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Our mission is to promote the healthy mental and physical development of children and their families around the globe, irrespective of their life circumstances. Our work focuses on development in the face of adversity, including perinatal mental health difficulties, life threatening conditions such as HIV and cancer, and situations of violence, war and poverty. We are working on how to improve access to mental health communication, supports and services, including in schools, online and using digital interventions.

Image shows black mother holding her smiling baby.


Our observational and experimental studies aim to understand the mechanisms underlying children’s development, and the impact of risk factors on child and family outcomes.

We use this to create effective and deliverable interventions to support children, families and healthcare professionals.

We have a number of active projects and initiatives that our team are working on and further information can be found in the links below. 

child and adolescent mental health webinar / seminar series

Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Webinar Series is held every Tuesday at 12.15pm during term-time.

We host a wide variety of speakers who present a range of talks relating to Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 

If you would like to present as part of our series, please contact

Our team

Recent Publications


Communication with Children about Life Threatening Conditions

One of the most daunting challenges is to tell a child that they or their parent has a life threatening condition. Our work focusses on developing evidence based guidelines to empower healthcare professionals, parents and children to navigate these emotionally difficult conversations.

The Oxford Brain Story

Our team is working in partnership with the Palix Foundation and Alberta Family Wellness Initiative to share knowledge about the science of brain development for families and professionals. The Story aims to articulate the intergenerational cycle of adversity within families and how we can use our scientific understanding to improve outcomes for children and adults in the future.

Team Intervene: Focus on interventions for adolescent populations

Professor Mina Fazel is working with a team exploring different mental health interventions of relevance for young people.

Hedonia: Transnational Research Group

Professor Morten L. Kringelbach heads Hedonia: Transnational Research Group, a transnational research group based at Oxford and Aarhus Universities.

School Mental Health

We conduct the OxWell Student Survey and work with schools, local authorities and mental health services, to work out how best to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.

Active studies

Addressing young mums' and dads' low mood And their Parenting (AADAPT)

The AADAPT study is trying to find out whether a new way to support parents aged 16-24 years who are experiencing low mood and stress is helpful. We would like to see whether an online package of information and activities, supported by volunteer parents who were previously young parents themselves (Parent Buddies) is more helpful than a control group.

Insika Yomama

Perinatal depression is very common amongst HIV-positive women, with up to 40% of HIV-positive mothers in parts of southern Africa being affected. Insika Yomama is a treatment trial to evaluate an intervention for depressed HIV-positive women in the perinatal period to enhance child development and reduce maternal depression.

Child Development and Adult Social and Human Capital: COHORTS

The COHORTS collaboration (Consortium On Health Outcomes Research in Transitioning Societies) comprises five of the largest and longest running birth cohort studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines, India and South Africa.

Digital delivery of Behavioural Activation to overcome depression and facilitate social and economic transitions of adolescents in LMICs (DoBAT)

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with the incidence of depression peaking during adolescence. Depression affects cognitive functioning, interpersonal relationships, interferes with schooling, and disrupts work and productivity.

Ebikolwa N’empisa: Applying Behavioural Activation as a psychological therapy for adolescents in Uganda

Adolescence is an important period of development, as young people gain independence, navigate stressful situations and make important decisions. The incidence of depression peaks during adolescence, coinciding with the development of social cognition and executive function, key functions of the brain associated with decision-making. Depression can impair the development of these functions, putting depressed adolescents at a life-long disadvantage.


OPT Study

The effect of persistent postnatal depression on children is a major public health issue; the economic costs associated with perinatal mental disorders on child development are substantial with an estimated £8·1 billion per year in the UK alone. The OPT study tested whether a specific parenting intervention improves child outcomes when compared with an intervention not focused on parenting, in a setting where both groups also receive treatment for persistent postnatal depression.


The arrival of a new baby can be an exciting yet vulnerable time for parents; particularly so when a baby has a craniofacial anomaly. Supporting Parents Of Children with Cleft Lip (SPOCCL) is a research study looking at how best to provide extra support to families who have a baby with a cleft lip in the first few weeks of their baby's life.

Oxford Talks


In the news

The work of our group has been reported by news agencies around the globe.

Graduate Students

We welcome graduate students from a wide range of disciplines including medicine, neuroscience and psychology. The resources of the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford centre for Human Brain Activity and the University of Oxford provide a wide-range of training opportunities.

Related research themes