In the 1970s I obtained a BSc (Hons) Psychology from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.  I followed this with a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Stirling in Scotland.  My PhD supervisor was Professor Ivana Markova FBA and my examiner was Professor Rob Farr.


I then moved to London where in the late 1970s I was appointed as a Lecturer in Social Psychology in the Division of Community Health at St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (now part of Kings College, London).  In the mid 80’s I returned to the University of Ulster initially as a Lecturer and then as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology.   I moved to Canada in the early 90s where I was appointed Professor of Social & Health Psychology at Memorial University.  I returned to the UK in 2006 to take up my current appointment.  I was Head of the School of Psychology from 2009-2017 and after one year's research leave retired in 2018.


I have held a series of visiting appointments at various universities including Durham University (Leonard Slater Fellow), London School of Economics (Visiting Teacher), and Massey University, New Zealand (Visiting Scholar).  I am currently a Visiting Professor at City University, London and at Staffordshire University, UK.

Editorial and Review Work

I sit on the editorial boards of various other journals including Psychology, Health & Medicine, Health Psychology Review and Arts & Health.  I have been Associate editor of the Journal of Health Psychology and Psychology and Health.


I was a founding member and first Chair of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology.  This society holds a biennial conference to which it attracts several hundred participants on each occasion.  These conferences have been held in Canada, UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and South Africa.  The next one will be held in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2019.

I have received various awards including Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), of the British Psychological Society (FBPsS) and of the Canadian Psychological Association. (FCPA).  I was elected Honorary Fellow/Life Member of the British Psychological Society in 2017.

Research and scholarship

I have developed and adopted a critical social psychological approach to the study of health, illness, ageing and well-being that is insightful and change oriented.  I locate my research within a socially dynamic theoretical and methodological framework and within a broader commitment to social justice.  From a theoretical perspective I am interested in social-community psychology and social representation and narrative theory.  From a methodological perspective I am interested in qualitative, participatory and arts-based research approaches.

Current Research

I am currently working on several large research projects including:

  • PlaceAgePlace-making with older adults: Towards age-friendly communities
    This project is funded by ESRC-Newton Fund. It is a partnership project led by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, and Federal University of Pelotas, in Pelotas, Brazil and Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India. This research recognizes that simply changing the built form is not sufficient to create a more inclusive environment for ageing since places are more than physical spaces. Viable environments are articulated through a strong sense of place, defined as the social, psychological and emotional bonds that people have with their environment.
  • History: Critical history of health psychology
    This is a series of interlinked projects exploring the history of health psychology in the UK and elsewhere. 

Previous large projects include:

  • Call me: Social engagement among older people project.
    This project was funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing Initiative and explored strategies for enhancing social engagement among older people who lived in disadvantaged communities.

  • Ages and Stages: a study of the changing role of theatre in representing and constructing ageing. 
    This study explored the role of the theatre in representing and constructing ageing in society.

  • Mental Vulnerability:
    This multi-disciplinary study is funded by the Finnish Academy. Its aim was to chart the development of 'mental vulnerability' in work life and Finnish society from 1960 to 2013. We have analysed what has happened in work life, culture, different disciplines, and in the lives of individuals when mental vulnerability of working people became a political, social, economic, and organizational concern and a central form of human suffering.


Year 3

PSY-30058 : Psychology, health and social action
PSY-30021 : Individuals and Society III
PSY-300XX : Societal Psychology
PSY-30061 : Dissertation
MSc. Applied Psychological Research

Further information

Narrative Health Psychology

I spent some months at Massey University in New Zealand in 1997.  The result of this was the monograph ‌

This monograph was subsequently augmented with a series of articles and retitled Narratives, Health and Illness.

Community Health Psychology

In Canada I convened a working party on this topic.  We produced the following report along with a series of journal articles.

Training in Community Health Psychology

Canadian Health Psychologist

While I was resident in Canada I edited the Canadian Health Psychologist.  The following is a selection of the issues I edited..

Vol 1-No 1 , Vol 1-No 2 , Vol 2-No 1 , ‌

Vol 3-No 1 , Vol 3-No 2 , Vol 4-No 1 , Vol 4-No 2

Vol 5-No 1 , Vol 5-No 2 , Vol 6-No 1


Ageing Research

For several years I led a participatory project researching social interaction among older people in disadvanatged communities in a Northern English city. Further details are available here

Accidents and Injuries

I also conducted a series of research projects concerning accidents in the fishing industry.  The reports of these projects can be found here.

Social and Political Health Psychology
This is a video of a keynote presentation I gave to 7éme Congrès de Psychologie de la Santé de langue Française at Université Lille3.


Also at Google Scholar and Research Gate

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