Health and Well-being Research Group

Critical psychological approaches to understanding health and illness and promoting wellbeing.

The group focuses on a broad range of topics related to health and wellbeing. It bridges the gaps between applied research and psychology by exploring how people experience and can be supported in handling a range of health and wellbeing-related issues. Staff also work in an interdisciplinary way, influenced variously by social psychology, cognitive psychology and music psychology to name a few. Research interests include the role of the arts and leisure activities in health and wellbeing, health screening and vaccinations, health literacy in different populations, health behaviours, maternal health, ageing and intergenerational practice. The group encompasses a range of different methodological approaches, including quantitative and qualitative and participatory techniques.

For further information about the Health and Wellbeing Research Group, please contact Research Group Lead Dr Sue Sherman

For more information about individual staff interests, please see below:

Dr Huseyin Cakal

Huseyin examines the impact of intergroup processes such as contact and social identity on mental health among the severely disadvantaged populations, e.g. refugees and indigenous tribes, mostly in the global south.

Dr Alexandra Kent

Alexandra studies how we seek, and provide, assistance and support in different contexts. She is focusing on new mothers’ experiences of accessing support, particularly around breastfeeding. Her work will explore public discourses around breastfeeding, one-to-one consultations for breastfeeding support, and how health professionals are trained to advise new mothers around breastfeeding.

Dr Alexandra Lamont

Alexandra's work focuses on the role of music in wellbeing and explores how inclusion in music can be supported. This covers the lifespan, including studies of disadvantaged and disabled children and young people making music through to work with an older people's choir, and spans a broad range of methodologies both quantitative and qualitative.

Professor Abigail Locke

Abigail is a critical social/health psychologist and has research interests around gender, parenting, health and identities. 

Dr Alexander Scott

Alex is a Health Psychologist primarily interested in the role sleep plays in the experience of mental health difficulties and the impact of sleep on wider health behaviours.

Dr Sue Sherman

Sue’s work concerns human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV vaccination and cervical screening and is conducted in collaboration with relevant charities and clinicians. She focuses on the knowledge and experience of health care providers, women and parents and uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Dr Chris Stiff

Chris's work predominantly looks at the more positive aspects of social media and gaming, which have traditionally enjoyed a rather negative reputation.  He examines how these facilities can be used to reduce prejudice, increase cooperation, and improve well-being of users.‌

Dr Katie Wright-Bevans

Katie's work uses critical social psychological theories to understand health inequalities and identify avenues for individual and social change. She have worked with groups such as socially isolated older adults, disadvantaged young people, and sexual minorities. Katie draws on traditional and creative qualitative methods to understand social representations of health related issues.

PhD Students:  
Claire Melia

My research focuses upon the way in which we as a society use language in sensitive and stigmatised areas, with a strong interest in mental health and addiction. I am currently close to completing my PhD research which utilises a discursive psychology approach to explore how individuals (both lay public and alcohol use professionals) use language to discuss and account for alcohol consumption behaviours. Overall, this project has revealed a pervasive orientation towards discourses of justification, indicating a strong discursive awareness that alcohol is culturally complex and consistently open to critical examination.

Recent group publications:
  • Kent, A., & Antaki, C., (2019) Police call-takers' use of their first substantive question to project the outcome of the call, Applied Linguistics
  • Lamont, A. & Ranaweera, N. (in press). Knit one, play one: Comparing the effects of knitting and music participation on happiness and wellbeing. Applied Research in Quality of Life.

  • Hallett, R., & Lamont, A. (in press). An interpretative phenomenological analysis of exercisers’ use of music during workouts. Psychology of Music.
  • Hallett, R., & Lamont, A. (2019). Evaluation of a motivational pre-exercise music intervention. Journal of Health Psychology, 24(3), 309-320.
  • Lamont, A., Murray, M., Hale, R. & Wright-Bevans, K. (2018). Singing in later life: the anatomy of a community choir. Psychology of Music, 46(3), 424-439.
  • Cogo-Moreira, H., & Lamont, A. (2018). Multidimensional measurement of exposure to music in childhood: Beyond the musician/non-musician dichotomy. Psychology of Music.
  • Taylor, J., Lamont, A., & Murray, M. (2018). Talking about sunbed tanning in online discussion forums: Assertions and arguments. Psychology and Health, 33(4), 518-536.
  • Sherman, S.M., Cohen, C., Denison, H., Bromhead, C., and Patel, H. (2019) A survey of knowledge, attitudes and awareness of the human papillomavirus among healthcare professionals across the UK. European Journal of Public Health.
  • Patel, H., Moss, E. L., & Sherman, S. M. (2018). HPV primary cervical screening in England: Women's awareness and attitudes. Psycho‐oncology, 27(6), 1559-1564.
  • Sherman, S. M., Bartholomew, K., Denison, H. J., Patel, H., Moss, E. L., Douwes, J., & Bromhead, C. (2018). Knowledge, attitudes and awareness of the human papillomavirus among health professionals in New Zealand. PloS One, 13(12), e0197648.
  • Sherman, S. M., & Nailer, E. (2018). Attitudes towards and knowledge about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and the HPV vaccination in parents of teenage boys in the UK. PloS One, 13(4), e0195801.
  • Stiff C. (2019) The Dark Triad and Facebook surveillance: How Machiavellianism, psychopathy, but not narcissism predict using Facebook to spy on others. Computers in Human Behavior.
  • Stiff, C. & Kendra, P (2018). Playing well with others: The role of opponent and intergroup anxiety in the reduction of prejudice through collaborative video game play. Psychology of Popular Media Culture.
  • Stiff, C (2018). Social media and cyberactivism. In C. Fullwood & A.Attrill (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Cyberpsychology, 2nd Edition (xx-xx). Oxford: OUP.
  • Wright-Bevans, K,. & Murray, M. (2018) Resisting negative social representations of ageing. In E. Peel, C. Holland & M. Murray (Eds.), Psychologies of Ageing: Research, Theory & Practice. London: Palgrave.

We offer a thriving and dynamic environment for both research and teaching excellence. We are proud of our high profile research activity, our external impact, and our strong portfolio of courses. We offer a portfolio of MSc Psychology courses in Applied Social and Political PsychologyCognition and Cognitive NeuroscienceChild Development, and Psychology and Health Inequalities which integrate well with our research themes.