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Exploring changes in well-being across key life transitions

   School of Psychological Science

About the Project

We conduct research on the causes and consequences of positive well-being across the life course. Positive well-being includes feelings of happiness, satisfaction with one’s life, and having meaning and purpose. A key question is what happens to our well-being at key life transitions, including puberty, emerging adulthood, when becoming a new parent, at the menopause and upon retirement from the workplace. Applications are invited on any of these life transitions. Our research uses a range of methods from psychology, genetics and epidemiology. Below is an example of how these methods could be applied to study the transition to parenthood.

Whilst there is a growing body of knowledge on mental health conditions in new parents, little is understood about how the onset of parenthood impacts positive aspects of our wellbeing, such as life satisfaction, meaning in life and happiness. This project will provide the first comprehensive exploration of the impact of new parenthood on wellbeing, exploring how parenting perturbs our basic psychological needs of competence, relatedness and autonomy; how parenting may have different impacts on hedonic versus eudaimonic aspects of our wellbeing; and how genetic and environmental predictors can be used to explore resilience to the impact of parenthood on adult wellbeing. The project will first focus on secondary data analysis of wellbeing and parenting data available in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, with the opportunity for new data collection to explore these initial findings in more depth.

Students should have a background in Psychology or a related discipline. Training in the methods needed for the project would be provided. The project will be supervised by Professor Claire Haworth:

Funding Notes

This project is available to international students who wish to self-fund their PhD or who have access to their own funding. Please contact Prof Claire Haworth directly for information about the project and how to apply ().
How to apply: Please make an online application for this project at View Website.
Please select the relevant PhD programme on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of this PhD studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

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