Dr Gillian Harris BA, MSc.PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS.

Dr Gillian Harris

School of Psychology
Honorary Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Psychololgy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Gillian Harris has worked, throughout her career, on food acceptance and refusal in childhood and infancy. She is seen as a foremost expert in this field. Her clinical work has concentrated on interventions with children who refuse food; primarily because of ongoing medical conditions or developmental difference or delay.

Related links:


BA (Hons), MSc (Clinical Psychology) Phd. Cert. Ed.


Dr Gillian Harris completed her PhD in Developmental Psychology at Walton Hall (The Open University) before taking a position as Research Fellow working with Professor David Booth at The University of Birmingham. She then qualified as a clinical psychologist and worked both at the Children’s Hospital Birmingham where she became a consultant psychologist, and at the School of Psychology University of Birmingham as a Senior Lecturer.

Other activities

Formerly Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Children’s Hospital Birmingham.


  • Co-director of the Birmingham Food Refusal Service
  • Member of the Infant and Toddler Forum
  • Member of the National Steering Group for Childhood Feeding disorders.
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


Last twenty publications:

Jones, C., Harris, G.  & Leung, N. (2006) Core beliefs and recollections of parenting across age groups. Eating and Weight Disorders,11,2, 75-78 

Blissett, J., Cunningham, J., Harris, G., Jones, C.,  Leung, N., & Meyer, C . (2006) Different core beliefs predict paternal and maternal attachment representations in young women. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 

Jones,C,.Harris,G.. Leung , N, Blissett, J., & Meyer, C. (2007) The effect of induced stress on the relationship between perfectionism and unhealthy eating attitudes. Eating and Weight Disorders, 12, 2, e39. 

Jones, C., Leung, N., & Harris, G. (2007) Dysfunctional Core Beliefs in Eating Disorders; a Review. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy., 21,2, 156-171. 

Weaver, L ., More,J. & Harris. G. (2008) What food for toddlers? British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 40-46.

Harris,G. (2008) Development of taste and food preferences in children. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care,11,3, 315-319. 

Coulthard,H., Harris,G., Emmett, P. & the ALSPAC team. (2009) Delayed introduction of lumpy foods to children during the complementary feeding period affects child’s food acceptance and feeding at 7 years of age. Maternal and Child Nutrition. 

Walsh, J.; Schofield, G.; Harris, G.; Vostanis, P.; Oyebode, F.; Coulthard, H. (2009) Attachment and Coping Strategies in Middle Childhood Children whose Mothers Have a Mental Health Problem: Implications for Social Work Practice. British Journal of Social Work,Vol 39; Number 1 pp. 81-98 

Harris,G. (2009) Food refusal and the sensory sensitive child. Paediatrics and Child Health, Sept. 19.9, 435-6. 

Venter, C & Harris, G. (2009) The development of childhood dietary practices and their implications for later adult health. Nutrition Bulletin, December. 

Coulthard, H, Harris, G, Emmet, P. & the ALSPAC team. (2010) Long term consequences of early fruit and vegetable feeding practices.  Public Health and Nutrition June. 

Harris, G. (2010) The psychology behind growth faltering. European Journal Clinical Nutrition, 64;S14-16. 

Brown, S & Harris,G. (2012) Disliked food acting as a contaminant during infancy; a disgust based motivation for rejection. Appetite,58,2, 535-58. 

Brown, S. & Harris,G.  (2012) Rejection of previously accepted foods during early childhood: An extension of the neophobic response., Appetite, 2012. 58,3,991-996 

Naish, K & Harris, G. (2012) Food intake is influenced by sensory sensitivity. PLoS ONE doi/10,1371/journal.pone.0043622 

Brown, S. & Harris, G. (2012)  Rejection of known and previously accepted foods during early childhood: an extension of the Neophobic response? International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition,1, 72-81. 

Brown, S. & Harris, G.  (2012) International Journal of Child Health and Nutrition.  A theoretical proposal for a perceptually driven, food-based disgust that can influence food acceptance during early childhood1, 1, 1-10. 

Jutley,J., Harris,G, & Kirk,J. (2013) The Identification and Measurement of Autistic Features in Children with Septo-Optic Dysplasia and Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34,12,4310-4318. 

Coulthard, H. & Harris, G. & Fogel A. (2014) Vegetable acceptance in children weaned early and late. Appetite,78, 89-94. 

Coulthard, H. & Harris, G. & Fogel A (accepted 2015) "Tactile over-responsivity and early vegetable consumption; moderating effect of age of introduction to solid foods" Maternal and Child Nutrition.

View all publications in research portal