*CANCELLED* Professor Claire Fox: It's no Laughing Matter: The Importance of Healthy Relationships in Childhood and Adolescence

Professor in Psychology

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this lecture has been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.

In this lecture, I will focus on my research on school bullying, as well as my more recent work on teenage relationship abuse. A strong theme running through my research is how best to support young people in developing healthy relationships. The lecture will cover my early research on social skills problems as a risk factor for peer victimisation, leading onto findings from a project which looked at the role of children’s humour styles. What motivates much of my research is the question of how to improve children’s social and emotional resilience more generally. In the context of the government’s plans to transform children’s mental health provision through schools, and to make ‘sex & relationship’ (SRE) education compulsory, these are pressing issues that research needs to address. This focus can be seen more directly in my research on the ‘From Boys to Men’ project, which evaluated a healthy relationships programme in local schools. The research identified a clear need to teach children about healthy relationships and found that this type of education can be effective in changing children’s attitudes towards domestic violence. However, there are important questions to consider, such as who is best placed to deliver this type of education in schools (e.g. teachers, external educators, the students themselves). Findings from focus group discussions with young people will be used to address some of these important questions. In this lecture, I will finish with emerging findings from an evaluation of the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme in the West Midlands, which uses an innovative ‘peer-education’ model.


Image of Professor Claire Fox Professor Claire Fox graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Human Psychology from Aston University in 1996, and a PhD from Keele University in 2002. She re-joined the School of Psychology in September 2004 as a Teaching Fellow, became a Lecturer in September 2005, a Senior Lecturer in 2011, and was promoted to Professor in 2018. Claire is an applied Social/Developmental Psychologist with an established national and international reputation in the fields of school bullying, teenage relationship abuse, and children’s humour; she is committed to conducting applied social psychological research which has both theoretical and practical implications. In recent years, she has led the development of the Children and Young People’s Research Network (CYP) to promote, coordinate, and support excellence in research with children and young people.


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Westminster Theatre, Chancellor's Building
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01782 734036