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Centre for Family Research


We have two research groups:

New Families

We investigate parent-child relationships and the psychological well being of children in new family forms. These include lesbian mother and gay father families, solo mother families and families created by assisted reproduction procedures such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy. We look at the experiences of these families and the social, emotional and identity development of the children.


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Social and Cognitive Development and the Family

We investigate children’s relationships within and outside the family in relation to their developing socio-cognitive skills. In particular, we are interested in social influences and consequences of early individual differences in ‘theory of mind’ (the awareness of one’s own and others’ thoughts, feelings, etc.) and in executive functions (the higher order processes that underpin flexible, goal-directed behaviour).


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We have close links to the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group directed by Professor Michael Lamb, and ReproSoc directed by Professor Sarah Franklin.