Dr Emma Ashworth

School of Psychology

Dr Emma Ashworth is a Chartered Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at LJMU. Emma's research focuses on child and adolescent mental health. In particular, her research focuses on risk and resilience, examining the factors that predict and prevent the development of mental health difficulties. Emma has expertise in the implementation and evaluation of school-based mental health prevention and promotion programmes, having been involved in multiple large randomised controlled trials in both primary and secondary schools nationwide.

Furthermore, Dr Ashworth conducts research into the mental health and wellbeing of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), exploring how children with SEND can be better supported, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emma is also a member of LJMU's suicide and self-harm research group, and has a particular research interest in the identification of and support for children and young people experiencing suicidal crisis. As part of this, Emma has an ongoing research collaboration with Alder Hey Children's Hospital's CAMHS Crisis Care Team.

Dr Ashworth currently co-leads the Children, Young People and Families interest group in the LJMU Institute for Health Research, and is deputy lead of the Implementation Science methodological research subgroup as part of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North West Coast. She is also a scientific committee member for Mental Health Research UK.

Emma is student Disability Coordinator for the School of Psychology at LJMU, and is an 'LJMU Connector' - staff are welcome to get in touch with her for confidential peer advice and mental wellbeing support.

Emma is also an honorary researcher at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, where she is part of a Government-funded national evaluation of the Education for Wellbeing programme, trialling mental health promotion interventions in c.400 schools across England.

Degrees

2018, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, PhD Education
2014, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, BSc Psychology in Education

Academic appointments

Lecturer in Psychology, School of Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2019 - present
Senior Tutor, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, 2019 - 2019
Research Assistant, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, 2015 - 2019

Journal article

Hanlon C, Ashworth E, Moore DJ, Donaghy B, Saini P. 2022. Autism should be considered in the assessment and delivery of mental health services for children and young people Disability and Society, DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Brooks SJ, Titova OE, Ashworth E, Bylund SBA, Feldman I, Schiöth HB. 2022. Self-Reported Psychosomatic Complaints and Conduct Problems in Swedish Adolescents Children, 9 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Humphrey N, Hennessey A, Troncoso P, Panayiotou M, Black L, Petersen K, Wo L, Mason C, Ashworth E, Frearson K, Boehnke JR, Pockett RD, Lowin J, Foxcroft D, Wigelsworth M, Lendrum A. 2022. The Good Behaviour Game intervention to improve behavioural and other outcomes for children aged 7–8 years: a cluster RCT Public Health Research, 10 :1-100 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth EL, Provazza S, McCarthy M, Saini P. 2022. Children and Young People Presenting in a Pediatric Emergency Department in North-West England in Suicidal Crisis: An Exploratory Case Series Study Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Moore A, Ashworth E, Mason C, Santos J, Mansfield R, Stapley E, Deighton J, Humphrey N, Tait N, Hayes D. 2022. ‘Shall We Send a Panda?’ A Practical Guide to Engaging Schools in Research: Learning from Large-Scale Mental Health Intervention Trials International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 :3367-3367 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Butler N, Quigg Z, Bates R, Jones L, Ashworth E, Gowland S, Jones M. 2022. The Contributing Role of Family, School, and Peer Supportive Relationships in Protecting the Mental Wellbeing of Children and Adolescents School Mental Health, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Putwain DW, McLoughlin S, Saini P, Chopra J, Rosser BA, Eames C. 2022. Ordinary magic in extraordinary circumstances: Factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for early adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic Adversity and Resilience Science, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Demkowicz O, Ashworth E, O’Neill A, Hanley T, Pert K. 2022. “Will My Young Adult Years be Spent Socially Distancing?”: A Qualitative Exploration of Adolescents’ Experiences During the COVID-19 UK Lockdown Journal of Adolescent Research, :074355842210971-074355842210971 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Chopra J, Ashworth E, Saini P, Putwain DW, McLoughlin S, Kirkby J, Eames C, Hunt A, Duffy K. 2021. Adolescents’ Lockdown-Induced Coping Experiences (ALICE) study: A qualitative exploration of early adolescents’ experiences of lockdown and reintegration The Journal of Early Adolescence, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Humphrey N, Panayiotou M, Hennessey A, Ashworth E. 2021. Treatment effect modifiers in a randomized trial of the good behavior game during middle childhood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 89 :668-681 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Schiöth HB, Brooks SJ. 2021. Neural activation of anxiety and depression in children and young people: A systematic meta-analysis of fMRI studies Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 311 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Demkowicz O, Hanley T, Ashworth E, O'Neill A, Pert K. 2021. Teenagers' experiences of life in lockdown: Implications for college and university support University & College Counselling Journal, Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Demkowicz O, Ashworth E, Mansfield R, Stapley E, Miles H, Hayes D, Burrell K, Moore A, Deighton J. 2020. Children and young people’s experiences of completing mental health and wellbeing measures for research: learning from two school‑based pilot projects Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 14 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Humphrey N. 2020. More than the sum of its parts: Cumulative risk effects on school functioning in middle childhood British Journal of Educational Psychology, 90 :43-61 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Panayiotou M, Humphrey N, Hennessey A. 2020. Game On — Complier Average Causal Effect Estimation Reveals Sleeper Effects on Academic Attainment in a Randomized Trial of the Good Behavior Game Prevention Science, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Humphrey N, Hennessey A. 2020. Game Over? No Main or Subgroup Effects of the Good Behavior Game in a Randomized Trial in English Primary Schools Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Humphrey N, Lendrum A, Hennessey A. 2020. Beyond "what works": A mixed-methods study of intervention effect modifiers in the Good Behavior Game Psychology in the Schools, 57 :222-246 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Demkowicz O, Panayiotou M, Ashworth E, Humphrey N, Deighton J. 2019. The Factor Structure of the 4-Item Perceived Stress Scale in English Adolescents European Journal of Psychological Assessment, :1-5 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Hayes D, Moore A, Stapley E, Humphrey N, Mansfield R, Santos J, Ashworth E, Patalay P, Bonin EM, Moltrecht B, Boehnke JR, Deighton J. 2019. Promoting mental health and wellbeing in schools: Examining Mindfulness, Relaxation and Strategies for Safety and Wellbeing in English primary and secondary schools: Study protocol for a multi-school, cluster randomised controlled trial (INSPIRE) Trials, 20 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Hayes D, Moore A, Stapley E, Humphrey N, Mansfield R, Santos J, Ashworth E, Patalay P, Bonin E, Boehnke JR, Deighton J. 2019. School-based intervention study examining approaches for well-being and mental health literacy of pupils in Year 9 in England: study protocol for a multischool, parallel group cluster randomised controlled trial (AWARE) BMJ Open, 9 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Demkowicz O, Lendrum A, Frearson K. 2018. Coaching Models of School-Based Prevention and Promotion Programmes: A Qualitative Exploration of UK Teachers' Perceptions School Mental Health, 10 :287-300 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Report

Hennessey A, Demkowicz O, Pert K, Ashworth E, Deighton J, Mason C, Bray L. 2022. Children and young people’s perceptions of social, emotional, and mental wellbeing provision and processes in primary and secondary education: A qualitative exploration to inform NICE guidance Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Kirkby J, Bray L, Alghrani A. 2022. Ask, Listen, Act - Working together to get through it together; a child-centred rights-based approach to recovery and renewal for children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Priorities for Policy and Practice for Children and Young People with SEND. Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Provazza S, McCarthy M, Saini P. 2022. Children and Young People Attending Alder Hey A&E in Suicidal Crisis: 2019-2021 Public Url

Ashworth E, Kirkby J, Bray L, Alghrani A. 2022. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Education, Health and Social Care Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): The Ask, Listen, Act Study. Evidence Briefing 2: Qualitative interview data. Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Kirkby J, Bray L, Alghrani A. 2021. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Education, Health and Social Care Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): The Ask, Listen, Act Study. Evidence Briefing 1: Quantitative survey data. Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Kirkby J, Ashworth E, Bray L, Alghrani A. 2021. A Rapid Scoping Review - The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Education, Health and Social Care Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Demkowicz O, Richie B, Ashworth E, Tait N, Miles H, Panayiotou M, Patalay P, Burrell K, Deighton J. 2021. Mental health questionnaire research with children and young people in schools: Recommendations for good practice Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, McLoughlin S, Saini P, Chopra J, Eames C, Hunt A. 2021. Young people's mental health and wellbeing in the north west during the COVID-19 pandemic: The ALICE study evidence briefing Public Url

Demkowicz O, Ashworth E, O'Neill A, Hanley T, Pert K. 2020. Teenagers' Experiences of Life in Lockdown: The TELL study briefing Publisher Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Saini P, Chopra J, Hunt A. 2020. Caring for your wellbeing during COVID-19: Advice for young people

Humphrey N, Hennessey A, Ashworth E, Frearson K, Black L, Petersen K, Wo L, Panayiotou M, Lendrum A, Wigelsworth M, Birchinall L, Squires G, Pampaka M. 2018. Good Behaviour Game: Evaluation report and executive summary Author Url

Wigelsworth M, Squires G, Birchinall L, Kalambouka A, Lendrum A, Black L, Troncoso P, Santos J, Ashworth E, Britteon P. 2018. FRIENDS for life: Evaluation report and executive summary Author Url

Humphrey N, Wigelsworth M, Black L, Symes W, Frearson K, Ashworth E, Petersen K, McCaldin T, Runacres J, Demkowicz O, Pert K, Tronsco P, Anders L. 2017. Social, Psychological, Emotional, Concepts of self, and Resilience outcomes: Understanding and Measurement (SPECTRUM) Author Url

Humphrey N, Lendrum A, Ashworth E, Frearson K, Buck R, Kerr K. 2016. Implementation and process evaluation (IPE) for interventions in educational settings: A synthesis of the literature Author Url

Humphrey N, Lendrum A, Ashworth E, Frearson K, Buck R, Kerr K. 2016. Implementation and process evaluation (IPE) for interventions in education settings: An introductory handbook Author Url

Ashworth E, Demkowicz O. Teenagers' Experiences of Life in Lockdown (TELL): Caring for your wellbeing Publisher Url Public Url

LSCP , Ashworth E, Saini P. Liverpool Multi-Agency Self-Harm Practice Guidance Author Url Public Url

Ashworth E, Molloy-Vickers D, Saini P. A Pilot Evaluation of Self-Harm Kits in Cheshire & Merseyside: 2021-2022 Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Media Coverage:

https://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/20284274.parents-can-say-send-alternative-provision-system/, Wirral Globe - Parents can have say on SEND and 'Alternative Provision' system. 2022

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/children-special-needs-disabilities-isolated-22926048, Liverpool Echo - Children with special needs and disabilities 'isolated' due to covid and lockdowns. 2022

https://inews.co.uk/news/children-send-special-education-needs-disability-covid-lockdowns-1431218, inews - Children with special educational needs adversely affected by lockdown: ‘I couldn’t use Zoom like others’. 2022

https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/news/articles/2021/1/11/covid-teenagers-on-emotional-rollercoaster--study, LJMU News - Covid teenagers tell of 'emotional rollercoaster'. 2021

https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/ask-listen-act-disabled-learners-pandemic-misery-never-repeated/, Special Needs Jungle - "Ask, Listen, Act, so disabled learners’ two years of pandemic misery is never repeated". 2021

https://www.womenadvancenc.org/2021/03/10/the-quarantines-effects-hit-adolescents-especially-hard-heres-how-parents-can-help/, Women Advance Magazine: "The Quarantine’s Effects Hit Adolescents Especially Hard — Here’s How Parents Can Help". 2021

BBC Radio Merseyside 'Happy Heads' campaign - children's mental health: Ask an Expert. 2021

BBC Radio Merseyside - supporting children's mental health when returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020

https://theconversation.com/lockdown-has-been-hard-on-teenagers-but-they-have-shown-remarkable-adaptation-149603, The Conversation Article - "Lockdown has been hard on teenagers, but they have shown remarkable adaptation". 2020

https://www.ft.com/content/0dec0291-2f72-4ce9-bd9f-ae2356bd869e, The Financial Times - The kids aren’t alright: How Generation Covid is losing out, coverage of the TELL Study. 2020

Conference presentation:

Ask, Listen, Act - working together to develop priorities for the provision of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support for children after the COVID-19 pandemic, CYP Now - SEND Summit, London, UK, Invited keynote. 2022

Ask, Listen, Act - working together to inform the provision of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support for children after the COVID-19 pandemic, Innovative methods and approaches in working with children with SEND, Integrative Counseling and Support Center, Oral presentation. 2022

Children and young people presenting in Emergency Departments in North West England in suicidal crisis, Suicide and Self-Harm Early and Mid-Career Researchers’ Forum, Glasgow, UK, Oral presentation. 2022

The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young people, Reform Movement: Communities That Care Annual Coference, London, UK, Invited keynote. 2022

Children and young people presenting in Emergency Departments in North West England in suicidal crisis, European Symposium on Suicide and Suicidal Behaviours, Copenhagen, Denmark, Poster presentation. 2022

Children and young people’s experiences and perceptions of completing mental health measures for research, International School Psychology Association, Oral presentation. 2021

Invited Panel Member, Suicide and Self-Harm Research Expertise North West (SSHaRE NoW), Oral presentation. 2021

More than the sum of its parts: Cumulative risk effects on school functioning in middle childhood, International School Psychology Association, Poster presentation. 2021

Children and young people’s experiences and perceptions of completing mental health measures, BERA Special Interest Group Conference: Researching mental health and education: Where are we now?, London, England, Oral presentation. 2019

All in the game: Improving pupil behaviour in the classroom, European Network for Social and Emotional Competencies, Stockholm, Sweden, Oral presentation. 2017

Differential effects of the Good Behaviour Game on pupils’ school functioning: Cumulative risk exposure as a moderator of intervention outcomes., British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Education Section, Edinburgh, Scotland, Poster presentation. 2017

Other invited event:

The Tortoise and the Hare: Learning from both rapid response and ongoing research about the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Invited speaker. 2022

Ask, Listen, Act - working together to develop priorities for the provision of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support for children af, Council for Disabled Children - Special Education Cosortium, Invited speaker. 2022

Children and adolescents’ experiences of lockdown, and the impact on their mental health and wellbeing, Mental Health Research Collaborative, Invited speaker. 2021

Research in child and adolescent mental health, Liverpool Health Partners' Starting Well Programme Research Seminar, Invited speaker. 2020

Education for Wellbeing, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Talk delivered as part of the "Evenings at Rodney Street" seminar series.. 2019

Research Grants Awarded:

Bury CCG, Evaluating the impact of the Wellbeing Through Sport programme on primary school children's mental health, Grant value (£): 10,000. 2022

Royal National Institute of Blind People, An evaluation of Bookshare for children with visual impairments and print disabilities (PI), Prof Lucy Bray (Edge Hill University), Grant value (£): 30,000. 2022

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, ‘Making a shift towards school-based interventions’: Assessing the social validity of a school-based suicide prevention intervention (PI), Pooja Saini, Grant value (£): 16895.70. 2021

Champs Public Health Collaborative, Evaluation of an NHS self-harm prevention toolkit for young people across Merseyside (PI), Pooja Saini, Grant value (£): 4,433. 2021

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), A Rapid cross-sectional mixed methods study to scope, understand and co-develop the policy priorities for reducing inequalities and mitigating the long-term impacts of COVID-19 for CYP with SEND (PI), Prof Lucy Bray (Edge Hill University), Prof Amel Alghrani (University of Liverpool, Grant value (£): 84,651. 2021

NIHR ARC NWC, Fully-funded LJMU PhD studentship: Suicide crisis and self harm attendance at A&E in autistic young people: a mixed method study. (co-supervisor), Pooja Saini, Dave Moore, Grant value (£): 66,000. 2021

QR-PSF, Developing Impact: Working Together to Inform Policy and the Provision of Support for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) after the COVID-19 Pandemic, Prof Lucy Bray (Edge Hill University), Prof Amel Alghrani (University of Liverpool), Dr Carianne Hunt (Liverpool Health Partners), Grant value (£): 6,685. 2021

The Waterloo Foundation, Feasibility of a co-produced primary school-based intervention to improve children’s motor competence and mental health and wellbeing (Co-I), Stuart Fairclough (Edge Hill University), Lawrence Foweather, Lynne Boddy, Zoe Knowles, Richard Tyler (Edge Hill University), Grant value (£): 59,225. 2021

Youth Endowment Fund, Community by Nature Capacity Building and Enrichment Project (Co-I), Grant value (£): 9000. 2021

Economic and Social Research Council: Impact Acceleration, The TELL Study: Teenagers’ Experiences of Life in Lockdown (Co-I), Dr Ola Demkowicz and Dr Terry Hanley (University of Manchester), Grant value (£): 8,601. 2020

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Informing the development of NICE guidance on Social, emotional and mental wellbeing in primary and secondary education (Co-I), Dr Ola Demkowicz (University of Manchester), Dr Alexandra Hennessey (University of Manchester), Prof. Jessica Deighton (Anna Freud Centre), Grant value (£): 15,682, Duration of research project: 1 year. 2020

QR Strategic Policy Fund, Young people's presentations at A&E for suicidal crisis: Coding, admissions, and resultant care pathways (PI), Pooja Saini, Grant value (£): 9004. 2020

Award:

International People's Choice Award for Most Engaging Impact Project, Track Impact - Vertigo Ventures, https://www.vertigoventures.com/resources/trackimpact-project-competition-winners-showcase/. 2022

Excellence in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic - Faculty of Health Winner, LJMU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research and Knowledge Exchange. 2021

Kathy Sylva ‘Rising Star’ Award (nominee), Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. 2021

PGR Distinguished Achievement Award, Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester. 2019

Conference organisation:

LJMU Institute for Health Research: Children, Young People and Families Research Showcase, Co-chair. 2022

Getting research into schools: A workshop on engaging with educators, Organiser. 2018

Public engagement:

Policy@Manchester, One year on: Lessons from lockdown, Blog, Policymakers, Author, https://policyatmanchester.shorthandstories.com/one-year-on/. 2021

University of Manchester online webinar, What has changed for teenagers’ mental health and opportunities since the UK COVID-19 outbreak?, Learning Lunch Seminar Series, Policymakers, Invited Speaker, https://www.policy.manchester.ac.uk/activities/events/policymanchester-presents-in-conversation-with-dr-ola-demkowicz/. 2020

National Elf Service, Mental Elf, Overcoming barriers: why adolescents don’t seek mental health support, Blog, Public, Author, https://www.nationalelfservice.net/populations-and-settings/child-and-adolescent/barriers-support-mental-health-adolescents/. 2020

Policy@Manchester, Teenagers’ experiences of life in lockdown – and lessons for COVID-19 recovery plans, Blog, Public, Author, http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/health/2020/10/teenagers-experiences-of-life-in-lockdown-and-lessons-for-covid-19-recovery-plans/. 2020

University of Manchester, Research Matters Seminar: Measuring children's mental health for research in schools, Seminar, Academics, Speaker. 2019

University of Manchester, SEL practices in the classroom, Knowledge exchange workshop, School teachers, Organiser. 2018

MIE BEE Blog, Exposure to multiple risks is worse for children’s outcomes than the nature of specific risks, Blog, Educators, Author, http://blogging2.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/miebee/exposure-to-multiple-risks-is-worse-for-childrens-outcomes-than-the-nature-of-specific-risks/. 2018

Other Professional Activity:

Co-lead for the Children, Young People, and Families interest group in the LJMU Institute for Health Research. 2020

Member of the wider research team on the Education for Wellbeing programme. Funded by the Department for Education and led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Consists of 2 randomised controlled trials of school-based mental health and wellbeing interventions in 400 schools nationwide..

External collaboration:

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North West Coast, Deputy lead of the implementation science methodology research sub-group. 2020

Cheshire & Merseyside NHS Children & Young People's Self-Harm Development Group, Board member.

Evidence Based Practice Unit - Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Honorary researcher.

Mental Health Research UK, Scientific Committee Member.

Teaching qualification:

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 2017

Membership of professional bodies:

Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society.

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