Applied developmental psychology

We are interested in a number of areas of applied developmental psychology including, feeding problems from infancy to adolescence, appetite regulation, childhood obesity and cognitions about food, parent-child interaction, attachment, the development of food acceptance and rejection, sensitive periods for the introduction of foods, and the significance of the timing of weaning onto solids.

Children eatingWe are currently carrying out projects investigating how young children make and overcome neophobic food responses, and the role of parents’ feeding practices, including reward and restriction, in children’s cognitions about food and their BMI.

A further current interest is in children’s fruit and vegetable acceptance and consumption, and its relationship with children’s individual differences (such as sensory processing) and parental behaviour (such as modelling or controlling feeding practices). Maternal mental health problems, such as eating and anxiety disorders, and their relationship to parenting behaviour and child outcomes are also broader areas of current research, as are child factors such as the relationship between autistic spectrum disorder and food refusal.