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Childhood & Lifespan Development


The Childhood & Lifespan Development research theme conducts research across early development, spanning infancy through to the early stages of adult life. Members conduct research to better understand underlying developmental mechanisms and processes with a strong emphasis on identifying vulnerability and resilience factors in atypical development (e.g. autism, developmental disability, rare genetic conditions) and the emergence of mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, eating disorders).

Techniques employed range from experimental methods including EEG, neuroimaging and eye-tracking studies, behavioural-genetic twin designs, longitudinal cohort studies, and qualitative and participatory research with children, young people and their carers. We also conduct intervention and outcome studies including pilot and large-scale randomised controlled trials to develop and test novel supportive interventions to promote wellbeing and positive life outcomes.

Our research also focuses on developing digital mental health interventions designed for vulnerable groups with complex socio-emotional needs. Our work involves extensive collaborations in the UK, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.

Our research is funded by ESRC, MRC, NIHR, the European Commission, and many charities and third-sector organisations. Translational findings from these studies are actively being used within CAMHS services at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, in local schools, and within the King's student community.