Professor Jon Catling BSc, PGCE, PhD

Jon Catling

School of Psychology
Deputy Director of UG Studies
Student Enhancement & Outreach

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Jon Catling is a Professor of Psychology and Education, and is an expert in research design and analysis.  His research interests cover three main areas:  Language acquisition, especially the impact of the ‘Age of Acquisition’ of language; Mental and physical health in young people; and the relationship between cognitive and physical functioning, mental health and immune function in older adults.


  • PhD (Birmingham)
  • PGCE (Cambridge)
  • PGDip CBT (Birmingham)
  • BSc Psychology and Artificial Intelligence (Birmingham)


Dr Jon Catling completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham investigating the ‘age of acquisition’ effect within a range of perceptual, semantic and phonological tasks. He then went on to a Lectureship at the University of Worcester for 6 years, before returning as a Lecturer to the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham in September 2011. He became a Senior Lecturer within the School in 2013.


Dr Jon Catling teaches Research Methods at Undergraduate level

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Jon Catling currently supervises a PhD student who is assessing the impact of mobile ‘Brain training’  Apps on the cognitive, physical and immune functioning of older people. 

He also supervises a PhD that is assessing the Psychological factors predicting academic achievement at International Branch Campuses. 

He is always interested to hear from any prospective PhD students who have ideas for a research project within his fields of research.


Dr Jon Catling is an expert in research design and analysis. 

His research interests cover three main areas:  

1. Language acquisition, especially the impact of the ‘Age of Acquisition’ of language.

2. Mental and physical health in young people.

3. The relationship between cognitive and physical functioning, mental health and the immune system in older adults.

Other activities

  • Principal Fellow of the HEA

  • Member of the Undergraduate Education Committee of the British Psychological Society

  •  Manuscript reviewer for the journals Visual Cognition, the European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Human Brain Mapping, Computers in human behavior and Psychology Teaching Review.

  • Grant reviewer for the ESRC and Higher Education Academy


Recent publications


Juozelskyte, G & Catling, J 2024, 'Assessing the mindfulness predictors of mental health: does mindfulness practise or dispositional mindfulness better protect young peoples’ mental health?', Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, vol. 12, no. 1, 2305723.

Elsherif, MM, Preece, E & Catling, JC 2023, 'Age-of-acquisition effects: a literature review', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, vol. 49, no. 5, pp. 812–847.

Elsherif, MM & Catling, JC 2023, 'Are two words recalled or recognised as one? How age-of-acquisition affects memory for compound words', Journal of Memory and Language, vol. 132, 104449.

Asquith, E, Bould, K, Catling, JC, Day, EJ & Holt, A 2023, 'Behaviour regulation and the role of mental health in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease', BMC Gastroenterology, vol. 23, no. 1, 306.

AbuQamar, M, Eltayyan, D, Kuznetsova, I, Dhesi, S, Catling, J, Al-Dadah, R, Mahmoud, SM & Abuhaiba, M 2023, 'The impact of access to electricity on mental health in conflict-affected territories: An exploratory study in Gaza', International Journal of Social Psychiatry, pp. 1-9.

Catling, J & Sutton, E 2023, 'The impact of gender and ethnic background on physical and mental health in a post-pandemic student cohort in the UK', Journal of Health and Social Sciences, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 219-229.

Catling, J 2023, 'The long-term impact of COVID-19 on student mental health', Journal of Health and Social Sciences, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 295-307.

Sutton, E, Catling, J, Segaert, K & Veldhuijzen Van Zanten, J 2022, 'Cognitive Health Worries, Reduced Physical Activity and Fewer Social Interactions Negatively Impact Psychological Wellbeing in Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 823089.

Catling, J, Bayley, A, Begum, Z, Wardzinski, C & Wood, A 2022, 'Effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on mental health in a UK student sample', BMC psychology, vol. 10, no. 1, 118.

Catling, J, Michail, M, Lakhani , N & Devine, RT 2022, 'Psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health in higher education: how healthy are our students?', Journal of Mental Health, Training, Education and Practice, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 562-571.

Doyle, I & Catling, J 2022, 'The influence of perfectionism, self-esteem and resilience on young people’s mental health', The Journal of Psychology, vol. 156, no. 3, pp. 224-240.

Catling, J, Pymont, CP, Johnston, RA, Elsherif, M, Clark, R & Kendall, E 2021, 'Age of Acquisition effects in recognition without identification tasks', Memory, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 662-674 .

Elsherif, MM & Catling, JC 2021, 'Age of acquisition effects on the decomposition of compound words', Journal of Cognitive Psychology.

Catling, J & Elsherif, M 2020, 'The hunt for the age of acquisition effect: It's in the links!', Acta Psychologica, vol. 209, 103138.


Elsherif, MM, Catling, JC & Frisson, S 2022, 'Correction to: Two words as one: A multi-naming investigation of the age-of-acquisition effect in compound-word processing', Memory and Cognition.

View all publications in research portal