I joined Keele University as Professor of Social and Health Psychology and Head of School in October 2020. Prior to that I was a Professor of Psychology at University of Bradford since 2016 and in that period served as Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer and Head of Psychology. I have a BSc and PhD from Loughborough University, as well as a PGCE from the University of Leicester. I have held lectureships at Coventry University, the University of Derby, Loughborough University, University of Huddersfield and most recently Bradford before joining Keele.  I have also previously been a Visiting Professor in Social & Health Psychology at the University of Derby. 

I am committed to a vision of psychology as a broad and diverse discipline and has strong links with the British Psychological Society (BPS), having been a previous Chair of Social Psychology section, committee member of Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMiP) section,  Deputy-Chair of the BPS Research Board, a Trustee (2015-2017) and Past Chair of the Psychology of Women and Equalities Section (POWES). In terms of international links, I am the Secretary of the International Society for Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) and one of the founding members of the European Association for Qualitative Research in Psychology (EQUiP).  I am a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professional Bodies
  • British Psychological Society, Past Chair of Psychology of Women & Equalities Section, Previous Social Psychology Chair, Deputy-Chair of BPS Research Board, Ethics Committee & Trustee. 
  • Secretary of ISCHP: International Society for Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) and previous International Representative.
  • Founding member and International Committee of Association of European Researchers in Psychology (EQUiP)

Research and scholarship

I am a critical social/health psychologist and has research interests around gender, parenting, health and identities. Whilst coming from a psychological perspective, this research is highly interdisciplinary and I work with, and across, the social, health and life sciences. 

For the past few years my research work has focused on issues around health, gender and identity and I have applied this focus to issues around wellbeing in parenting and gendered identities.  Using a combination of qualitative methodologies (including thematic analysis, Critical Discursive Psychology, Discourse Analysis) and data collection methods (media representations, documentary analysis, interviews & focus groups, naturalistic ‘real world’ settings), and from a broadly critical psychological approach, my research focuses in on a number of key but over-lapping areas. 

Parenting Experiences & Identities: Mothers, Fathers and Carers 

I have considered discursive and experiential accounts of motherhood, fatherhood and social constructions of ‘good parenting’. I am particularly interested in the advice that is given to new parents. My research work is a mix of individual projects and collaborations with others.  I have considered maternal identities in a range of different experiences of pregnancy and early motherhood, including birth stories, timing of pregnancy and infant feeding experiences. 

I am particularly interested in gendered binaries of caring when decisions are made as to ‘who cares?’ I have considered this with regards to stay-at-home-dads, that is, fathers who have taken on the primary caregiving role for their children using a combination of media analysis and unstructured interviews. 

Infant Feeding

Infant feeding decisions remain one of the contentious aspects of early parenting. My stream of research work has focused in on a number of different aspects of infant feeding.  I have focused on the ways in which advice is given in pregnancy and early parenting with regards methods of infant feeding.  These have used a discursive lens and focused in on media representations of infant feeding, advice to expectant and new parents and the ‘teaching’ of infant feeding.  My examination of these areas is located within a wider backdrop of structural influences on infant feeding decisions and I have inputted some of this work with local councils and relevant stakeholders. I was a core member of an ESRC Seminar Series on ‘Social experiences of breastfeeding: building bridges between research and policy’ that culminated in an edited collection where I contributed a chapter on locating infant feeding decisions in contemporary parenting ideologies. 

Social Media, Relationships and Gender

I have been developing a stream of research into social media for some time now. Part of this work is in collaboration with colleagues researching social media usage in families where I work with colleagues as part of the Networking Families research group on a series of work around families, relationships and social media. 

A second stream of work in social media relates to gendered identities and practices, particularly with regards to gender and ‘hate talk’. This began with a special issue of Feminism & Psychology ( that considered social media’s place as both a space to offer support and solidarity to women whilst also blaming and victimising through ‘hate talk’, for example. This work continues to develop in particular considering the ways in which gender is operationalised in ‘hate talk’. 


  • Module Team Member PSY-40036 MSc Qualitative Research Methods
  • Module Team Member PSY-40079 Advanced Study in Health Inequalities

Selected Publications

  • Locke A. 2022. Putting the 'teachable moment' in context: A view from critical health psychology. J Health Psychol, 13591053221101750. link> doi> full text>
  • Capdevila R, Dann C, Lazard L, Roper S, Locke A. #mothersday: Constructions of motherhood and femininity in social media posts. Feminism and Psychology. full text>
  • Locke A, Capdevila R, Lazard L. Digital Families: Gendered relationships in online space. Feminism and Psychology. full text>
  • Locke A. 2021. The study of identity in health psychology. In The Cambridge Handbook of Identity. (28 vols.). Cambridge Unversity Press. doi> link>
  • Locke A. 2022. Language, gender and parenthood online: Negotiating motherhood in Mumsnet talk. FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, 125-127, vol. 32(1). link> doi> full text>

Full Publications Listshow

Journal Articles

  • Locke A. 2022. Putting the 'teachable moment' in context: A view from critical health psychology. J Health Psychol, 13591053221101750. link> doi> full text>
  • Capdevila R, Dann C, Lazard L, Roper S, Locke A. #mothersday: Constructions of motherhood and femininity in social media posts. Feminism and Psychology. full text>
  • Locke A, Capdevila R, Lazard L. Digital Families: Gendered relationships in online space. Feminism and Psychology. full text>
  • Locke A. 2022. Language, gender and parenthood online: Negotiating motherhood in Mumsnet talk. FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, 125-127, vol. 32(1). link> doi> full text>
  • Locke A and Budds K. 2020. Applying critical discursive psychology to health psychology research: a practical guide. Health Psychol Behav Med, 234-247, vol. 8(1). link> doi> full text>
  • Lazard L, Capdevila R, Dann C, Locke A, Roper S. 2019. Sharenting: Pride, affect and the day‐to‐day politics of digital mothering. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, e12443, vol. 13(4). doi>
  • Madill A, Flowers P, Frost N, Locke A. 2018. A meta-methodology to enhance pluralist qualitative research: One man's use of socio-sexual media and midlife adjustment to HIV. Psychol Health, 1209-1228, vol. 33(10). link> doi>
  • Hallam J, Howard C, Locke A, Thomas M. 2019. Empowering women through the positive birth movement. JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, 330-341, vol. 28(3). link> doi>
  • Locke A, Lawthom R, Lyons A. 2018. Social media platforms as complex and contradictory spaces for feminisms: Visibility, opportunity, power, resistance and activism. FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, 3-10, vol. 28(1). link> doi>
  • Brownrigg A, Burr V, Bridger A, Locke A. 2018. 'You shut up and go along with it': an interpretative phenomenological study of former professional footballers' experiences of addiction. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN SPORT EXERCISE AND HEALTH, 238-255, vol. 10(2). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2017. Regendering care or undoing gendered binaries of parenting in contemporary UK society?. DIALOGUES IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, 88-91, vol. 7(1). link> doi>
  • Leeming D, Marshall J, Locke A. 2017. Understanding process and context in breastfeeding support interventions: The potential of qualitative research. Matern Child Nutr, vol. 13(4). link> doi>
  • Locke A and Yarwood G. 2017. Exploring the depths of gender, parenting and ‘work’: critical discursive psychology and the ‘missing voices’ of involved fatherhood. Community, Work & Family, 4-18, vol. 20(1). doi>
  • Abell J, Locke A, Condor S, Gibson S, Stevenson C. 2006. Trying similarity, doing difference: the role of interviewer self-disclosure in interview talk with young people. Qualitative Research, 221-244, vol. 6(2). doi>
  • Locke A. 2002. Gendered emotion: Personal, cultural or discursive?. FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, 97-104, vol. 12(1). link> doi>
  • Owuor JO, Locke A, Heyman B, Clifton A. 2016. Concealment, communication and stigma: The perspectives of HIV-positive immigrant Black African men and their partners living in the United Kingdom. J Health Psychol, 3079-3091, vol. 21(12). link> doi>
  • Budds K, Locke A, Burr V. 2016. "For some people it isn't a choice, it's just how it happens": Accounts of "delayed" motherhood among middle-class women in the UK. FEMINISM & PSYCHOLOGY, 170-187, vol. 26(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Hallam JL, Howard CD, Locke A, Thomas M. 2016. Communicating choice: an exploration of mothers' experiences of birth. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE AND INFANT PSYCHOLOGY, 175-184, vol. 34(2). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2015. Agency, 'good motherhood' and 'a load of mush': Constructions of baby-led weaning in the press. WOMENS STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM, 139-146, vol. 53. link> doi>
  • Yarwood GA and Locke A. 2016. Work, parenting and gender: the care–work negotiations of three couple relationships in the UK. Community, Work & Family, 362-377, vol. 19(3). doi>
  • Terplan M, Ramanadhan S, Locke A, Longinaker N, Lui S. 2015. Psychosocial interventions for pregnant women in outpatient illicit drug treatment programs compared to other interventions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, CD006037. link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2013. Masculinities, care and equality: identity and nurture in men's lives. JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, 455-456, vol. 22(4). link> doi>
  • Budds K, Locke A, Burr V. 2013. “Risky Business”. Feminist Media Studies, 132-147, vol. 13(1). doi>
  • Locke A and Budds K. 2013. 'We thought if it's going to take two years then we need to start that now': age, infertility risk and the timing of pregnancy in older first-time mothers. HEALTH RISK & SOCIETY, 525-542, vol. 15(6-7). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2012. Arsene Didn't See It: Coaching, Research and the Promise of a Discursive Psychology A Commentary. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & COACHING, 643-645, vol. 7(4). link>
  • Locke A. 2012. Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women's Health in the Second Wave. JOURNAL OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY, 623-624, vol. 17(4). link> doi>
  • Avis J, Wright C, Fisher P, Swindell S, Locke A. 2011. ‘Am I doing enough to help them?’ Learners, care work and well‐being: Further Education trainee teachers. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 47-58, vol. 16(1). doi>
  • Patterson A, Cromby J, Brown SD, Gross H, Locke A. 2011. 'It all Boils down to Respect Doesn't It?': Enacting a Sense of Community in a Deprived Inner-city Area. JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 342-357, vol. 21(4). link> doi>
  • Locke A and Edwards D. 2003. Bill and Monica: memory, emotion and normativity in Clinton's Grand Jury testimony. Br J Soc Psychol, 239-256, vol. 42(Pt 2). link> doi>
  • Cromby J, Brown SD, Gross H, Locke A, Patterson AE. 2010. CONSTRUCTING CRIME, ENACTING MORALITY Emotion, Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in an Inner-City Community. BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY, 873-895, vol. 50(5). link> doi>
  • Locke A and Horton-Salway M. 2010. 'Golden age' versus 'bad old days': a discursive examination of advice giving in antenatal classes. J Health Psychol, 1214-1224, vol. 15(8). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2009. 'Natural versus taught': competing discourses in antenatal breastfeeding workshops. J Health Psychol, 435-446, vol. 14(3). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2008. Managing Agency for Athletic Performance: A Discursive Approach to the<i>Zone</i>. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 103-126, vol. 5(2). doi>
  • Goodings L, Locke A, Brown SD. 2007. Social networking technology: Place and identity in mediated communities. JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY & APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 463-476, vol. 17(6). link> doi>
  • Locke A. 2004. Accounting for success and failure: A discursive psychological approach to sport talk. QUEST, 302-320, vol. 56(3). link> doi>


  • Locke A. 2021. The study of identity in health psychology. In The Cambridge Handbook of Identity. (28 vols.). Cambridge Unversity Press. doi> link>


  • Scholz B, Locke A, Fick S. 2016. Homer Simpsons and Mr. Mums: A Critical Perspective of Fathering Discourses. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE METHODS (vol. 15). link>
  • Locke A. 2013. Representations of 'fatherhood' and 'parenting' in the British Press: The case of the 'Home Dad'. PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH (p. 49, vol. 28). link>
  • Budds K, Locke A, Burr V, King N. 2009. 'Nowadays, women feel they can schedule pregnancy into their diary like they would a dentist appointment'. Perspectives on 'delayed motherhood' in British newspapers. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE AND INFANT PSYCHOLOGY (pp. 301-302, vol. 27). link>


Postgraduate Research Supervision

I have been involved in postgraduate supervision since the beginning of my career in the areas of psychology and critical social science. I supervise in the areas social psychology, health psychology, social work and social policy, health sciences using a variety of qualitative methodologies (discourse analysis, critical discursive psychology, thematic analysis, IPA, constructionist grounded theory).  

I have a number of PhD completions around the areas of critical health psychology, reproduction and parenting, gender and identities. I am also an experienced PhD examiner and have examined work at an international level. 

I am open to new supervisions in the areas of reproduction and parenting, including infant feeding (including breastfeeding, weaning, alternative feeding methods), contemporary parenting cultures, maternal and paternal identities, and gendered identities.  Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any of these areas further. 

I am also currently involved in the following supervisions at doctoral level:  

  • Amirah Akhtar, “Postnatal depression in the South Asian community”, University of Bradford.
  • Lisa Milne, “Exploring mothers’ and infants’ subjective experiences of their relationship”, University of Bradford. 
  • Simran Bassra, “British born South Asian Women in Bradford: Diasporic and Gender Identities”, University of Bradford.   
  • Megan Hermolle, “Rape Stereotype Acceptance in the General Population of England and Wales”, Keele University.

Editorial Work

I am the current Editor in Chief of Health Psychology Open

I currently sit on the Editorial Boards of Feminism and Psychology and the Journal of Health Psychology, having previously also sat on the board of Psychology and Health. 

School of Psychology
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