Health & Wellbeing (2020 cohort)
My research aims to develop a comprehensive picture of perinatal anxiety (anxiety occurring during pregnancy or within 12 months of childbirth), reveal the associated risk factors, protective factors and triggers, and establish whether there is a predictable pattern of symptom fluctuations during the twelve months postpartum. Research will combine qualitative accounts of women’s experiences, standardised quantitative self-report measures, and structured clinical interviews, collected at multiple timepoints during the perinatal period. Together findings should produce a dependable illustration of perinatal anxiety to guide future preventative and supportive intervention programmes, and effectively target resources to reduce the prevalence and severity of symptoms. Furthermore, the utility of two relatively new measures for identifying perinatal anxiety symptoms will be explored alongside existing tools to provide evidence (if appropriate) to promote their uptake in perinatal primary care and improve the identification of women in need of support.
Prior to being awarded an ESRC studentship with the Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Family and Child Psychology at the University of Chester, and a BSc (First class honours) in Psychology with the Open University. In addition, I have gained experience as a Research Assistant for the Behavioural Insights Team (a social purpose company connected to the UK Cabinet Office), and more recently as a Research Consultant at the Open University. Here I work as part of a small research team exploring perinatal wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to my first co-authored paper being submitted for publication (currently under review) and two further papers are in progress. Outside of academia I have spent 13 years supporting children and families through various professional and voluntary roles which has enhanced my understanding of perinatal experiences and guided my research interests.