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  2. Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I am Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Childhood. I am also Co-Director of the OU's Centre for Children and Young People's Wellbeing, CCW body, mind & media and Co-Director of our RUMPUS research group into fun. I formerly researched and lectured in psychology, mental health and children's well-being in Ireland. After a first degree in the humanities (History and German, TCD) and a career as a food writer and journalist I completed a PhD (UCD) in critical developmental social psychology.

Research interests

My research and advocacy examine and challenge systems designed by the adult world, at small and large scale, for children and young people to inhabit - encompassing psychological, school, food and media. To do so, my work is also designed to unfold the nuance and complexities of children’s lives, experience and well-being. 

With degrees in both the humanities and psychology, interdisciplinary engagement is fundamental to my stance. I advocate for holistic, ‘both/and’ frameworks to bridge knowledge from child psychology and childhood studies, disciplines that are still often positioned in opposition to one another. 

A key contribution has been a critical examination of self-concept/self-esteem, a construct widely invoked in psychological research and public discourse. Working with young people to identify what they themselves valued regarding their active and social selves, I found that many aspects are not represented in widely used psychological research scales, raising questions about the validity of such research. 

Currently a substantial focus of my work addresses children's well-being by examining aspects of the food and digital media systems that shape their lives, and how young people, adults and expert practitioners view them.


Research funding

My diverse funding portfolio includes competitive peer-reviewed grants from major national and international funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (Ireland), Safefood (the all-Ireland Food Safety Authority) and Public Health England. I have carried out research consultancy for the Irish Heart Foundation, the World Health Organization and Unicef.  


Teaching interests

My interdisciplinary research in several domains consistently informs curriculum development and renewal and developing materials to engage students with contemporary perspectives and fresh research insights.

Reflecting my interest in integrating different disciplines exploring childhood, I co-chair An Introduction to childhood studies and child psychology (E102, an open-access Level 1 module) and its remake, which is currently in production, An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology.

Graduate research supervision

I currently supervise EdD and PhD students in the areas of children's early embodied experiences of school and of constructions and experiences of fun in formal and informal learning.

I welcome queries from potential doctoral students in the fields of fun, food, learning and digital media.


Impact and engagement

A large body of my work examines children and young people's understanding of food, food brands, and food advertisements, and food marketing in digital media. I am a member of the Global Steering Committee on digital food advertising for the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Europe and an expert advisor for Unicef studies across Latin America and the Wast Asia Pacific Region. In 2018 I was invited to give oral evidence to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliamentary) Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on these issues. 

New media raise major social justice concerns regarding the influence of data extraction on children and young people – whether by advertisers, platform designers or others. They also present great methodological challenges to researchers outside the closed, private corporations that dominate the digital landscape. I led on a major World Health Organization report (November 2016) specifying these issues and have given keynote and invited conference and workshop presentations to international and national conferences, policy and government forums for the European Commission, the WHO, and in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Portugal, Austria, Norway, Malta, Switzerland, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, Argentina, the United States and Canada. I also sat on a Food Safety Authority of Ireland Working Group on early years food and nutrition.

My work on food marketing to children and young people also receives widespread media interest. In March 2017 I was an academic adviser and contributor on a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, The Secrets of Coca-Cola (BARB-recorded viewership 1.64 million). My analysis of food marketing during the 2018 World Cup matches received extensive media coverage in Ireland. 

External collaborations

I collaborate with leading national and international experts including colleagues at universities and NGOs in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the US, including, among others, colleagues at the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London, and Ulster University (Coleraine); University College Dublin; the World Health Organization (Europe) and Unicef globally.

See external collaborations


Rising to the challenge: Introducing protocols to monitor food marketing to children from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (2021)
Tatlow‐Golden, Mimi; Jewell, Jo; Zhiteneva, Olga; Wickramasinghe, Kremlin; Breda, João and Boyland, Emma
Obesity Reviews, Article e13212 ((Early Access))

Digital food marketing to children: Exploitation, surveillace and rights violations (2020-12)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Garde, Amandine
Global Food Security, 27, Article 100423

Reconstructing readiness: Young children’s priorities for their early school adjustment (2020)
O’Farrelly, Christine; Booth, Ailbhe; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Barker, Beth
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 50(2) (pp. 3-16)

See, Like, Share, Remember: Adolescents’ Responses to Unhealthy-, Healthy- and Non-Food Advertising in Social Media (2020)
Murphy, Gráinne; Corcoran, Ciara; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Boyland, Emma and Rooney, Brendan
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article 2181(7)

Childhood Studies and child psychology: Disciplines in dialogue? (2020)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Montgomery, Heather
Children & Society ((Early access))

#Healthy: smart digital food safety and nutrition communication strategies—a critical commentary (2020)
Schiro, Julie L.; Shan, Liran Christine; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Li, Chenguang and Wall, Patrick
npj Science of Food, 4, Article 14(1)

The Devil is in the Detail: Challenging the UK Department of Health’s 2019 Impact Assessment of the Extent of Online Marketing of Unhealthy Foods to Children (2020)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Parker, Dan
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article e7231(19)

How Valid Are Measures of Children’s Self-Concept/ Self-Esteem? Factors and Content Validity in Three Widely Used Scales (2019-10)
Guerin, Suzanne and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
Child Indicators Research, 12(5) (pp. 1507-1528)

How do adults define the treats they give to children? A thematic analysis (2019-02-01)
McCafferty, Claire; Shan, Christine Liran; Mooney, Robert; O'Rourke, Clare; Pourshahidi, Kirsty; Livingstone, Barbara; Kearney, John; Corish, Clare; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Murrin, Celine
Appetite, 133 (pp. 155-122)

General practitioners’ (GP) attitudes and knowledge about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Ireland (2019-02)
Adamis, Dimitrios; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Gavin, Blánaid and McNicholas, Fiona
Irish Journal of Medical Science, 188(1) (pp. 231-239)

Is it still a real treat? Adults' treat provision to children (2018-11-01)
Shan, Liran Christine; McCafferty, Claire; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; O'Rourke, Claire; Mooney, Robert; Livingstone, Barbara; Pourshahidi, Kirsty; Corish, Clare; Kearney, John; Wall, Patrick and Murrin, Celine
Appetite, 130 (pp. 228-235)

Attitudes and reported practice of paediatricians and child psychiatrists regarding the assessment and treatment of ADHD in Ireland (2018-09)
Honorio Neto, F.; Tatlow-Golden, M.; Mulligan, A.; Gavin, B. and McNicholas, F.
Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 35(3) (pp. 181-191)

A safe glimpse within the "black box"? Ethical and legal principles when assessing digital marketing of food and drink to children (2017-12-04)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Verdoodt, Valerie; Oates, John; Jewell, Jo; Breda, João J. and Boyland, Emma
WHO Public Health Panorama, 3(4) (pp. 613-621)

‘‘Bursting’’ to Go and Other Experiences: Children’s Views on Using the Toilet in the First School Year (2017-06-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; O’Farrelly, Christine; Booth, Ailbhe and Doyle, Orla
The Journal of School Nursing, 33(3) (pp. 214-222)

Exposure, Power and Impact of Food Marketing on Children: Evidence Supports Strong Restrictions (2017-06)
Boyland, Emma and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
European Journal of Risk and Regulation, 8 (pp. 224-236)

Who I Am: The Meaning of Early Adolescents’ Most Valued Activities and Relationships, and Implications for Self-Concept Research (2017-02-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Guerin, Suzanne
The Journal of Early Adolescence, 37(2) (pp. 236-266)

Transitioning from child and adolescent mental health services with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Ireland: Case note review (2017)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Gavin, Blanaid; McNamara, Niamh; Singh, Swaran; Ford, Tamsin; Paul, Moli; Cullen, Walter and McNicholas, Fiona
Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 12(3) (pp. 505-512)

Self-reported early experiences of children from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: The children's thoughts about school study (2016-12)
O'Farrelly, Christine; Booth, Ailbhe; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Doyle, Orla
Children's Research Digest: Transitions, 3(2)

Perspectives of family members of people with an intellectual disability to a major reconfiguration of living arrangements for people with intellectual disability in Ireland (2016-06-01)
O’Doherty, Siobhain; Linehan, Christine; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Craig, Sarah; Kerr, Mike; Lynch, Christy and Staines, Anthony
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 20(2) (pp. 137-151)

A traumatised and traumatising system: Professionals' experiences in meeting the mental health needs of young people in the care and youth justice systems in Ireland (2016-06)
McElvaney, Rosaleen and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
Children and Youth Services Review, 65 (pp. 62-69)

‘Look, I have my ears open’: Resilience and early school experiences among children in an economically deprived suburban area in Ireland (2016-04-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; O’Farrelly, Christine; Booth, Ailbhe; O’Rourke, Claire and Doyle, Orla
School Psychology International, 37(2) (pp. 104-120)

What do general practitioners know about ADHD? Attitudes and knowledge among first-contact gatekeepers: systematic narrative review (2016)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Prihodova, Lucia; Gavin, Blanaid; Cullen, Walter and McNicholas, Fiona
BMC Family Practice, 17, Article 129(1)

Food marketing to young children on the island of Ireland: Parents' views, attitudes and practices and implications for early years policy (2015-10)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Hennessy, Eilis; Hollywood, Lynsey and Dean, Moira
Children's Research Digest: Researching Early Childhood, 2(2) (pp. 15-23)

A bit more understanding: Young adults' views of mental health services in care in Ireland (2015-04)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and McElvaney, Rosaleen
Children and Youth Services Review, 51 (pp. 1-9)

‘‘There’s so much more to it than what I initially thought’’: Stepping into researchers’ shoes with a class activity in a first year psychology survey course (2015-03-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
Psychology Learning & Teaching, 14(1) (pp. 51-61)

Creating good feelings about unhealthy food: children’s televised ‘advertised diet’ on the island of Ireland, in a climate of regulation (2015)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Murrin, Celine; Bergin, Rebecca; Kerr, Maeve; O’Brien, Sinead and Livingstone, Barbara
The Irish Journal of Psychology, 36(1-4) (pp. 83-100)

Young children’s food brand knowledge. Early development and associations with television viewing and parent’s diet (2014-09-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Hennessy, Eilis; Dean, Moira and Hollywood, Lynsey
Appetite, 80 (pp. 197-203)

‘Big, strong and healthy’. Young children’s identification of food and drink that contribute to healthy growth (2013-12-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Hennessy, Eilis; Dean, Moira and Hollywood, Lynsey
Appetite, 71 (pp. 163-170)

‘My favourite things to do’ and ‘my favourite people’: Exploring salient aspects of children’s self-concept (2010-11-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Guerin, Suzanne
Childhood, 17(4) (pp. 545-562)

Monitoring food marketing to children: A joint Nordic monitoring protocol for marketing of foods and beverages high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) towards children and young people (2018-02-19)
Helleve, Arnfinn; Sandberg, Helena; Berg, Christina; Prell, Hillevi; Ólafsdóttir, Steingerður; Gísladóttir, Elva; Andersen, Morten C.; Jewell, Jo; Breda, João; Marniemi, Annikka; Gabrijelcic, Mojca and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
TemaNord, ISSN 0908-6692 ; 2018:504
ISBN : 978-92-893-5367-0 | Publisher : Nordisk Ministerråd | Published : Copenhagen, Denmark

Food in children and young people’s lives: ambiguous agency and contested moralities (2018-07-11)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
In: Montgomery, Heather and Robb, Martin eds. Children and young people's worlds
ISBN : 978-1447348450 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Reconciling Childhood and Youth Studies and developmental psychology (2018-07-11)
Montgomery, Heather and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
In: Montgomery, Heather and Robb, Martin eds. Children and young people's worlds (pp. 7-24)
ISBN : 978-1447348450 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol

Creating a Framework of fun and Learning: Using Balloons to Build Consensus (2020-09-23)
Ferguson, Rebecca; Childs, Mark; Okada, Alexandra; Sheehy, Kieron; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Childs, Anna
In : 14th European Conference on Games Based Learning - ECGBL 2020 (23-25 Sep 2020, Brighton (held virtually due to COVID))

Theory And Empirical Research Of Children And Young People And Digital Food/Health Literacy (2018-05-01)
Cooper, Victoria; Narzisi, Katia; Simons, Joan; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Twiner, Alison
In : 2nd Digital Health and Wellbeing Conference (1-3 May 2018, Open University, Milton Keynes)

“They were saying it was delicious”: Very young children’s understanding of food advertising (2018-05-01)
Tatlow-Golden, M.; Twiner, A.; Hollywood, L.; Hennessy, E. and Dean, M.
In : 2nd Digital Health and Wellbeing Conference (1-3 May 2018, Open University, Milton Keynes)

Evaluating implementation of the WHO set of recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children: Progress, challenges and guidance for next steps in the WHO European Region (2018-10)
Regional Office for Europe, World Health Organization; Boyland, Emma; Garde, Amandine; Jewell, Jo and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tackling food marketing to children in a digital world: trans-disciplinary perspectives. Children’s rights, evidence of impact, methodological challenges, regulatory options and policy implications for the WHO European Region (2016-11)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Boyland, Emma; Jewell, Jo; Zalnieriute, Monika; Handsley, Elizabeth and Breda, Joao
World Health Organization

Who's Feeding the Kids Online? Digital food marketing to children in Ireland: Advertisers’ tactics, children’s exposure and parents’ awareness (2016-06)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Tracey, Lynne and Dolphin, Louise
Irish Heart Foundation, Dublin, Ireland.

Moving Ahead: Factors contributing to successful transition of people with intellectual disabilities from congregated to community-based residential options in two regions in Ireland (2015)
Linehan, Christine; O'Doherty, Siobhain; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Craig, Sarah; Kerr, Michael; Lynch, Christy; McConkey, Roy and Staines, Anthony
School of Social Work, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Living Arrangement Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Scoping Review (2014)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Linehan, Christine; O'Doherty, Siobhain; Craig, Sarah; Kerr, Michael; Lynch, Christy; McConkey, Roy and Staines, Anthony
School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Mapping the National Disability Policy Landscape (2014)
Linehan, Christine; O'Doherty, Siobhain; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Craig, Sarah; Kerr, Michael; Lynch, Christy; McConkey, Roy and Staines, Anthony
School of Social Work, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Someone to Care: The mental health needs of children and young people with experience of the care and youth justice systems (2013)
McElvaney, Rosaleen; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Webb, Roisin; Lawlor, Eilis and Merriman, Brian
Amnesty Ireland and the Children's Mental Health Coalition, Dublin, Ireland.

Who I Am: Exploring the nature and meaning of children’s active and social selves (2011)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
Scholarship Briefing Notes, No.13. Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Dublin, Ireland.