School of Psychology and Vision Sciences

Health and Wellbeing (with Ageing)

The Health and Wellbeing (with Ageing) research group brings together multidisciplinary researchers with a shared vision of improving physical and mental health and wellbeing in human populations. Our work includes the entire lifespan and different ethnicities, with a focus on health inequalities. We combine methodological expertise from the fields of epidemiology, psychometric assessment, decision-making, developmental psychology, forensic psychology, experimental cognitive neuropsychology, and old age psychiatry. Our research is impact-driven with clear pathways for translation. This is facilitated by links with policy makers (e.g. the UK Ministry of Justice), healthcare charities (e.g. Alzheimer Society), professional stakeholders (British Academy of Childhood Disability and British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy), and NHS clinicians and private healthcare providers (e.g. University Hospitals of Leicester and Leicester Partnership NHS Trust; PJ Care).

Areas of research excellence include:

  • Assessment approaches including psychometric and statistical modelling around the measurement of health and mental health.
  • Behaviour change research including health decision-making, prescribing and treatment choices and public health risk communication.
  • Developmental psychology and ageing, with particular expertise in the developmental outcomes of babies born very pre-term and clinical assessments of dementia.
  • Health epidemiology including the analysis of cross-generational patterns and determinants of health.
  • Public sector and organisational wellbeing with a particular focus on wellbeing in prisons and occupational resilience

Follow us on Twitter (@UoL_NPB_Health)

Current projects

The Health and Wellbeing (with Ageing) research group manages a diverse project portfolio including fundamental and translational research related to assessment and treatment in population health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Below is an overview for current research grants and recent publications.

Current research grants

  • Cross, A. (Co-I), (2019). £850,000 awarded by ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance to study ‘Co-created Information Communication Technology solutions for Alzheimer’s Caregivers’.
  • Gummerum, M. and Frosch, C.A. (2020-2024). £60,000 awarded by East Midlands ESRD DTP for the studentship project ‘Promoting digital resilience in adolescence’.
  • Hatcher R, Palmer E, Tonkin M, and Blackmore, C. (2021-2022). £72,875 awarded by the Scottish Prison Service A health care needs assessment of the Scottish Prison Service Population.
  • Jones, C. (2021). £247,000 awarded by Movember for the Resilient Leaders Programme.
  • Jones, C.R., Noble, S., Robertson, N., and Maltby, J. (2021-2023). RESLEAPS: Resilient Senior Leaders Programme. Movember. £262,461.50
  • Maltby, J. (Co CI) (2022). £137,000 awarded by NIHR to study ‘Mixed methods co-design and evaluation of a DECIsion Support Tool to enable shared Decision making for people who are considering cascade screening for Thoracic Aortic Disease: The DECIDE TAD Programme.’
  • Maltby, J., Hall, S., and Puttick., S. (2019-2021). Resilience in STEM learning. Leverhulme Trust. 147k Recoverable.
  • Maltby, J. (Co CI) (2022-2026). Optimising the care of women following childbirth related perineal trauma. NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research. £1.2 million.
  • Maltby, J. and Mukaetova-Ladinska, E. (2021-2023) £198,000 awarded by Innovate UK/ESRC for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership
  • Mukaetova-Ladinska, E. (2021). £7,247,676 awarded by The Wellcome Trust for Midlands Mental Health and Neurosciences DTC bid
  • Postavaru, G., Myers, B. and Ahmed, T. (2019). £18,596.65 awarded by Charity Funds, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Improving access to medical services and information for newly diagnosed elderly patients with cancer in rural settings
  • Pulford, B. D., Colman, A. M., Frosch, C. F., and Krockow, E. M. (2021–2024). £63,811 awarded by the Leicester Judgment and Decision Making Endowment Fund to study “Communication, deception, and iterated decisions under bounded rationality”. (Grant No. M56TH33)
  • Tarrant, C., and Krockow, E.M. (2022-2025). £60,000 awarded by East Midlands ESRD DTP to fund a PhD studentship on “Active Monitoring” Versus “Wait and See”: Tackling Action Bias in Antibiotic Prescribing Through Strategic Decision Framing

Summary of key publications

Colman, A. M., Krockow, E. M., Chattoe-Brown, E., and Tarrant, C. (2019). Medical prescribing and antibiotic resistance: A game-theoretic analysis of a potentially catastrophic social dilemma. PLOS ONE, 14(4), 1–13. E0215480.

Cooley, S. J., Jones, C. R., Kurtz, A., and Robertson, N. (2020). ‘Into the Wild’: A meta-synthesis of talking therapy in natural outdoor spaces. Clinical psychology review, 77, 101841.

Cross, A., Naughton, F. and Sheffield, D. (2021) What is the role of stress cardiovascular reactivity in health behaviour change? A systematic review, meta-analysis and research agenda. Psychology & Health, 36(9), 1021-1040.

Day, A., Phelps, K., Maltby, J., Palmer, E., Snell, K., Raine, D. and Conroy, S. (2021). A realist evaluation of loneliness interventions for older people. Age and Ageing, 50(6), 2246-2252.

Mendonça M., Bilgin A, Wolke D. (2019). Association of Preterm Birth and Low Birth Weight with Romantic Partnership, Sexual Intercourse, and Parenthood in Adulthood: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open 2: e196961-e61

Gomez-Sanchez, J., Moreno-Rios, S., and Frosch, C.A. (2021). Alternatives or syntactic negation? Adults’ and children’s preferences for constructing counterfactual possibilities. Current Psychology. 10.1007/s12144-021-02456-2.

Jeffery, T., Postavaru, G., Matei, R. and Meizel, K. (2021). ‘I have had to stop singing because I can't take the pain’: experiences of voice, ability, and loss in singers with hypermobility spectrum disorders, Journal of Voice

Krockow, E. M., Kurvers, R. H. J. M., Herzog, S. M., Kämmer, J. E., Hamilton, R. A., Thilly, N., Macheda, G., and Pulcini, C. (2020). Harnessing the wisdom of crowds can improve guideline compliance of antibiotic prescribers and support antimicrobial stewardship. Scientific Reports, 10, 18782.

Malik, S., Gunn, S., and Robertson, N. (2021). The impact of patient suicide on doctors and nurses: a critical interpretive meta-synthesis. Archives of Suicide Research, 1-21.

Maltby J, Chan M, Anderson D, Mukaetova-Ladinska EB. (2020). Validation of the Salzburg Dementia Test Prediction (SDTP) as a cognitive screening tool in an English-speaking inpatient medical setting. J Alzheimers Dis. doi: 10.3233/JAD-200183.

Maltby, J., and Hall, S. S. (2022). Less is more. Discovering the latent factors of trait resilience. Journal of Research in Personality, 104193.

Mukaetova-Ladinska EB, Kronenberg G, Raha-Chowdhury R. (2020). COVID-19 and neurocognitive disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

Palmer, E. J., Hatcher, R. M., and Tonkin, M. J. (2020). Evaluation of digital technology in prisons. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, Ministry of Justice, London, UK

Piotrowska, P. J., Tully, L. A., Collins, D. A., Sawrikar, V., Hawes, D., Kimonis, E. R., ... and Dadds, M. R. (2020). ParentWorks: Evaluation of an online, father-inclusive, universal parenting intervention to reduce child conduct problems. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 51(4), 503-513.

Postavaru, G., Swaby, H. and Swaby, R. (2020). A meta-ethnographic study of fathers’ experiences of caring for a child with a life-limiting illness, Palliative Medicine 35(2), 261-279, ISSN: 1477-030X

Potter, S., Drewelies, J., Wagner, J., Duezel, S., Brose, A., Demuth, I., ... and Gerstorf, D. (2020). Trajectories of multiple subjective well-being facets across old age: The role of health and personality. Psychology and Aging, 35(6), 894.

Trickett, J., Bernardi, M., Fahy, A., Lancaster, R., Larsen, J., Ni, Y., ... and Johnson, S. (2021). Disturbed sleep in children born extremely preterm is associated with behavioural and emotional symptoms. Sleep Medicine, 85, 157-165.

Trickett, J., Bernardi, M., Fahy, A., Lancaster, R., Larsen, J., Ni, Y., ... and Johnson, S. (2022). Neuropsychological abilities underpinning academic attainment in children born extremely preterm. Child Neuropsychology, 1-22.

Meet the team

The Health and Wellbeing (with Ageing) research group includes a dynamic team of academic researchers and postgraduate students from the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour. It interfaces with research groups across the College of Life Sciences (e.g. from the Department of Population Health Sciences) and maintains active collaborations with clinical academics from NHS and private healthcare providers. Further information on core research group members is listed below.

Professor Andrew Colman, Professor in Psychology

Andrew has research interests in judgment and decision making, game theory, experimental games, cooperative reasoning, evolution of cooperation, and psychometrics.

Dr Ainslea Cross, Lecturer in Psychology

Ainslea is a Health Care Professions Council registered Health Psychologist with expertise in health behaviour change, medication adherence, stress and cardiovascular reactivity and family/social aspects of health. She is also Lead Health Psychologist at the Cardiovascular Diseases Health Psychology Service at Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals Leicester.

Dr Caren Frosch, Lecturer in Psychology

Caren is a cognitive psychologist with expertise in judgment, decision making, thinking and reasoning. She uses experimental methods to study how adults and children think. One particular focus is on thinking about how things could have turned out differently (counterfactual thinking) and how these thoughts relate to past and future behaviour and emotions.

Dr Sarah Gunn, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Sarah is a clinical psychologist, who has worked clinically in neurological rehabilitation and medical psychology. Her main research interests pertain to neurodegenerative conditions, acquired brain injury and chronic health problems.

Dr Ruth Hatcher, Lecturer in Psychology

Ruth is a BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist with extensive experience (over 20 years) of undertaking research within the criminal justice system. Her primary expertise is in the conduct of process and outcome evaluation of criminal justice interventions and programmes for which she utilises mixed methods approaches, including various qualitative frameworks (e.g. thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis) and complex multivariate statistical analysis. Dr Hatcher has worked as an external academic advisor to the MoJ relating to the evaluation of the Thinking Skills Programme and has been an external member of the East of England National Offender Management Service Research Ethics Board. Dr Hatcher also holds Approved Researcher Accreditation with the ONS (No: ONS20288).

Dr Ceri Jones, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Ceri specialises in research on social prescribing particularly in the context of public sector resilience and peer support.  She has particular expertise in patient safety and human factors, quality improvement, health service research, safety culture, organisation and individual resilience and social prescribing.

Dr Eva Krockow, Lecturer in Psychology and Research Group Lead

Eva is a health decision researcher. Using mixed-methods designs, she studies medical decision making including treatment choices. For example, she has investigated doctors’ antibiotic prescribing choices and medical advice giving through in-depth interviews with frontline hospital staff in different countries. She is also interested in health risk communication about (e.g., about COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance), and how this may contribute to behaviour change. This line of research includes investigations into impactful disease terminology and the use of figurate language in public health information.

Professor John Maltby, Professor in Psychology

John’s research focuses on personality, individual differences, social psychology, and wellbeing. A key feature of this work involves exploring models of resilience and the assessment of wellbeing across different populations. Recent work includes looking at care trajectories among a number of clinical population and the psychometric assessment of wellbeing among those in care.

Dr Marina Mendonca, Lecturer in Psychology

Marina’s work is concerned with health and wellbeing of individuals born very preterm (<32 weeks gestational age) or with very low birth (<1500 g). She is particularly interested in social (e.g. peer relationships, partnering, sexual activity), and wealth (e.g. level of education, employment), outcomes of adults born preterm outcomes, as well as identifying protective and resilience factors that promote preterms’ adjustment and well-being. Other research interests have been young people’s transitions to adulthood, parent-young adult child relationships, and alcohol consumption in later life.

Professor Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, Professor of Psychiatry

Elizabeta is an old age psychiatrists, working within the LPT Young Onset Dementia Service (YODAS) and specialises in improving clinical outcomes to the benefit of older adults with overt mental health problems, including dementia and delirium. Main research themes include cognitive impairment and dementia, clinical characteristics of ageing in neurodevelopmental disorders, and cognitive ageing among adults from ethnic background.

Dr Emma Palmer, Reader in Psychology

Emma’s research focuses on the development of antisocial behaviour, aggression and offending, with specific reference to social cognition; victimisation and psychological well-being; health and well-being in criminal justice settings; and the design and evaluation of interventions to reduce offending. She has particular expertise in multivariate statistics. She is the co-lead of the Leicester Prisons Research Network. Emma also works as an external advisor to the Ministry of Justice advising on the design and evaluation of offending behaviour programmes. She is a BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist and HCPC registered forensic psychologist.

Dr Patrycja J. Piotrowska, Lecturer in Psychology

Patrycja is interested in the role of social inequality in child and adolescent mental health with a particular focus on antisocial behaviour, and proximal factors that may explain that relationship such as unhealthy family functioning or stressful life events. Part of her work also focuses on improving children’s socio-emotional development and resilience.

Dr Gianina-Ioana Postavaru, Lecturer in Psychology

With a background in health psychology, Gianina’s research focuses on experiences of life-limiting conditions in children, adults and elderly people, their responses to treatment and impact of community/ healthcare support on their illness management and wellbeing. Her projects are well-aligned with her vision of enhancing patient care through work with family members and health professionals.

Dr Sophie Potter, Early Career Fellow

Sophie’s research focuses on associations between physical health and subjective wellbeing across adulthood and old age.

Dr Jayne Trickett, Lecturer in Psychology

Jayne is interested in mathematical cognition in typical and atypical populations, neurodevelopmental and academic outcomes following extremely preterm and assessment of sleep in children with neurodevelopmental disorders using actigraphy with a particular interest in Smith-Magenis and Angelman syndromes.



  • Zehra Turel, Research Associate working with Professor John Maltby on the ESRC/UKRI Knowledge Transfer Partnership Grant with PJ Care.
  • Dr Marta Mangiarulo, Research Assistant working with Prof Andrew Colman, Dr Caren Frosch and Dr Eva Krockow.

Postgraduate students

  • Reem Alowaybil, supervised by John Maltby. Project looks at teacher assessments of mental health and behaviour among refugee children.
  • Najwa Albeladi, supervised by Emma Palmer. Project looks at the role of the Saudi family in guiding children's use of social media websites.
  • Najmah Alzahrani, supervised by John Maltby. Project looks at psychological resilience in education.
  • Karleni Bains, supervised by John Maltby. Project looks at early mother-child interaction and links with the child's communication development and the mother's psychological well-being.
  • Noor Balahmar, supervised by John Maltby. Project looks at visual communication and the impact of the YouTubers phenomenon on Saudi teenagers and children.
  • Maryam Bathaei Javareshk, supervised by Eva Krockow. Project focuses on mental accounting and financial decision making.
  • Philippa Brown, supervised by Caren Frosch and Michaela Gummerum (University of Warwick). Project focuses on promoting digital resilience in adolescence.
  • Jolyon Faro, supervised by Caren Frosch and Douglas Barrett. Project investigates decision making and perception during high stress and high threat situations encountered by firearms officers.
  • Joanna Hatton, Supervised by John Maltby. Project focuses on toxic Positivity.
  • Radhika Joshi, supervised by John Maltby. Project looks at how we understand mental health literacy in University students
  • Dhipteen Kaur Braich, supervised by Caren Frosch and Eva Krockow. Project focuses on option generation under stress.
  • Emma Wildgoose, supervised by Emma Palmer.
  • Jodi Withers, supervised by Eva Krockow. Project focuses on mental accounting and financial decision making.
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