Robin Banerjee, Professor of Developmental Psychology
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/psychology/cress
Core research focus: Social and emotional
development in the school years
What social and emotional skills underpin
succes...
New applied research in the CRESS lab is using
simple online surveys to profile the social and
emotional functioning of sc...
Sociogram of a class A diagram of children’s peer networks,
with arrows showing children’s
nominations of the peers with w...
Sarah is classed as ‘popular’ – the
sociogram shows she received many
Most-Like nominations, and analysis also
revealed th...
Alex and Emily are classed as ‘peer
rejected’ – the sociogram shows they
haven’t received any Most-Like
nominations, and a...
Peer rejection as an indicator of – and
risk factor for – psychopathology
• Differences in peer relations are systematical...
The behavioural reputation of
rejected children
This graph shows a given child’s socio-
behavioural reputation within the ...
And here we have another peer-rejected
child who scores bottom of the class for
Most-Like, above average for Least-
Like, ...
The self-reported emotional
functioning of rejected children
This graph shows a given child’s self-report
of social and em...
Use of online surveys in
Targeted Mental Health in Schools projects
(Bracknell Forest, Brighton & Hove, and Derby)
Here is...
Staff at school worked with educational psychologists and primary
mental health workers to design and implement school-bas...
Depressive symptoms had substantially decreased, and self-worth
had increased.
Before After
But feelings of anger were still prominent. School staff confirmed that
major improvements had been made, but that there w...
Directions for further work
• Use of these school-based tools in relation to
specific clinical samples
• Incorporation of ...
Recent publications
from the CRESS lab
• Banerjee, R., Weare, K., & Farr, W. (in press). Working with ‘Social and Emotiona...
Thanks for watching! For more information, please visit:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/psychology/cress
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Peer relations and mental health - Dr Robin Banerjee

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The CRESS research lab is led by Professor Robin Banerjee at the University of Sussex. We conduct investigations of children's social and emotional functioning, and work closely with practitioners and policymakers in the areas of education and mental health.

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Peer relations and mental health - Dr Robin Banerjee

  1. 1. Robin Banerjee, Professor of Developmental Psychology http://www.sussex.ac.uk/psychology/cress
  2. 2. Core research focus: Social and emotional development in the school years What social and emotional skills underpin successful peer relationships? How can positive interpersonal relations and mental health be promoted in the school context?
  3. 3. New applied research in the CRESS lab is using simple online surveys to profile the social and emotional functioning of schools, classes, and individual pupils. This information is used to inform intervention strategies to promote mental health, and to evaluate change over time.
  4. 4. Sociogram of a class A diagram of children’s peer networks, with arrows showing children’s nominations of the peers with whom they most like to play or spend free time
  5. 5. Sarah is classed as ‘popular’ – the sociogram shows she received many Most-Like nominations, and analysis also revealed that she didn’t attract any Least- Like nominations
  6. 6. Alex and Emily are classed as ‘peer rejected’ – the sociogram shows they haven’t received any Most-Like nominations, and analysis also revealed that they attracted a high number of Least-Like nominations
  7. 7. Peer rejection as an indicator of – and risk factor for – psychopathology • Differences in peer relations are systematically related to behavioural, emotional, and social- relational difficulties, such as: – Conduct problems and oppositional-defiant disorder – Hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorders – Anxiety and depressive symptoms etc.
  8. 8. The behavioural reputation of rejected children This graph shows a given child’s socio- behavioural reputation within the peer group. A score of 0 is the class average, and the box shows the range from lowest to highest within the class. The dot in each box shows the relative position of the given child within his/her class. Here we have a peer-rejected child who scores bottom of the class for Most-Like, top of the class for Least-Like, and top of the class for Disruptive Behaviour and Starting Fights.
  9. 9. And here we have another peer-rejected child who scores bottom of the class for Most-Like, above average for Least- Like, and top of the class for Shy.
  10. 10. The self-reported emotional functioning of rejected children This graph shows a given child’s self-report of social and emotional experiences. Each box shows the range from lowest to highest within the class, with the line in each box showing the class average. The dot in each box shows the relative position of the given child within his/her class. Here we have a peer-rejected child with very negative self-reported socio- emotional experiences. He scored bottom of the class for Positive Experiences of social interaction, and scored highest in the class for anger, depressive symptoms, and negative emotions at both school and home.
  11. 11. Use of online surveys in Targeted Mental Health in Schools projects (Bracknell Forest, Brighton & Hove, and Derby) Here is another peer-rejected child who presented in the first term of the school year with very negative self-reported social experiences, and high levels of both anger and depressive symptoms, with the lowest self-worth scores in the class.
  12. 12. Staff at school worked with educational psychologists and primary mental health workers to design and implement school-based strategies for meeting the socio-emotional needs of classes and individual pupils, based on the feedback from the online surveys. By the end of the school year, the profile of negative social experiences had been completely reversed for this child. Before After
  13. 13. Depressive symptoms had substantially decreased, and self-worth had increased. Before After
  14. 14. But feelings of anger were still prominent. School staff confirmed that major improvements had been made, but that there was still more work needed to support this young person…..! Before After
  15. 15. Directions for further work • Use of these school-based tools in relation to specific clinical samples • Incorporation of parental ratings • Role of classroom and school climate in moderating longitudinal trajectories • Links with academic achievement and attendance
  16. 16. Recent publications from the CRESS lab • Banerjee, R., Weare, K., & Farr, W. (in press). Working with ‘Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning’ (SEAL): Associations with school ethos, pupil social experiences, attendance, and attainment. British Educational Research Journal. • Leeves, S., & Banerjee, R. (in press). Childhood social anxiety and social support-seeking: Distinctive links with perceived support from teachers. European Journal of Psychology of Education. • Kouwenberg, M., Rieffe, C., & Banerjee, R. (2013). A balanced and short Best Friend Index for children and young adolescents. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10, 634-641. • Luke, N., & Banerjee, R. (2013). Differentiated associations between childhood maltreatment experiences and social understanding: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Developmental Review, 33, 1-28. • Banerjee, R., Bennett, M., & Luke, N. (2012). Children's reasoning about self-presentation following rule violations: The role of self-focused attention. Child Development, 83, 1805-1821. • Caputi, M., Lecce, S., Pagnin, A., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Longitudinal effects of theory of mind on later peer relations: The role of prosocial behaviour. Developmental Psychology, 48, 257-270. • Ku, L., Dittmar, H., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Are materialistic teenagers less motivated to learn? Cross- sectional and longitudinal evidence from UK and Hong Kong. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 74-86. • Luke, N., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Maltreated children's social understanding and empathy: A preliminary exploration of foster carers' perspectives. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 237-246. • Novin, S., Banerjee, R., & Rieffe, C. (2012). Bicultural adolescents’ anger regulation: In between two cultures? Cognition and Emotion, 26, 577-586.
  17. 17. Thanks for watching! For more information, please visit: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/psychology/cress

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