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Centre for Family Research



I joined the Centre for Family Research in 2011 as an ESRC-funded PhD student in Social and Developmental Psychology. Prior to my PhD, I completed the MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology at Cambridge, and before that, I was an undergraduate at Cambridge. I graduated in 2010 with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Social and Political Sciences.


I am interested in the psychosocial processes of meaning-making and how these relate to personal experiences in, and social understandings of, different family types. My expertise is in single mother families formed through the use of sperm donation. I am currently involved in a number of projects at the Centre, and have a particular interest in children's experiences of family life. I use mostly qualitative methods, and draw upon social psychological theories (most notably dialogical approaches to social representations) in my work.

For the academic year 2018-2019, I will lecture on the following papers: PBS8 (Gender Development), and PBS9 (The Family).


Key publications: 

Peer-reviewed publications

Jadva, V., Vilsbol, T., Ayed, N., Imrie, S., Jones, C.M., Lamba, N., McConnachie, A., Vasques, S., Golombok, S. and Zadeh, S. (2019). The ART of performance: engaging young people with assisted reproductive technologies. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2019.1576239.

Zadeh, S. (2018). Beyond blood [Book review of 'Random Families']. Science, 362(6421), 1366.

Zadeh, S., Ilioi, E., Jadva, V. and Golombok, S. (2018). The perspectives of adolescents conceived using surrogacy, egg or sperm donation. Human Reproduction, 33(6), 1099–1106.  

Kalampalikis, N., Doumergue, M., Zadeh, S. and French Federation of CECOS. (2018). Sperm donor regulation and disclosure intentions: results from a nationwide multi-centre study in France. Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online, 5, 38-45.

Zadeh, S. (2017). ‘A diagnosis in flux’: Social influence redux? Commentary on Roberts (2017). Papers on Social Representations, 26(2), 2.1-2.11.

Zadeh, S. (2017). The implications of dialogicality for ‘giving voice’ in social representations research. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(3), 263-278.

Zadeh, S., Jones, C.M., Basi, T. and Golombok, S. (2017). Children’s thoughts and feelings about their donor and their security of attachment to their solo mothers in middle childhood. Human Reproduction, 32(4), 868–875.

Zadeh, S., Freeman, T. and Golombok, S. (2017). ‘What does donor mean to a four-year-old?’: Initial insights into young children’s perspectives in solo mother families. Children & Society, 31(3), 194-205.

Zadeh, S. and Foster, J. (2016). From ‘Virgin Births’ to ‘Octomom’: Representations of single motherhood via sperm donation in the UK news. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 26(6), 551-566.

Zadeh, S. (2016). Disclosure of donor conception in the era of non-anonymity: Safeguarding and promoting the interests of donor-conceived individuals? Human Reproduction31(11), 2416-2420.

Freeman, T., Zadeh, S., Smith, V. and Golombok, S. (2016). Disclosure of sperm donation: A comparison between solo mother and two-parent families with identifiable donors. RBM Online, 33(5), 592-600.

Zadeh, S., Imrie, S. and Braverman, A. (2016). ‘Choosing’ a donor: Parents’ perspectives on current and future donor information provision in clinically-assisted reproduction. In S. Golombok, R. Scott, S. Wilkinson, M. Richards and J. Appleby (Eds.) Regulating Reproductive Donation (pp. 311-333). Cambridge University Press.

Golombok, S., Zadeh, S., Imrie, S., Smith, V. and Freeman, T. (2016). Single mothers by choice: Mother–child relationships and children’s psychological adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(4), 409-418.

Zadeh, S., Freeman, T. and Golombok, S. (2016). Absence or presence? Complexities in the donor narratives of single mothers using sperm donation. Human Reproduction, 31(1), 117-124.

Zadeh, S. (2014). Mitos y realidades de la donación de semen a madres sin pareja. In F. Zegers and S. Salas (Eds.), Bioética, Reproducción y Familia. Universidad Diego Portales.

Blake, L., Zadeh, S., Statham, H. and Freeman, T. (2014). Families created by assisted reproduction: Children’s perspectives. In T. Freeman, S. Graham, F. Ebtehaj and M. Richards (Eds.) Relatedness in assisted reproduction: Families, origins and identities (pp. 251-269). Cambridge University Press.

Zadeh, S., Freeman, T. and Golombok, S. (2013). Ambivalent identities of single women using sperm donation. International Review of Social Psychology, 26(3), 97-123.


Online and other contributions

Zadeh, S. (2015). Single women aren't scrambling to use IVF - and the media focus on them is irresponsible. Huffington Post Blog. 

Zadeh, S. (2014). Facebook and Apple offering to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs is utterly misguided. Independent Voices

Zadeh, S. (2014). Fatherless families: Are they the future? Sociology Review24(2), 6-9.

Zadeh, S. (2013). ART in the freeze frame: Some reflections on ‘elective’ oocyte preservation. MaMSIE blog

Zadeh, S. (2013). New conceptions: Single mothers by sperm donationUniversity of Cambridge

Imrie, S. and Zadeh, S. (2012). Single women using donor insemination: Thoughts on the discussion of the latest findings from the Centre for Parenting Culture StudiesBionews, 679. 

Research Associate, Centre for Family Research
Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Psychology
Research Fellow in Social Psychology, Corpus Christi College

Contact Details

(+44) 01223 331967
Not available for consultancy