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Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Profile summary

Professional biography

Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Childhood

Co-Director, Centre for Children and Young People's Wellbeing 

Co-Director, RUMPUS Fun Research Group 

After a first degree in the humanities (History and German, Trinity College Dublin) and a career as a food writer and journalist in Ireland, I completed a PhD at University College Dublin funded by Ireland's Department of Children and Youth Affairs, a critical study of 'self-concept' drawing on children and young people's views. I researched and lectured in psychology, mental health and children's well-being at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and Dublin City University before joining The Open University.

Research interests

My research crosses disciplinary boundaries to honour the complexities of children and young people’s lives , aiming to trouble adults' assumptions and constructions of children and young people. Weaving psychology and childhood studies with health, media, law, and child rights, I examine the adult-devised constructs, services and systems that shape children and young people's worlds, often drawing on children/young people’s experience and views in diverse domains to do so. 

Interdisciplinarity is fundamental to my stance and 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. 

Critical studies of adult-devised measures: Working with children and young people's insights I have studied constructs and measures devised by the adult world such as 'self concept' and 'school readiness'.

Food marketing, 'prosumption' in the digital world, and children's rights: Addressing children's well-being I examine diverse aspects of the food and digital media systems, particlarly focusing on persuasive design in digital media and advertising and how children and young people interact with this from a child rights perspective.

Fun: Children and young people's perspectives of their active and social selves unfolded the importance and complexities of fun in their perceptions of their most significant activities and relationships. This body of work is growing in the RUMPUS Research Group. We explore perspectives of fun in learning, in research and in children and young people's lives.

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 PhD students examining 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. 

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

Externally funded projects

The negotiation of pleasure, risk and harm in young people’s digital lives: A scoping project on the mental health and well-being implications of online ‘transgressive’ behaviours.
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead06 Oct 202112 Nov 2022The Nurture Network (eNurture)

We are proposing scoping research on young people’s online ‘transgressive’ behaviours, such as ‘sexting’, cyberbullying, accessing extremist and pornographic material, posting images of sexual activity and drug-taking on social media, and gambling. Covid-19 has seen an intensified ‘shift to the digital’, but young people’s perspectives on these changes and associated ‘new norms’, and the impact on mental health and wellbeing, are largely unknown. Critical of top-down, outdated, official narratives that construct binaries of online risk and opportunity, we recognise young people’s agency in negotiating pleasure, risk and harm in their digital lives. We will explore: 1. Impacts of Covid-19 on online 'transgressive' behaviours. 2. How young people variously draw and navigate boundaries between ‘healthy’/‘unhealthy’, ‘risky’/‘safe’, ‘moral’/‘immoral’, ‘illegal’/‘legal’, online behaviours; how conceptions of ‘fun’, ‘excitement’ and ‘pleasure’ intersect these boundaries. 3. Young people’s views on policy, practice and legal responses to online ‘transgressive’ behaviours, and on the language and concepts used in digital safety information and education. 4. How socio-structural factors (e.g. access to digital technologies and digital literacy) shape online behaviours. We plan to use the findings and methodological insights arising from the scoping research to develop larger-scale work on mental health and wellbeing implications of online ‘transgressive’ behaviours

Affiliated Entities in Best-ReMaP Joint Action
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Oct 202030 Sep 2023EC: non-FP non-H2020 European Commission: non-FP (inc.Erasmus);University College Cork

To provide external expertise for key tasks in a work package looking at ‘Best practices in the field of regulating the marketing of unhealthy food’; specifically support the development and implementation of the monitoring protocols and support their implementation in the broader EU context. Traditional media as well as digital media will be addressed.


Supporting children’s understanding around emotions through creative, dance-based movement: A pilot study (2022-12)
Twiner, Alison; Lucassen, Mathijs and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 37, Article 100659

It’s up to you if you want to take part. Supporting young children’s informed choice about research participation with simple visual booklets (2022-02)
O’Farrelly, Christine and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 30(1) (pp. 63-80)

Is Distance Education Fun? The Implications of Undergraduates’ Epistemological Beliefs for improving their Engagement and Satisfaction with Online Learning (2022)
Sheehy, Kieron; Mclanachan, Abigail; Okada, Alexandra; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Harrison, Stephen
Athens Journal of Education, 10 ((Early Access))

Childhood Studies and child psychology: Disciplines in dialogue? (2021-01)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Montgomery, Heather
Children & Society, 35(1) (pp. 3-17)

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, 22, Article e13212(S6)

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)

#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

Engaging with research findings and exploring Dancemotion pilot programme content: Supporting children’s understanding of different emotions through creative, dance-based movement (2021)
Twiner, Alison; Lucassen, Mathijs and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
In : British Educational Research Association Annual Conference (13-16 Sep 2021, Online)

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)

Monitoring and restricting digital marketing of unhealthy products to children and adolescents (2019)
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
World Health Organization, Geneva.

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)
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, ; 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)
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, ; 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.