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Mrs Katie Jones

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Professional biography

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. 

Research interests

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 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. 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 collaborate with researchers within and beyond the Open University to investigate maternal wellbeing and have recently published work focused on perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also have experience in educational research and literacy interventions. 

External collaborations

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. 

In my role as Research Associate I am collaborating with Chester Maternity Voices Partnership as Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead on an Open University led research grant application. This involves working 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 subgroup and collaborate with several members on research projects exploring various aspects of perinatal wellbeing.


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))