School of Psychology

Mental Health through the Lifespan

Research by this group includes investigation of causal factors that determine fear acquisition in children and the intergenerational transmission of anxiety from parent to child, models of mood and pathological worrying in adulthood, studies of psychosis, and computer-aided psychological therapies.

Anxiety and mood

  • How does our mood affect worry perseveration?
  • How does embodiment affect emotional experience in psychopathology?
Faculty: Graham Davey and Ryan Scott 

Lab: Mood and Anxiety Research at Sussex - MARS

Psychological therapies

  • How can e-health help us to increase access to psychological therapies?
  • Who benefits from self-help interventions, and how?
Faculty: Kate Cavanagh 
Lab: Interactive Well-being Lab


Childhood anxiety

  • What are children's emotional reactions to 'scary' TV?
  • How do children's emotional reactions to new things and situations develop?
  • Can we help anxious parents to raise confident children? Does anxiety impact on parenting?
Faculty: Andy Field and Sam Cartwright-Hatton





  • What is the role of neurocognition and symptoms on recovery and remission in psychosis?
  • How can psychological interventions promote positive attitudes to mental health, psychosis and help-seeking in primary school children?
  • How do people feel when they hear the voice of someone who isn't actually there?
  • Can mindfulness help people who experience psychosis?
People: David FowlerKathy Greenwood and Mark Hayward 

Sussex Psychosis Research Interest group - SPRiG

Symptoms of Inattention and Distraction

  • How well do established laboratory measures address daily-life symptoms of inattention and distraction, as referred to in clinical diagnostic forms and checklists (e.g., for Generalised Anxiety Disorder or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)?
  • What are the neural bases of attentional disruption in anxiety?
  • Can established determinants of distraction be employed to reduce heightened distraction in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Faculty: Sophie Forster


Emotion Regulation

  • Why might people fail to regulate their emotions effectively?
  • How do emotion regulation processes influence health, well-being and social functioning?
  • How can people improve their ability to regulate their emotions?
Faculty:  Eleanor Miles

Emotional problems across the life course

  • What is the role of prenatal and postnatal environmental influences in different trajectories of emotional problems across the life course?
  • How do genetic factors contribute to individual susceptibility to environmental influences (both positive and negative)?
  • Why might emotional problems in childhood led to cognitive and physical health problems across the life course?
  • What are the developmental pathways and mechanisms that underlie the link between early life experiences and later life outcomes?
Faculty: Darya Gaysina

Cognitive biases and childhood anxiety

  • How do biases in how children attend to, interpret and remember stimuli and situations in their environment contribute to anxiety?
  • Do parents and children share similar biases in cognition and how may these biases be transmitted intergenerationally?
  • Can we use bias modification techniques to modify children’s cognitive biases and in turn reduce risk for anxiety?
  • Do individual differences in the malleability of children’s cognitive biases predict children’s emotional response to positive and negative environmental influences?
Faculty: Kathryn Lester


  • Why do some people respond well to psychological therapies while others don’t?
  • Do clinical, genetic and epigenetic factors predict individual differences in response to psychological therapies?
Faculty: Kathryn Lester

Affective processing styles

  • What role do affective processing styles play in the onset of psychopathologies such as depression and eating disorders?
  • How can we induce affective processing styles in experiments?
  • How can we help young people and adults make ‘positive’ decisions and support their individuality?
  • Why do we ‘overthink’?

People: Adhip Rawal

*Image courtesy of Sophie Sheinwald photography