Dr Alana James

Personal profile

I am interested in social and emotional development, particularly in the use of mentoring/peer support, and in bullying/harassment and parenting. I am Associate Director of the Social Development Lab: http://www.pc.rhul.ac.uk/sites/social_development/site/

Current Projects

My current research includes a focus upon student welfare and supporting the transition from school to university. I have recently evaluated the effectiveness of specialist mentoring for university students with autism and/or mental health conditions, and am an active member of the university Student Support and Welfare Committee. Each year I run a project where current psychology undergraduates act mentors to A-level psychology pupils, to provide an employability experience for students whilst giving pupils a real idea of what going to university is like.

I supervise BSc and MSc projects investigating bullying/harassment in schools and universities, and DClin research into parenting and parenting interventions.

Past Research

My PhD (funded by an ESRC CASE Award) was on peer support systems in schools, where pupils are trained to provide help to other pupils e.g. through peer listening or mentoring. This involved in-depth case studies of such systems in the UK and cross-national comparison of peer support use in England, Japan (funded by a Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Award) and South Korea (part of a British Council PMI 2 grant).

Within post-doctoral research I have evaluated parenting programmes for the Commissioning Toolkit of Parenting Interventions, rating the quality of evidence and implementation procedures, and evaluated a peer-led parenting intervention. I have also collaborated on a project to investigate young children's perceptions of, and experiences with, the police.


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