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Dr. Kristin Hadfield
Assistant Professor, Psychology

Biography

Dr. Kristin Hadfield is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology and the Trinity Centre for Global Health. Dr Hadfield completed her PhD in psychology at Trinity College Dublin in 2015. Following this, she worked as a visiting research specialist in the Department of Health Systems Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2015), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University (2015-2017), and as an assistant professor of positive psychology at Queen Mary University of London (2017-2020).

Dr Hadfield's research focuses on how the resilience, wellbeing, and mental health of young people can best be promoted. She is interested in what makes children and adolescents thrive when faced with adverse or challenging contexts. She has the following research streams:

First, she explores how to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children living in humanitarian crisis contexts. To this end, she currently co-leads a British Academy-funded project (with Isabelle Mareschal, Queen Mary University of London) based in Jordan which combines a qualitative component with a randomized controlled trial to create a toolkit for effectively developing and implementing non-formal education resources for use with refugee children. This project will allow for an understanding of how an education intervention may impact children's educational trajectories during war and displacement, and how effective interventions can be implemented in other humanitarian crisis contexts. She has previously been involved with projects conducting randomized controlled trials of educational, psychosocial, and positive psychology-based interventions in Jordan, Zambia, and refugee camps in Greece. These projects use a multi-method approach to examine changes at multiple levels (psychological, physiological, cognitive, etc).

Second, Dr Hadfield studies maternal stress and resilience during pregnancy and how this impacts later child health and wellbeing. She currently co-leads a UK Medical Research Council project (with Gilbert Abiiro, University for Development Studies) to examine how pregnancy-related anxiety is conceptualized among pregnant women in northern Ghana and how it can best be measured among this population. In a separate project, Dr Hadfield and a team of researchers are seeking to advance understanding of prenatal influences on the development of mental health problems. Using the CANDLE data, Dr Hadfield is examining the effects of protective factors during pregnancy and early childhood.

Finally, she studies the conditions under which changes in family structure can cause stress and what might ameliorate that stress. Dr Hadfield explores the circumstances under which family structure transitions can be positive for health and wellbeing, as well as how to reduce the stress of family transitions. She uses secondary datasets to understand the impacts of family structure transitions on children worldwide.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Hadfield K., Amos M., Ungar M., Gosselin J., Ganong L., Do Changes to Family Structure Affect Child and Family Outcomes? A Systematic Review of the Instability Hypothesis, Journal of Family Theory and Review, 10, (1), 2018, p87 - 110 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Panter-Brick C., Eggerman M., Ager A., Hadfield K., Dajani R., Measuring the psychosocial, biological, and cognitive signatures of profound stress in humanitarian settings: impacts, challenges, and strategies in the field, Conflict and Health, 14, (1), 2020, p1-7 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Kristin Hadfield, Aly Ostrowski, Michael Ungar, What can we expect of the mental health and well-being of Syrian refugee children and adolescents in Canada?, Canadian Psychology, 2017, p1-29 Journal Article, 2017

Hadfield, K., Ungar, M. & Nixon, E., Rethinking discourses of family instability, Journal of Family Social Work, 21, (2), 2018, p172 - 187 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Panter-Brick C., Hadfield K., Dajani R., Eggerman M., Ager A., Ungar M., Resilience in Context: A Brief and Culturally Grounded Measure for Syrian Refugee and Jordanian Host-Community Adolescents, Child Development, 89, (5), 2018, p1803 - 1820, p1803-1820 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Alexandra Chen, Catherine Panter-Brick, Kristin Hadfield, Rana Dajani, Amar Hamoudi, Margaret Sheridan, Minds Under Siege: Cognitive Signatures of Poverty and Trauma in Refugee and Non-Refugee Adolescents, Child Development, 90, (6), 2019, p1856 - 1865 Journal Article, 2019

Dajani R., Hadfield K., van Uum S., Greff M., Panter-Brick C., Hair cortisol concentrations in war-affected adolescents: A prospective intervention trial, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 89, 2018, p138 - 146, p138-146 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Panter-Brick C., Wiley K., Sancilio A., Dajani R., Hadfield K., C-reactive protein, Epstein-Barr virus, and cortisol trajectories in refugee and non-refugee youth: Links with stress, mental health, and cognitive function during a randomized controlled trial, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 2020, p207 - 217 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Hadfield, K. & Nixon, E. , Benefits of and barriers to romantic relationships among mothers in Ireland. , Family Relations, 66, (3), 2017, p383 - 398 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Hadfield K., Ungar M., Emond A., Foster K., Gatt J.M., Mason-Jones A., Reid S., Theron L., Wouldes T., Wu Q., Challenges of developing and conducting an international study of resilience in migrant adolescents, International Social Work, 63, (2), 2020, p232 - 237 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Hadfield K., O'Brien F., Gerow A., Is level of prematurity a risk/plasticity factor at three years of age?, Infant Behavior and Development, 47, 2017, p27 - 39, p27-39 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Foka S., Hadfield K., Pluess M., Mareschal I., Promoting well-being in refugee children: An exploratory controlled trial of a positive psychology intervention delivered in Greek refugee camps, Development and Psychopathology, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Hadfield K., Ungar M., Family resilience: Emerging trends in theory and practice, Journal of Family Social Work, 21, (2), 2018, p81 - 84, p81-84 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Hadfield, K. & Nixon, E., Comparison of relationship dynamics within stepmother and stepfather families in Ireland., Irish Journal of Psychology, 33, 2012, p100 - 106 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Hadfield K., Nixon E., "He's Had Enough Fathers": Mothers' and Children's Approaches to Mothers' Romantic Relationships Following the Dissolution of Previous Partnerships, Journal of Family Issues, 39, (1), 2018, p271 - 295 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Hadfield, K. & Nixon, E., Including those that exclude themselves: Comparisons of self-identifying and non self-identifying stepfamilies., Journal of Family Studies, 19, (2), 2013, p209 - 218 Journal Article, 2013

Ungar M., Hadfield K., Amarasingam A., Morgan S., Grossman M., The association between discrimination and violence among Somali Canadian youth, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44, (13), 2018, p2273 - 2285, p2273-2285 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Ungar M., Hadfield K., Ikeda J., Adolescents' experiences of therapeutic relationships at high and low levels of risk and resilience, Journal of Social Work Practice, 32, (3), 2018, p277 - 292 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Ungar M., Hadfield K., The differential impact of environment and resilience on youth outcomes, Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 51, (2), 2019, p135 - 146, p135-146 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Clukay C.J., Dajani R., Hadfield K., Quinlan J., Panter-Brick C., Mulligan C.J., Association of MAOA genetic variants and resilience with psychosocial stress: A longitudinal study of Syrian refugees, PLoS ONE, 14, (7), 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Gatt J.M., Alexander R., Emond A., Foster K., Hadfield K., Mason-Jones A., Reid S., Theron L., Ungar M., Wouldes T.A., Wu Q., Trauma, Resilience, and Mental Health in Migrant and Non-Migrant Youth: An International Cross-Sectional Study Across Six Countries, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Grossman M., Hadfield K., Jefferies P., Gerrand V., Ungar M., Youth Resilience to Violent Extremism: Development and Validation of the BRAVE Measure, Terrorism and Political Violence, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Nixon, E. & Hadfield, K., Construction of Single Mothers' Roles as Gatekeepers Between Children and Nonresident Fathers, Journal of Family Issues, 39, (14), 2018, p3732 - 3752 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Wu Q., Ge T., Emond A., Foster K., Gatt J.M., Hadfield K., Mason-Jones A.J., Reid S., Theron L., Ungar M., Wouldes T.A., Acculturation, resilience, and the mental health of migrant youth: a cross-country comparative study, Public Health, 162, 2018, p63 - 70, p63-70 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Debasish Basu, Sugandha Nagpal, Victoria Mutiso, David M Ndetei, Zelna Lauwrens, Kristin Hadfield, Shubnum Singh, Kamaldeep S Bhui, Enhancing Resilience and Mental Health of Children and Adolescents by integrated School- and Family-based Approaches, with a Special Focus on Developing Countries: A Narrative Review and Call for Action, World Social Psychiatry, 1, (1), 2020, p7 - 19 Journal Article, 2020

Sion Kim Harris, Dana Seale, Yvonne Pande, Troy M. Lewis, Erin Gibson, Kristin Hadfield, Jordan Levinson, Paul Seale, Testing Feasibility/Acceptability and Initial Outcomes of a Spiritually-Based Character Strengths Training Curriculum to Enhance Resilience and Reduce Substance Use Rates Among Zambian Adolescents, Journal of Adolescent Health, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, 66, (2), 2020 Published Abstract, 2020

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kristin Hadfield, Luke Sartori, Dominic Akaateba, Kelly Hadfield, Hamideh Bayrampour, Gilbert Abiiro, 'Measurement of pregnancy-related anxiety worldwide', PROSPERO, 2020, - Protocol or guideline, 2020

Resilience to Prenatal Stress in, editor(s)Orit Taubman - Ben-Ari , Pathways and Barriers to Parenthood, Springer , 2019, pp127 - 153, [Michael Ungar, Kristin Hadfield, Nicole BushAmélie Quesnel-ValléeIgor Pekelny] Book Chapter, 2019

Michele Grossman, Michael Ungar, Joshua Brisson, Vivian Gerrand, Kristin Hadfield ,and Philip Jefferies, Understanding Youth Resilience to Violent Extremism: A Standardised Research Measure, 2017 Report, 2017

Clukay, CJ; Matarazzo, A; Dajani, R; Hadfield, K; Panter-Brick, C; Mulligan, CJ, FAAH, SLC6A4, and BDNF variants are not associated with psychosocial stress and mental health outcomes in a population of Syrian refugee youth, BioRxiv, 2019, p1-16 Journal Article, 2019

Linda Theron, Yael Abreu-Villaça, Marcus Augusto-Oliveira, Caroline Brennan, Maria Elena Crespo-Lopez, Gabriela de Paula Arrifano, Lilah Glazer, Liyuan Lin, Isabelle Mareschal, Luke Sartori, Liesl Stieger, Andres Trotta, & Kristin Hadfield, 'Effects of Pollution on Child and Adolescent Mental Health: A Protocol for a Systematic Review', Research Square, 2020, - Protocol or guideline, 2020

Research Expertise

Projects

  • Title
    • Family Intervention for Empowerment through Reading and Education (FIERCE)
  • Summary
    • Community-led, shared book-reading interventions can improve early childhood development and reduce inequity. One such program, We Love Reading (WLR), was implemented in Jordan in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and involves mothers reading stories to children. We will examine the potentially transformative nature of WLR, by (a) evaluating WLR qualitatively and quantitatively and (b) interviewing the people who developed and implemented WLR (WLR Ambassadors, women trained in WLR, children who took part) to create a toolkit for effectively developing and implementing non-formal education resources elsewhere. To address the first aim, we will conduct a grounded theory analysis of interviews with stakeholders (i.e. parents, children) and will conduct a quantitative randomized controlled trial with Syrian refugee women and children. This will allow us to understand how an education intervention may impact children's educational trajectories during war and displacement, and how we can effectively intervene in other humanitarian crisis contexts. For more information on the project, see: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/projects/education-learning-in-crises-developing-implementing-transformational-intervention/
  • Funding Agency
    • British Academy
  • Date From
    • March 2020
  • Title
    • Understanding and measuring pregnancy-related anxiety in low- and middle-income contexts: A pilot study in northern Ghana
  • Summary
    • Prenatal anxiety has been associated with poor health outcomes of mothers and children, but much of the evidence is based on high-income nations using measures that have been developed for the use in Western populations. Hence, we need first to systematically review research on prenatal anxiety in order to get a clear overview of levels of pregnancy-related anxiety and relations with maternal and neonatal mortality. Then, we will apply a bottom-up approach, using focus group discussions to investigate the domains of pregnancy-related anxiety in Ghanaian women. This will inform the adaptation and validation of a measure of prenatal anxiety that is culturally relevant and adapted to the context in Ghana. The adapted measure will be pilot tested in a survey study of 575 pregnant women in northern Ghana.
  • Funding Agency
    • UK Medical Research Council
  • Date From
    • January 2021
  • Date To
    • January 2022
  • Title
    • Effects of early childhood trauma on the development of healthy interpersonal skills
  • Summary
    • This aim of this project is to measure the psychological impact of forced migration on children's interpersonal skills, which are a strong predictor of their future mental health. Specifically, we ask whether the foundation of communication, emotion recognition, is impaired in these vulnerable children. Facial emotions convey critical information about state of mind and the inability to interpret emotional expressions is associated with clinical disorders. Sensitivity to facial emotions is impaired in children that have suffered abuse and it is therefore likely that refugee children who have endured or witnessed trauma may also have impaired emotion recognition, disrupting healthy social communication and increasing vulnerability to mental health issues. We will test this hypothesis and will evaluate the potential benefits of a low-cost, scalable intervention. To achieve this ambitious goal we have built a multidisciplinary team that joins world leading scientists and the multiple-award winning NGO "We Love Reading" (WLR), who bring story-telling to young refugee children in Jordan. Hearing and reading stories is a major source for learning social rules that can help children understand another person's emotional state. The collaboration therefore provides a unique opportunity to assess whether an affordable and easily implemented intervention can mitigate the effects of early adverse experiences on emotion recognition in children. Our proposal offers significant potential for academic and non-academic impact including for policy development in response to the growing refugee crisis.
  • Funding Agency
    • The Waterloo Foundation
  • Date From
    • November 2018
  • Date To
    • November 2019
  • Title
    • Evidence to assess the impact of COVID-19 on community-based dementia care in Nova Scotia
  • Funding Agency
    • Nova Scotia COVID-19 Health Research Coalition
  • Date From
    • July 2020
  • Title
    • Global Resilience Oral Workshops (GROW) Zambia: A storytelling approach to hope and resilience through character training and spiritual practices.
  • Funding Agency
    • John Templeton Foundation
  • Date From
    • September 2017
  • Date To
    • August 2019
  • Title
    • The effects of urbanization on life-long mental health - from individual to community
  • Funding Agency
    • Queen Mary University of London
  • Date From
    • November 2018
  • Date To
    • July 2019
  • Title
    • Understanding and promoting resilience factors and processes among caregivers of people with dementia
  • Funding Agency
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Date From
    • May 2017
  • Title
    • Patterns of resilience among youth in contexts of petrochemical production and consumption in the Global North and Global South
  • Funding Agency
    • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Date From
    • December 2016
  • Date To
    • January 2021
  • Title
    • Understanding youth resilience to violent extremism: A standardised measure
  • Funding Agency
    • Australian Attorney General's Department
  • Date From
    • July 2016
  • Date To
    • July 2017

Keywords

CHILD DEVELOPMENT; Children/Youth; FAMILY; Global Mental Health; Humanitarianism ; RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS; Refugees; resilience; Risk and resilience; Wellbeing