I am a part-time Doctoral Researcher in the School of Health, Wellbeing & Social Care in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies (WELS). Prior to joining WELS as a PhD student, I gained experience as a research consultant in the School of Psychology & Counselling in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and 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 increased public awareness of perinatal mental health.
My doctoral research uses a longitudinal mixed-methods design to develop a comprehensive picture of postnatal anxiety, reveal the associated risk factors and triggers, and establish whether there are any predictable patterns of anxiety symptom fluctuations during the twelve-months following childbirth. The association between postnatal anxiety and mother-infant interactions will also be investigated to shed further light on the nature and direction of this relationship. Finally, the utility of a new postnatal-specific anxiety measure will be tested alongside several screening tools currently used in perinatal primary care to establish the most effective methods of identifying women in need of support. Together findings should produce a dependable illustration of postnatal anxiety to guide future preventative and supportive intervention programmes, and effectively target resources to reduce the prevalence, severity, and long-term implications of postnatal anxiety on mother and infant wellbeing.
Beyond my PhD, I am working on a study investigating perinatal mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project has produced two publications and a third is in progress. I also have experience in educational research and literacy interventions.
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 connections with public and third sector organisations that support perinatal families across the UK to maximise impact and knowledge exchange.
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))
Perceived social support and prenatal wellbeing; The mediating effects of loneliness and repetitive negative thinking on anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic (2021)
Harrison, Virginia; Moulds, Michelle and Jones, Katie
Women and Birth ((Early access))