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Department of Psychology

Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group News

Recent Activity

Professor Michael E. Lamb has been appointed to the Scottish Historic Child Abuse InquiryThe inquiry will investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children in care.

Dr. Gunn Astrid Baugerud visited the group this summer, from the University of Oslo. Dr. Baugerud's work centres around emotional memory in children who have been seperated from their biological parents by child protection services. 

This summer, as part of the Teach First Futures programmeKate Ellis-Davies and Alice Winstanley ran the 2-day residential psychology course. This year Kate and Alice were joined by Sam and Sheina. Visiting speakers from the Centre for Family Research, MRC-CBU, department of Psychology, and Educational Psychology Service made the event a memorable one for the students. A big thank you to all who helped out, and those that attended!

As part of the Big Personality Project, findings on national distributions of personality profiles are summarised by the BBC, and are detailed in a recentely published paper in PNAS

As part of The New Parents Study, Kate Ellis-Davies met with the London High Court Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) team. Cafcass will be working in collaboration with researchers here at University of Cambridge on the The New Parents Study.  We're very excited for this collaboration and can't wait to include more families in the The New Parents Study. 

Congratulations due this month are numerous! Evianne van Gijn began her position as elected GU President for 2014-2015. Congratulations also go to Dr. Taeko Wachi, who recently graduated with a PhD, for her 2014 Outstanding Thesis Award from the American Psychology Law Society. Sam Andrews, who has received a 1st class degree in Politics, Psychology and Sociology, and was awarded funding from the ESRC to begin her PhD studies! Alice Winstanley and Elizabeth Ahern joined colleges as affiliated researchers, with Alice joining Sidney Sussex College and Elizabeth joining Darwin College. We're sure they'll make great contributions to their respective colleges. 

Finally, Professor Michael E. Lamb has been elected as President of Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Division 7 is dedicated to the promotion of research into, and teaching of, developmental psychology. In addition, as one of the largest sections of the APA, Division 7 strives to the use of evidence from developmental psychology research in the applied settings of policy decision-making.


Alice Winstanley is the lead author on a paper in the Journal of Research in Personality, with Michael E. Lamb Kate Ellis-Davies and Jason Rentfrow, where the subjective well-being of adults born preterm is investigated as part of the national UK BBC Big Personality Test survey. 

In the upcoming Sage Encyclopedia of LGBT issues Kate Ellis-Davies and Professor Susan Golombok contribute a chapter on parental well-being. Lucy Markson is the lead author of a paper on male prisoner's family relationships, in the current issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 

Elizabeth Ahern is the lead author on a paper in press within the Journal of Behavioral Sciences and the Law, examining interviewer behavior and its effects on the reluctance of alleged child abuse victims. 

In a recent issue of Infant and Behavior Development, a paper authored by Alice Winstanley evaluated parents cognitions around parenting and child development, across the frist 5 months post partum. 

In September 2012 Fathers in Cultural Context, edited by David W. Shwalb, Barbara J. Shwalb and Michael E. Lamb, was released. This new text deals with the latest research in fathering within and across an array of cultures and continents (see here for recent review, page 55 of 2013 issue).

This July The 5th Edition of Development in Infancy: A Contemporary Introduction, edited by Marc Bornstein, Martha Arterberry and Michael Lamb, was released. In this comprehensive text, theoretical and methodological advances in the field of infant development are explored. In addition seminal studies and references are retained. Research in the areas of perception, cognitive, communicative, emotional, and social development are covered in this thoroughly revised version of the text.

In the current issue of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD) Bulletin, Kate Ellis-Davies contributes a review and commentary to the special issue on current themes within attachment research. Alice Winstanley reports on a new questionnaire measure of parenting principles and practices in the current issue of the Journal of Infant Behavior and Development. 

Samantha Andrews and Michael Lamb report on The effects of age and delay on responses to repeated questions in forensic interviews with children alleging sexual abuse, in the journal of Law and Human Behavior.

Lindsay Malloy and Micheal Lamb contribute to the current special issue of Law and Human Behavior, with an empirical article on the biasing effect inconsistent suspect statements can have

In the recent issue of Infant Behavior and DevelopmentAlice Winstanley reports on parent's perspectives and principles on parenting, following preterm birth. 

Press Publications

Cambridge News profiled Kate Ellis-Davies for the most recent Academic post. Kate discussed her most recent grant and research project, the Men2Fathers study. This study is run in collaboration with Michael Lamb, Lee Gettler, and Ron Poole-Dayan, and is funded by the Jacobs Foundation to investigate how men biologically adapt to parenting. 

In the current issue of Lab Mate Magazine, an interview with Kate Ellis-Davies discusses recent public engagement activity she has been involved with, current projects ongoing within the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group (including the The New Parents Study and The Personality Project), and aims for future research. 


New Projects

The New Parents Study will be following the development of infants, in families where assistive reproductive technologies have aided conception. Participating families will be of different family types and will be recruited from the UK, France, and the Netherlands.

The New Parent Study is funded under the Open Research Area Initiative by the British Economic and Social Research Council; The French Agence Nationale de Recherche; and the Dutch Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek.

In January 2013 the teams from Cambridge, Paris and Amsterdam came together here at the Applied Developmental Research Group to mark the beginning of this exiting new project. We are now recruiting for this study. Click here for more information.

The Personality Project is a project Professor Michael Lamb has been working on with the BBC as part of its 'Lab UK' series of online experiments. As part of the BBC’s “The Big Personality Test” series over 500,000 people took part and completed online questionnaires. The project aims to ask questions about the nature of personality, which factors influences personality development, and how development may impact important aspects of our lives.

Kate Ellis-Davies is the principal investigator of the Men2Fathers project, funded by the Jacobs Foundation. The project aims to investigate how men adapt to becoming fathers, and is run in collaboration with Lee Gettler, Michael Lamb, and Ron Poole-Dayan.

New appointments 

Kate Ellis-Davies was recently made Affiliated Lecturer within the department of Psychology. 

Grants & Awards

Professor Michael Lamb received the Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and Law, from the American Psychology-Law Society.  The Award was presented at the AP-LS Conference, which took place in Portland, Oregon, from 7-10 March. Professor Michael Lamb has also been awarded the 2014 G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Contribution to Developmental Psychology, and the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group's 2013 Tom Williamson Award for outstanding lifetime achievement to the area of investigative interviewing.

Xuan Li has recently been awarded the John and Beatrice Memorial Award for Outstanding Student in Cross-Cultural Studies by the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR). 

Dr. Taeko Wachi, recent PhD graduate of the applied developmental psychology group, recently discussed the work of her thesis on relationship-based police interviewing techniques and how they may better support true confessions. Dr. Taeko Wachi was also awarded a prize for her PhD by the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS)

Kate Ellis-Davies has been awarded a Jacobs Foundation Junior Scholar Award, with a proposed project to examine biological adaptation to fatherhood. This project will be be run with Michael E. LambLee Gettler, and Ron Poole-Dayan. 

Sam Andrews has been awarded an award by Postgraduate Search, in support of her recently started PhD, here in the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group. 

Congratulations goto Telma Almeida this month, who has been awarded a PhD scholarship by the Portuguese Science Foundation. During her PhD Telma will be examining memory in children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and best practice for questioning children with ASD on past events. 

Dr. Mi Sun is being awarded for her PhD thesis by the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS). Sam Andrews is also being awarded by the society for her undergraduate dissertation. Congratulations to all!


In January Kate Ellis-Davies presented on recent work into fathering at the annual San Francisco conference on gay parenting.

At this month's Society for Research in Child Development conference in Philadelphia, Professor Michael Lamb served as discussant on several sympoisa on fathering and child development, including a symposium chaired by Kate Ellis-Davies on the role of gender and sexual orientation for planning parenthood. In addition Kate Ellis-Davies presented on recent work examining predictors of parental well-being, with both papers based on work conducted within the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group. 

In March the American Psychology-Law Society will also see several Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group members presenting. Elizabeth Ahern and Sam Andrews will be presenting several papers on the experiences children following exploitation, and the effect of question type within forensic settings.  

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