2006.

Freeman, T. and Richards, M. DNA testing and kinship. Paternity, genealogy and the search for the “truth” of genetic origins.  In F. Ebtehaj, B. Lindley and M. Richards (eds) Kinship Matters. Hart Publishing, 2006.

Richards, M.P.M. Genes, Genealogies and Paternity.  Making babies in the twenty-first century.  In J. Spencer and A. Pedain (eds) Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice.  Hart Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84113.5828.

Clarke, A., Richards, M.P.M., Kerzin-Storrar, L., Halliday, J. et al. Genetic professionals’ reports of non-disclosure of genetic risk information within families. European J. Human Genetics, 13, 556-562, 2005.

Hallowell, N., Mackay, J., Richards., Gore, M. and Jacobs, I. High risk premenopausal women’s experiences of undergoing prophylactic oophorectomy: a descriptive study. Genetic Testing, 8, 148-156, 2004.

Halliday, J.L., Collins, V.R., Aitken, M.A., Richards, M.P.M. and Olsson, C.A. Genetics and public health – evolution, or revolution? J. Epidemiol.Community Health, 58, 894-899, 2004.

Richards, M.P.M. A 19th century experiment in human selective breeding.  Nature Reviews: Genetics, 5, 475-479, 2004. (PDF file)

Richards, M.P.M. DNA families.  Biological Sciences Review, 16, 8-11, 2004.

Richards, M.P.M. Perfecting people: selective breeding at the Oneida Community 1869-1879 and the eugenic movement. New Genetics and Society, 23, pp. 49-71, 2004.

Richards, M.P.M. Assisted reproduction and parental relationships.  In A. Bainham, B. Lindley M. Richards and L. Trinder (eds.) Children and their Families. Hart Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84113-253-5.

Richards, M.P.M. Attitudes to genetic research and uses of genetic information: support, concerns and genetic discrimination.  In B.M. Knoppers (ed.) Population and  Genetics: Legal Socio-Ethical Perspectives, pp 567-578.  Kluwer Legal International, 2003. ISBN 90-0413-878-9.

Richards, M.P.M. Assisted reproduction, genetic technologies and family life.  In J. Scott, J. Treas and M. Richards (eds.) Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families, pp 478-498. Blackwell, 2003.  ISBN 0-631-22158-1.

Richards, M.P.M. Lay understanding of heredity.  The Encyclopedia of the Human Genome.  Nature Publishing. ISBN 0-333-80386-8. 2003.

Richards, M.P.M., Ponder, M., Pharoah, P., Everest, S. and Mackay, J. Issues of consent and feedback in a genetic epidemiological study of women with breast cancer.   J. Medical Ethics, 29, 93-96, 2003.

Nuffield Council on Bioethics.  Genetics and Human Behaviour: The ethical context (member of  Working Party). London, Nuffield Council. ISBN. 190438403X. 2003.

Richards, M.P.M. Future bodies: some history and future prospects of human genetic selection. Chapter in A. Bainham, S. Day-Sclater and M.P.M. Richards (eds.) Body Lore and Laws.  Oxford: Hart. 2002.  ISBN 1-84113-197-0.

Hallowell, N., Jacobs, I., Richards, M., Mackay, J. and Gore, M. Surveillance or surgery? A description of the factors that influence high-risk pre menopausal women’s decision about prophylactic surgery. J. Med. Genetics, 38, 683-691. 2001.

Richards, M.P.M. The kin in the gene – commentary. Current Anthropology, 42, 235-263, 2001.

Richards, M.P.M.  Predictive testing for Huntington’s disease.  The Lancet, 357, 883 (letter) 2001.

Richards, M.P.M. How distinctive is genetic information?  Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 32, 663-687, 2001

Richards, M.P.M. Children’s understanding of inheritance and family. Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review, 5, 2-8, 2000.

Richards, M.P.M. Genetic counselling for those with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer: Acta Oncologica, 38, 559-565. 1999

Nuffield Council on Bioethics.Mental Disorders and Genetics: the ethical context, (member of Working Party). London, Nuffield Council. ISBN. 0-9522701-3-7. 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. Lay understanding of Mendelian genetics. Endeavour, 22, 93-94, 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. Genetic testing of children: adult attitudes and children’s understanding. In A. Clarke (ed) The Genetic Testing of Children. Oxford, Bios Scientific, pp. 157-168. ISBN 1-85996-146.0. 1998.

Ponder, M., Murton, F., Hallowell, N., Statham, H., Green, J. and Richards, M.P.M. Genetic counselling, reproductive behaviour and future reproduction intentions of people with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) J. Genet. Counselling, 7, 331-344, 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. Annotation: genetic research, family life and clinical practice. J. Child Psychol. & Psychiat. 39: 291-306, 1998.

Hallowell, N., Statham, H., Murton, F., Green, J.M. and Richards, M.P.M.  Talking about chance: the presentation of risk information during genetic counselling for breast and ovarian cancer.  J. Genetic Counselling, 6, 269-286, 1997.

Green, J., Richards, M.P.M., Statham, H., Murton, F. and Hallowell, N.  Family communication and genetic counselling: the case of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.  J. Genetic Counselling, 6, 45-60. 1997.

Hallowell, N., Green, J.M., Statham, H., Murton, F. and Richards, M.P.M Recall of numerical risk estimates and counsellees’ perceptions of the importance of risk information following genetic counselling for breast and ovarian cancer. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 2, 149-159, 1997.

Hallowell, N., Murton, F., Statham, H., Green J.M. and Richards, M.P.M. Women’s need for information before attending genetic counselling for familial breast or ovarian cancer: a questionnaire, interview and observational study. Brit. Med. J. 314. 281-283, 1997.

Richards, M.P.M. It runs in the family: lay knowledge about inheritance. In A. Clark (ed) Culture, Kinship and Genes, pp 175-194. Macmillan Press, 1997. ISBN 333-647-025

Hallowell, N. and Richards, M.P.M. Understanding life's lottery: an evaluation of studies of genetic risk awareness, J. Health Psychology, 2, 31-43, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Genetics and health: a family affair. Biological Sciences Review, 9, 26-30, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. and Ponder, M. Lay understanding of genetics: a test of an hypothesis. , J. Medical Genetics, 33, 1032-1036, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Lay and professional knowledge of genetics and inheritance. Public Understanding of Science, 5, 217-230, 1996.

Ponder, M., Lee, J., Green, J. & Richards, M. Family history and perceived vulnerability to some common diseases: a study of young people and their parents. J. Medical Genetics, 33, 485-492, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Lay knowledge of inheritance and genetic risk. A review and hypothesis. Health Care Analysis, 4, 1861-4, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Families, Kinship and Genetics. Chapter in the above title. pp. 247-273.

Marteau, T. and Richards, M.P.M. (eds) The Troubled Helix: Social and Psychological Implications of the New Human Genetics. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M., Green, J.M., Statham, H. and Murton, F.  Counselling families with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: a psychosocial perspective.  J. Genet. Counselling, 4, 219-233. 1995

Richards, M.P.M., Green, J.M., Statham, H. and Murton, F.  The management of breast cancer: understanding various perceptions (letter) Brit. Med. J., 308, 716, 1994.

Richards, M.P.M. and Green, J.M.  Screening for genetic disease: some social and psychological consequences. Proceedings of a Fulbright colloquium, Dec. 1991. In I. Robinson (ed) Life and Death under High Technology Medicine, pp. 36-48.  Manchester University Press. 1994.

Richards, M.P.M.  The new genetics: some issues for social scientists. Sociology of Health and Illness, 15, 567-586, 1993.

Richards, M.P.M. & Green, J.  Attitudes toward prenatal screening for fetal abnormality and the detection of carriers of genetic disease: a discussion paper. J. Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 11, 49-56 [Special issue on prenatal screening and the new genetics edited by J. Green and M.P.M. Richards]. 1992.

Richards, M.P.M.  Social and ethical problems of fetal diagnosis and screening.  J. Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 7, 171‑185. 1989.

Divorce, Family Change and Children

Richards, M.P.M. Assisted reproduction and parental relationships.  In Children and their Families: Contact, Rights and Welfare.  A. Bainham, B. Lindley, M. Richards and L. Trinder (eds.) Oxford: Hart, 2003.  ISBN 1-84113-253-5.

Wild, L.G. and Richards, M.P.M. Exploring parent and child perceptions of interparental conflict. Int. J. Law, Policy and Family, 17, 366-384. 2003.

Lindley, B., Richards, M.P.M. and Freeman, P. Advice and advocacy for parents in child protection cases – an exploration of conceptual and policy issues, ethical dilemmas and future directions.  Child and Family Law Quarterly, 13, 313-330. 2001.

Lindley, B. and Richards, M.P.M. Working together 2000 - how will parents fare under the new child protection process? Child and Family Law Quarterly, 12, 213-228, 2000.

Lindley, B., Richards, M.P.M. and Freeman, P. Advice and advocacy for parents in child protection cases. What is happening in current practice? Child and Family Law Quarterly, 13, 167-196. 2001. 

Richards, M.P.M. & Stark, C. Children, Parenting and Information Meetings. Family Law. July, 484-488, 2000.

Richards, M.P.M. & Connell, J. Children and the Family Law Act 1996. In Lord Justice Thorpe and E. Clarke (eds.) No Fault or Flaw. The Future of the Family Law Act 1996.  Family Law pp. 57-61. 2000.  ISBN 0.85308.617.6.

Maclean, M. and Richards, M.P.M. Parents and Divorce: Changing Patterns of Public Intervention. In Bainham, A., Richards, M.P.M. and Day Sclater, S. (eds) What is a Parent? A Socio-Legal Analysis. Richard Hart, pp. 259-270. 1999. ISBN 1.84113.058.3. Cloth and ISBN 1.84113.043.5. Paperback.

Ely, M., West. P., Sweeting, H. and Richards, M.P.M. Teenage family life, life chances, lifestyle and health: a comparison of two contemporary cohorts. Int. J. Family Policy and Law, 14, 1-30, 2000.

Ely, M, Richards, M.P.M., Wadsworth, M.E.J. & Elliott, B.J. Secular changes in the association of parental divorce and children’s educational attainment - evidence from three British cohorts. J. Social Policy 28, 437-455, 1999.

Richards, M.P.M. The Family Law Act 1996 of England and Wales – pilot research on information meetings. Butterworths Family Law Journal, 43-46, 1999

James, A.L. and Richards, M.P.M. Sociological perspectives, family policy, family law and children:  Adult thinking and sociological tinkering. J. Social Welfare and Family Law, 21, 23-39, 1999.

Sweeting, H., West, P. and Richards, M.P.M. Teenage family life and lifestyle: associations with family structure, conflict with parents and joint family activities. Int. J. Law Policy and the Family, 12, 15-46, 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. and Ely, M. Children’s well-being, parental divorce and family life: What seems to make the difference in the longer term?  In Smith, A. (ed) Children’s Potential: Minimising Risk and Maximising Resilency. University of Otago Press, pp. 7-24. ISBN. 9583595-4-7. 1998.

Solomou, W., Richards, M.P.M., Huppert, F.A., Bayne, C. and Morgan, K. Divorce, current marital status and well-being in an elderly population.  Int. J. Law, Policy and the Family, 12, 321-342, 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. Children and divorce. In  J. Kurczewski and M. Maclean (eds) Family Law and Family Policy in the New Europe. The Oñati International Institute for Sociology and Law. Dartmouth, Aldershot. pp. 203-220. ISBN 1-8 5521-810-0. 1997.

Richards, M.P.M. The interests of children at divorce. In M.T. Meulders (ed) Familles et Justice. Editions Bruylant (Brussels) & Libraire Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence (Paris), 1997. ISBN 2-8027-01552-3

Dasgupta, C. and Richards, M.P.M. Support for children of separating parents: developing practice. Representing Children 10, 106-115, 1997.

Richards, M.P.M. Information giving and parenting plans in the context of the Family Law Act 1996: the experience in Australia and New Zealand. A Report to the Lord Chancellor’s Department, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. The socio-legal support for divorcing parents and their children. In B. Bernstein and J. Brannen (eds) Children, Research and Policy. Taylor and Francis, 1996. ISBN 0-7484-0405.

Richards, M.P.M. The long term implications for children of disruptions in parental relations. In J. Brannen and R. Edwards (eds) Perspectives on Parenting and Childhood: Looking Back and Moving Forward, E.S.R.C. pp. 36-48. ISBN 0-946.786046. 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Divorce numbers and divorce legislation. Family Law, 1996, 26, 151-153.

Richards, M.P.M. What about the children? Some reflections on the divorce White Paper. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 7, 223-227.1995.

Day-Sclater, S. and Richards, M.P.M. How adults cope with divorce. Family Law, 1995. 143-147.

Richards, M.P.M.  Private worlds and public intentions. The role of the state at divorce.  In A. Bainham and D. Pearl (eds). Frontiers of Family Law. Chancery Lane Publishing, London, Wiley, 1995.

Richards, M.P.M.  Children: Giving a voice or addressing needs? Family Mediation, 4, 13. 1994.

Tasker, F.L. and Richards, M.P.M.  Adolescents’ attitudes to marriage and marital prospects after parental divorce. J. Adolescent Research, 9, 340-362, 1994.

Richards, M.P.M. Divorcing children: roles for parents and the State. In M. Maclean and J. Kurczewski (eds)  Families, Politics & the Law: Perspectives for East and West Europe. Oxford University Press,1994.

Richards, M.P.M. Children and parents after divorce. In Parenthood in Modern Society, edited by J. Eekelaar and P. Sarcevic. Martinus Nijhoff, 1994.

Richards, M.P.M. Learning from divorce. Chapter in C. Clulow (ed) Does Marriage Matter? Karnac Books, 1993.

Elliott, B.J. & Richards, M.P.M.  Children and divorce: educational performance, and behaviour, before and after parental separation.  Int. J. Law & the Family. 5 258-278. 1991.

Elliott, B.J., Ochiltree, G., Richards, M.P.M., Sinclair, C. and Tasker, F.  Divorce and children. British challenge to the Wallerstein view. Family Law, 1990. 309-310.

Richards, M.P.M. Parental divorce and children. In Handbook of Studies in Child Psychiatry eds. B.J. Tonge, G.D. Burrows, & J.S. Werry. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1990.

Richards, M.P.M. Joint Custody revisited.  Family Law, 1989, 83‑85.

Richards, M.P.M. Developmental psychology and family law. A discussion paper. Brit. J. Developmental Psychology, 6, 69‑81, 1988.

Richards, M.P.M. Children, parents and families: developmental psychology and the re-ordering of relationships at divorce. International Journal of Law and the Family, 1, 295‑317, 1987.

Richards, M.P.M. Post-divorce arrangements for children: a psychological perspective. J. Social Welfare Law, 133‑151, 1987.

Richards, M.P.M. Behind the best interests of the child. An examination of the arguments of Goldstein, Freud and Solnit concerning custody and access at divorce. J. Social Welfare Law, 77-95, 1986.

Richards, M.P.M. (with M. Dyson). Separation, Divorce and the Development of Children : a Review. Report prepared for the Department of Health & Social Security, London, 1981.

Family Life

Richards, M.P.M. The Oneida Stirpiculture Experiment (1809-1870).  Oneida Community Journal, 24, 3-7, 2010.

Freijo, E.A., Oliva. A., Olabarrieta, F., Martin, J.L., Manzano, A., Richards, M.P.M. Quality of family context or sibling status?  Influences on cognitive development.  Early Child Development and Care, 178, 153-164, 2008.

Richards, M.P.M. and Johnson, M.H. Introduction: death writes. In B. Brooks-Gordon et al (eds) Death Rites and Rights. Oxford, Hart. ISBN 987-1-84113-732-2. 2007.

Kranenburg, L,W., Richards, M. et al. Avoiding the issue: patients’ (non) communication with potential living kidney donors, 2008. Patient Education & Counseling, 74, 39-44. Doi: 10.1016/jpec2008.07.028.

Olabarrieta, F., Martin, J.L., Arranz, E., Manzano, A., Azpiroz, A., Bellido, A., Oliva, A. and Richards, M.P.M. Familiako giroaren kalitatea eta haurraren garapen psikologikoa Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoan: azterketa deskriptiboa. [Family context and development in Basque children] Uztaro, 47, 81-95, 2003.

Richards, M.P.M.  The ill treatment of children: some developmental considerations.  In G. Van Bueren (ed) Childhood Abused. Protecting Children Against Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment. pp. 35-42. Aldershot, Ashgate,  ISBN 1-85521-918-2. 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. The meeting of nature and nurture and the development of children: some conclusions. In C. Panter-Brick (ed). Biosocial Perspectives on Children. Cambridge University Press, pp. 131-146. ISBN 0-521-57297.5. 1998.

Richards, M.P.M. Conflicting interests: people and conservation and the management of Ynys Enlli.  In P.M. Rhind (ed) The Conservation of Welsh Islands. Countryside Commission for Wales, pp. 143-148. 1997. ISBN. 1.86169.028.2.

Morrow, V. and Richards, M.P.M. The ethics of social research with children: an overview. Children and Society, 10, 90-105. 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Companionate marriage - is it inherently unstable? In D. Haldane and F. Love (eds) Marriage Now. Asking Questions. Marriage Counselling Scotland, 1996.

Richards, M.P.M. Family relations. In a special issue of The Psychologist on Personal Relationships. February, pp. 7-9. 1995.

Richards, M.P.M. The Companionship Trap. In C. Clulow (ed) Women, Men and Marriage. Sheldon Press, 1995.

Richards, M.P.M. Changing family life. In M. Hill, R. Kirk and D. Part (eds) Supporting Families. Edinburgh. HMSO., 1995.

Other aspects of this work are described in a book, Sexual Arrangements, written with Janet Reibstein. Heinemann, 1992. Mandarin, 1993, Charles Scribners' Sons, 1993.

Richards, M.P.M. and Elliott, B.J.  Sex and marriage in the 1960s and 1970s.  In Clark, D. (ed) Marriage, Domestic Life and Social Change: writings for Jacqueline Burgoyne (1944-88). Routledge, 1991.

Richards, M.P.M.  Fatherhood, marriage and sexuality: some speculations on the English middle-class family.  In C. Lewis and M. O'Brien (eds.) Reassessing Fatherhood. Sage Publications, 1987.

Imprisonment and Family Ties

Richards, M.P.M., McWilliams, B., Batten, N., Cameron, C. and Cutler, J. Foreign nationals in UK prisons: I. Family Ties and their Maintenance. Foreign nationals in UK prisons: II. Some Policy Issues. Both in Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 34, 158-175 and 195-208, 1995

Richards, M.P.M., McWilliams, B. and Enterkin, J. The Family Ties of English Prisoners. Report to the Home Office, 1994.  The Home Office Research Bulletin. No. 38. 1995.

Richards, M.P.M. The Separation of Children and Parents: some issues and problems. In R. Shaw (ed) Prisoners' Children. What are the Issues?, Routledge, 1991.

Psychological Aspects of Paediatric Practice

Richards, M.P.M. Loitering with intent in a special care baby unit.  In N. Hallowell, J. Lawton and S. Gregory (eds) Reflections on Research. Open University Press, 2004. ISBN: 033521309X

Richards, M.P.M. Psychological aspects of neonatal care. Chapter for N.R.C. Roberton (ed.): Textbook of Neonatology. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1986. Second edition 1992. A revised version of the chapter for the third edition was prepared with Joanna Hawthorne. (pp. 61-72, ISBN 0443-055416, 1999).

Richards, M.P.M. and Rennie, J.  Psychological care of the infant  <1000g. In G. Lewitt,         D. Harvey and R. Cooke (eds) Care of the Baby  <1000g. John Wright. 1989.  Revised edition was published by Butterworth/Heineman, 1999. pp. 289-304. ISBN 07506.17179.

The Neonatal Nurses Association Working Party. Long-stay neonatal care. Prolonged stay in neonatal units: a national survey. J. Neonatal Nursing, September, 19-24, 1993.

Messer, D. & Richards, M.P.M.  The development of sleeping difficulties. In I. St. James-Roberts, G. Harris & D. Messer (eds) Infant Crying, Feeding and Sleeping. Harvester Wheatsheaf,  pp. 150-173. ISBN 0-7450-12485. 1993.

Richards, M.P.M. and Scott, G. Patterns of sleeping and waking in one year old children. Child, Health, Care and Development, 16, 283-302, 1990.

 Scott, G. & Richards, M.P.M. Night waking in infants: effects of providing advice and support for parents J. Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31, 551-567, 1989.

Whitelaw, A., Heisterkempe, G., Sleath, K., Acolet, D. and Richards, M.P.M. Skin-to-skin contact for very low birthweight infants and their mothers. A randomised trial of "Kangaroo care". Arch. Diseases Child., 63, 1377‑1381, 1989.

Richards, M.P.M. The withdrawal of treatment from newborn infants.  Early Human Development, 18, 263‑272. 1989.

Richards, M.P.M. Bonding babies. Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 60,  293‑294, 1985.

Richards, M.P.M. Low birthweight - family repercussions. In G.Chamberlain (editor) Contemporary Obstetrics. London, Butterworth, 1985.

Richards, M.P.M. The Myth of Bonding. In J.A. Macfarlane (ed) Progress in Child Health. Churchill Livingstone, 1984.

Richards, M.P.M. Parent child relationships: some general considerations. Chapter in J.A. Davis, M.P.M. Richards and N.C. Roberton (eds). Parent-Baby Attachment in Premature Infants. Croom Helm, 1983.

Richards, M.P.M. The developmental environment of preterm babies. Nutrition and Health, 1, 153‑159, 1983.

Jacques, N.C.S., Hawthorn Amick, J. and Richards, M.P.M.  Parents and the Support they Need. Chapter in J.A. Davis, M.P.M. Richards and N.C. Roberton (eds). Parent-Baby Attachment in Premature Infants. Croom Helm, 1983.

Scott, S., Lucas, P., Cole, T. & Richards, M.P.M.  Weight gain and movement patterns of very low birthweight babies nursed on lambswool. The Lancet, ii, 1014‑1016, 1983.

Richards, M.P.M. Low birthweight babies - family repercussions. Brit. J. Hospital Medicine, November,  480‑486, 1982.

Maternity Services

Weaver, J.J., Statham, H. & Richards, M.P.M. Are there “unnecessary” caesarean sections?  Perspectives of women and obstetricians about caesarean sections for non clinical indicators.  Birth, 34, 32-4. 2007.

Statham, H., Weaver, J. and Richards, M.P.M.  Why choose a caesarian section?  The Lancet, 357, 635.  2001 (letter)

Richards, M.P.M. Commentary: assessing women’s well-being and social and emotional needs in pregnancy and postpartum period.  Birth, 27, 102-103, 2000.

Richards, M.P.M.  Doulas and the quality of maternity services. Birth, 19, 39-40, 1992.

Green, J.,  Richards, M., Kitzinger, J.  & Coupland, V. Mothers perceptions of their 6 week old babies. The influence of pregnancy, birth and post natal factors. Irish J. Psychology, 12, 133-144, 1991.

Oakley, A. and Richards, M.P.M. Caesarean Section. In J. Garcia, R. Kilpatrick and M.P.M. Richards (eds) Politics of Maternity Care. Oxford University Press, 1990.

Coupland, V.A., Green, J.M., Kitzinger, J.V. and Richards, M.P.M. Obstetricians on the labour ward: implications of medical staffing structures. British Medical Journal, 295, 1077‑1079, 1987.

Richards, M.P.M. The Trouble with ‘Choice' in Childbirth. Birth, 9, 253‑260, 1982.

Richards, M.P.M. Whose Choice in Childbirth? In Proceedings of the National Childbirth Trust 25th Birthday Meeting, London. 1981.

Richards, M.P.M. and Chalmers, I. Intervention and causal inference in obstetric practice. In T. Chard and M.P.M. Richards (eds)  Benefits and Hazards of the New Obstetrics. Clinics in Developmental Medicine No. 68. SIMP/Heinemann Medical Books 1977.

Developmental Psychology

Arranz, E.B., Oliva, A., Olabarrieta, F., de Miguel, M.S. and Richards, M. Quality of family context and cognitive development: a cross sectional and longitudinal study.  J. Family Studies, 16, 130-142, 2006.

Arranz, E.B., Oliva, A., Olabarrieta, F., Martin, J, Manzano, A, Richards, M.P.M. Quality of family context or sibling status? Influences on cognitive development.  Early Child Development and Care, 178, 153-164, 2006.

Richards, M.P.M. The development of sexuality. In S.J.Ulijazek, F.E. Johnston and M.A. Preece. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Growth and Development. Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0.521.47108.7.

Richards, M.P.M. The childhood environment and the development of sexuality. In C.J.K. Henry and S.J. Ulijaszek (eds). Long Term Consequences of Early Environments. Cambridge University Press,  pp. 183-205. ISBN 0-521-47108-7. 1996.

Selected Earlier Papers

Richards, M.P.M. Fishing for facts. Some reflections on reading a scientific paper.  Birth, 26‑30. 1989.

Richards, M.P.M. The development of social relationships in infancy and childhood. In T.W. Robbins and P.J. Cooper (eds) Psychology for Medical Students. Arnold, 1988.

Richards, M.P.M. Social relationships during infancy (Conduites de l'enfant: les functions de relation sociale). Part II chapter 6, La Psychologie. L'Encyclopedie de la Pleiade, J. Piaget,  J.P. Brouchart and P. Mounoud (eds.) Paris, Gallimiard, 1987, pp. 335‑365.

Richards, M.P.M. Breast feeding and the mother-child relationship. Acta Paed. Scand. Suppl. 299, 33‑39, 1982.

Richards, M.P.M. Effects of analgesics and anaesthetics given in childbirth on child development. Neuropharmacology, 20, 1259‑1265. 1982.

Richards, M.P.M. How should we approach the study of fathers? In M. O'Brien and L. McKee (eds.) The Father Figure. Tavistock. 1982.

Richards, M.P.M. Aspects of development in Contemporary Society. In R. Chester, P. Diggory and M. Sutherland (eds) Changing Patterns of Child-Bearing and Child-Rearing.  London, Academic Press. pp. 83‑95. 1981.

Richards, M.P.M. Is neonatal special care overused? Birth and Family Journal, 7, 225‑233.  1980.

Richards, M.P.M. Psycho-social implications of breast-feeding. In H.K.A. Visser (ed.) Nutrition and Growth of the Fetus. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague. 1980.

Richards, M.P.M. Effects on development of medical interventions and separation of newborns from their parents and children. In D. Shaffer and J.F. Dunn (eds.). The First Year of Life. John Wiley, London. 1979.

Richards, M.P.M. Perinatal morbidity and mortality in private obstetric practice. J. Maternal & Child Hlth., Sept. 1979.

Richards, M.P.M. The Biological and the Social. In A. Lock (ed.) Action, Gesture and Symbol. Academic Press, 1978.

Chisholm, J.J. and Richards, M.P.M. Swaddling, cradleboards and the development of children. Early Human Developm., 2, 255‑275. 1978.

Hawthorne, J.T., Richards, M.P.M. and Callon, M. A study of parental visiting of babies in a special care unit. In Brimblecombe, Richards and Roberton (eds.) (see above). 1978.

Richards, M.P.M., and Roberton, N.R.C. Admission and discharge policies for special care units. In F.S.W. Brimblecombe, M.P.M. Richards and N.R.C. Roberton (eds.) Separation and Special Care Baby Units. Clinics in Developmental Medicine. No. 68. Heinemann 1978.

Richards, M.P.M. A place of safety? An examination of the risks of hospital delivery. In S. Kitzinger and J. Davis (eds.) The Place of Birth, Oxford Univ.Press. 1978.

Richards, M.P.M. Parents and children and non-accidental injury. In A. White Franklin (ed.) The Challenge of Child Abuse, Academic Press. 1977.

Richards, M.P.M. Interaction and the concept of development: the biological and the social revisited. In M. Lewis and A. Rosenblum (eds.) Interaction, Conversation and the Development of Language. New York, John Wiley. 1977.

Richards, M.P.M. An ecological study of infant development in an urban setting in Britain. In P.H. Leiderman, S. Tulkin and A. Rosenfeld (eds.) Culture and Infancy, New York, Academic Press. 1977.

Dunn (Bernal), J.F. and Richards, M.P.M. Observations on the developing relationship between mother and baby in the neonatal period. In H. Schaffer (ed.) Studies in Mother-infant Interaction Academic Press. 1977.

Richards, M.P.M. The induction and acceleration of labour: some benefits and complications. Early Human Development, 1, 3‑17, 1977.

Richards, M.P.M., Dunn, J.F. and Antonis, B. Caretaking in the first year of life: the role of fathers and mothers' social isolation. Child: care, health and development, 3, 23‑36, 1977.

Richards, M.P.M., Bernal, J.F. and Brackbill, Y. Early behavioural differences: gender or circumcision? Developmental Psychobiology, 9, 89‑95, 1976.

Richards, M.P.M. Innovation in medical practice: obstetricians and the induction of labour in Britain. Social Science and Medicine, 9, 595‑602. 1975.

Richards, M.P.M.  Feeding and the early growth of the mother-child relationship. In N. Kretchmer, E. Rossi and F. Sereni (eds.) Modern Problems in Paediatrics, No. 15, Milk and Lactation. Karger, Basel. 1975.

Richards, M.P.M. Non-accidental injury to children in an ecological perspective. In Non-accidental Injury to Children. DHSS, HMSO. 1975.

Richards, M.P.M. The biological and the social. In N. Armistead, (ed.) Reconstructing Social Psychology. London, Penguin Education. 1974.

Richards, M.P.M.  The development of psychological communication in the first year of life. In J.S. Bruner & F.J. Connolly (eds.) The Growth of Competence. Academic Press, 1973.

Dunn (Bernal), J.F. and Richards, M.P.M. What can the zoologist tell us about human development? In A.S. Barnett (ed.) Ethology and Development Little Clinic Clubs in Developm. Med. No. 47. Spastics Society & Heinemann Medical Books. 1973.

Richards, M.P.M. and Bernal, J.F. An observational study of mother-infant interaction. In N. Blurton-Jones (ed.) Ethological Studies of Child Behaviour. Cambridge Univ. Press. 1972.

Richards, M.P.M. Consuming science: Rothschild, Dainton and the non-revolution in research politics. Cambridge Review, Jan. 1972.

Richards, M.P.M.  Social interaction in the first weeks of human life. Psychiat. Neurol. Neurochir., 14, 35‑42, 1971.

Richards, M.P.M. and Dunn (Bernal), J.F. Social interaction in the first days of life. In H. Schaffer (ed.) The Origins of Human Social Relations. Academic Press, pp. 3-16, 1971.

Clarke, A.H., Wyon, S.M. and Richards, M.P.M. Free play in nursery school children. J. Child Psychol. Psychiat., 1, 205‑16. 1969.

Some effects of experience upon maternal behaviour in rodents. In Determinants of Infant Behaviour, Vol.4, B.M. Foss (ed.). Methuen. 1968.

Maternal behaviour in rodents and lagomorphs. In Advances in Reproductive Physiology. Vol. 2, A. McLaren (ed.). Academic Press/Logos Press. 1967.

Richards, M.P.M. Cyclical behavioural activity in the pregnant Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus - Waterhouse).  Nature, London., 204, 1327-1328, 1964.



Emeritus Professor
mpmr [at]
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