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Sarah Foley

PhD student

Office Phone: (+44) 01223 762841


I joined the Centre for Family Research in July 2012 as a research assistant working on the Toddlers Up project led by Claire Hughes, investigating the impact of life events and family relationships on the wellbeing of pre-teen children. Prior to this I completed my undergraduate degree in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Psychology, and graduated with the best overall grade together with best Psychology dissertation in June 2012.

Research Interests

I am currently an ESRC-funded PhD student supervised by Professor Claire Hughes. My PhD is framed with the New Fathers and Mothers Study, an international longitudinal study that follows first-time parents from pregnancy until their infants second birthday in the UK, US and the Netherlands. My PhD examines first time mothers and fathers expectations of parenthood and the relationships they develop with their infant over the first year of life.   


child development ; psychology

Key Publications


Foley, S., Devine, R.T., & Hughes, C. (2017, April) Parental mind-mindedness: measurement, gender differences, and associations with infant outcomes. Paper presented at the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Austin, TX.  

Foley, S., Devine, R.T., & Hughes, C. (2016, June) Mind-mindedness across the transition to parenthood: exploring stability over time, similarity between partners and associations with wellbeing. Poster presented at the 15th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Prague.

Foley, S., Devine, R.T., & Hughes, C. (2015, September) Mind-mindedness: concordance between expectant parents and associations with wellbeing. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Conference of the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology. 

Foley, S., White, N., Aldercotte, A., Darshane, N., & Hughes, C.  (2015, March) Risk-taking behaviour in early adolescence: the role of parent-child interaction quality and negative life events. Poster presented at the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.  

Hughes, C., & Foley S. (2014, September) Risk, Disruptive Behaviour in Pre-teenagers and Maternal Mind-mindedness. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Foley, S., & Hawthorne, J. (2014, June) NBO training increases confidence in practitioners’ recognition of newborns’ cues. Poster presented at the 14th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Edinburgh. 

Foley, S., & Hawthorne, J. (2014, June) Practitioner perception of parents’ knowledge base about infant’s cues. Poster presented at the 14th World Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Edinburgh.

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, 45, 225 - 235

Hughes, C., Daly, I., Foley, S., White, N. and 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, 332 - 356. 

Lee, P., Foley, S., & Mee, C. (2013) Getting it right from the start: Evaluation of a DVD and booklet for new parents. Community Practitioner, 86, 32 - 36.