Forensic Psychology Research Group

A multidisciplinary and collaborative team

Exploring criminal behaviour from the perspectives of causation, assessment, treatment, and management; plus, an examination of factors that help desist from crime. 

The Forensic Psychology Research Group comprises of academics, practitioners, and postgraduates with research backgrounds in secured contexts (e.g. forensic hospitals and prisons) as well as community correctional settings (e.g. probation, police), and third sector agencies working within the criminal justice context. The group examines crime from a range of perspectives including those who perpetrate crime, victims and their families, professionals working within the criminal justice context, and the wider general public.

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We have a diverse interest in understanding criminal and harmful behaviours and the criminal justice structures that respond to it. Our interests include the examination of particular types of crime or harmful behaviour (interpersonal violence, cybercrime, terrorism, suicide and self-harm, and anti-social behaviour); responses to crime (criminal justice practitioners/contexts, health, general public); and particular populations who perpetrate crime (people with personality disorder, mental illness, and those engaging in harmful sexual behaviours); finally, we are also interested in examining what helps people desist from crime and prevent harmful behaviours occurring in the first place (primary, secondary and tertiary approaches).

Examples of our current research projects include the following:

  • Examination of culture and the attitudes towards weapons
  • Use of imagery, eye tracking and persuasion
  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of the Psychologically Informed Consultation Service within the National Probation Service in Merseyside
  • Examination of the relationship between narcissism and offending behaviour in females
  • Evaluation of the Merseyside Domestic Abuse Service, Males Actively Seeking Change programme
  • Domestic Homicide Review
  • Examination of the impact of domestic abuse on suicide risk
  • The experience of Intimate Partner Abuse in South Asian communities
  • Lay people’s perceptions of suicide risk
  • Examination of the structural failings for victims and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence
  • Examining the scale and nature of secondary public health prevention approaches targeting sexual abuse perpetration
  • An examination of how Registered Sex Offenders navigate community controls

Covid-19 specific research:

  • Culture and Stress
  • The relationship between attitudes around Covid-19 and dark personality traits
  • The impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on early adolescents’ mental health
  • A situation assessment of multi-stakeholder experiences, prison system preparedness and health, penal and judicial measures taken to mitigate COVID-19 in Malawian and Zimbabwean prisons


We collaborate with researchers across LJMU including the Public Health Institute, School of Justice Studies, School of Law, and the Suicide and Self Harm Research Theme. In addition, we have strong collaborative links, both nationally and internationally, with other universities, charities, and industrial partners. These include:

  • University of Liverpool
  • Opole University, Poland
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA
  • Fore School of Management, New Delhi, India
  • University of Chester
  • University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Centre for Human Rights Education Advice Assistance, Malawi
  • Lancashire University
  • Birmingham City University
  • NHS
  • National Probation Service in Merseyside
  • National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA)
  • National Crime Agency

Teaching and learning

All staff contribute to teaching modules on the BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology; Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice; and Policing programmes and some to the MSc Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and MSc Health Psychology.


Meet the researchers within this group:

We welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students interested in any of the following topics:
  • Dark Triad personalities and offending behaviour, specifically, sexual coercion, abuse, and interpersonal violence
  • An examination of primary and secondary sexual violence prevention approaches
  • Desistance from sexual violence
  • Intimate Partner Violence  

Search for a research paper
Search publications

7 papers found

  • Journal article

    The adaptation of a community-based suicide prevention intervention during the COVID19 pandemic: a mixed methods study

    Saini P, Chopra J and Hanlon C and Boland JE

    Publish date:28/04/2022

  • Journal article

    Risk factors for Intimate Partner Homicide in England and Wales

    Chopra J, Sambrook L, Mcloughlin S, Randles R and Palace M and Blinkhorn V

    Publish date:17/02/2022

  • Journal article

    A multi-stakeholder situation assessment of COVID-19 disease preparedness and mitigation measures in a large prison complex in Malawi.

    Jumbe V, Mhango V, Muula A, Kaima R, Chimbwete L, Mangwana A, Msutu B, Tembo L, Bigland C and Kewley S and van Hout MC

    Publish date:15/02/2022

  • Journal article

    “We sleep 10cm apart so there is no social distancing”: COVID-19 preparedness in a Zimbabwean prison complex.

    Mlhanga-Gunda R, Rusakaniko S, Chinyuku A, Pswarayi V, Robinson C and Kewley S and Van Hout MC

    Publish date:01/02/2022

  • Journal article

    Ordinary magic in extraordinary circumstances: Factors associated with positive mental health outcomes for early adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Ashworth E, Putwain DW, McLoughlin S, Saini P, Chopra J and Rosser BA and Eames C

    Publish date:31/01/2022

  • Journal article

    The associations of use of social network sites with perceived social support and loneliness

    Machado VC, McIlroy D, Adamuz FMP and Murphy RC and Palmer-Conn S

    Publish date:27/01/2022