Dr Kimberly Petersen

Dr Kimberly Petersen


I joined the University of Leeds as a lecturer in the Psychology of Childhood and Education in January 2022.

My background is in both Psychology and Education. I was awarded MA (Hons.) Psychology from the University of Glasgow in 2004. After that, I worked supporting children and young people who had special educational needs and disabilities in school and residential settings, and I went on to train as a primary school teacher in 2006/7.

I worked as a teacher in mainstream and special education settings for a number of years before returning to university in 2012 to study MEd Psychology of Education and a PhD in Education, at the University of Manchester. My PhD research focused on the mental health and wellbeing development of primary school children, and the relationship between social support and mental health.

I have also worked as a researcher on a number of large scale projects funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), including a randomised control trial of a universal school-based behaviour intervention called the Good Behaviour Game, a randomised control trial of a social and emotional learning intervention called PATHS to Success, and a large systematic review of psychosocial measures for use with children and young people (SPECTRUM review).

Previously, I have taught students at postgraduate and undergraduate level within Manchester Institute of Education, The University of Manchester, and was appointed as a Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Trinity University between July 2020 and December 2021, where I specialised in the teaching of Educational Psychology.


  • Deputy Programme Lead for BSc Psychology with Education

Research interests

My research interests are in child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on how the school environment can influence pupil mental health and wellbeing, and the impact of school-based interventions. I am also interested in children’s social relationships, including the role of social support from peers and teachers, and child loneliness.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Education
  • MEd Psychology of Education
  • PGCE (Primary)
  • MA (Hons.) Psychology

Professional memberships

  • Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (MBPsS)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Student education

I contribute to a range of modules on the BSc Psychology with Education, BA Childhood Studies, BA Education, and MA Childhood Studies programmes.

Research groups and institutes

  • ICY: Inclusion, Childhood & Youth Research Centre