Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Lucy Foulkes

prudence trust research fellow

I am a Prudence Trust Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. I am also a senior research fellow at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and an honorary lecturer at UCL.

My work focuses on mental health and social development in adolescence. I am particularly interested in whether efforts intended to reduce mental health problems, such as awareness-raising campaigns and school initiatives, may inadvertently increase these problems in some individuals. My current fellowship focuses on understanding how school-based mental health interventions might lead to unintended harm in some adolescents. In the past I have also focused on social cognition in adolescents, particularly social risk, social reward and social influence processes, and how these are related to mental health problems. 

I use a range of methods in my work, including experimental designs, scale development, longitudinal analysis and systemic review/meta-analysis. I am increasingly interested in using qualitative approaches to address questions that quantitative methods cannot reach.

I have extensive experience of public science communication. My first book, What Mental Illness Really Is (…and what it isn’t), is out now in paperback (Penguin Random House). It was published as Losing Our Minds in hardback in 2021. I am currently writing my next book, about adolescent development, due for publication in late 2024 (Penguin Random House). I regularly give public talks about mental health (e.g. Royal Institution), frequently discuss this topic on podcasts and radio (e.g. BBC's All In The Mind, Guardian Science), and have written many articles for the mainstream media (e.g. The Guardian, New Scientist). My goal is always to ensure that scientific evidence – presented in a straightforward, accessible format – reaches the people who have the power to affect adolescents’ mental health every day.

Google Scholar profile

Twitter profile


Recent publications

More publications