I am a part-time Doctoral Researcher in the School of Health, Wellbeing & Social Care in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies (WELS) and a Research Associate in the School of Psychology & Counselling in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Prior to joining the Open University I gained experience as a Research Assistant with the Behavioural Insights Team.
I am passionate about improving the experiences of families during the critical period from the conception of pregnancy to the infant's second birthday through research and increasing public awareness of perinatal mental health.
My doctoral research includes a systematic review and longitudinal mixed-methods online survey to develop a comprehensive picture of postnatal anxiety risk factors and triggers during the twelve months following childbirth. The project is guided by stakeholders and 'experts by experience' who contribute to every stage of the research design, recruitment, analysis, and dissemination. Combined findings will be used to inform future preventative and supportive intervention programmes aimed at reducing the prevalence, severity, and long-term implications of postnatal anxiety on family wellbeing.
Beyond my PhD, I collaborate with researchers within and beyond the Open University to investigate maternal wellbeing and I have recently published work focused on perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
My PhD is funded by the ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) which brings together a small number of Social Science research students from Brunel University, the Open University and the University of Oxford. Stakeholder collaborations are central to the DTP's commitment to research excellence. As such my research benefits from strong connections with public and third sector organisations that support perinatal families across the UK to maximise impact and knowledge exchange.
I collaborate with Chester Maternity Voices Partnership and work with NHS stakeholders and services users in multiple regions of the UK.
Finally, I organise social meetings for members of the Society of Reproductive and Infant Psychology Early Career Researcher (ECR) subgroup and support the organisation and delivery of their ECR workshops.
Repetitive negative thinking in the perinatal period and its relationship with anxiety and depression (2022-08-15)
Moulds, Michelle L; Bisby, Madelyne A; Black, Melissa J; Jones, Katie; Harrison, Virginia; Hirsch, Colette R and Newby, Jill M
Journal of Affective Disorders, 311 (pp. 446-462)
Perceived social support and prenatal wellbeing; The mediating effects of loneliness and repetitive negative thinking on anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic (2022-04-29)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle and Jones, Katie
Women and Birth, 35(3) (pp. 232-241)
Support from friends moderates the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and postnatal wellbeing during COVID-19 (2021)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle L. and Jones, Katie
Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology ((Early access))