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Investigating fear of childbirth.

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Sheen
    Prof V Fleming
    Dr B Rosser
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Fear of birth (FOB) includes fears specific to giving birth and, when severe, resembles a phobic response (tokophobia). Fear of birth can impact upon maternal wellbeing during pregnancy and the postpartum, decisions made around birth, and infant development. There is recognition of a need to develop methods of mitigating FOB. Particularly absent is identification of psychological mechanisms that shape the formation of appraisals, increasing the likelihood that fear-based responses develop.

The PhD project will examine psychological mechanisms implicated in the development of FOB using mixed methods of data collection (quantitative, qualitative). The overarching aim will be to inform development of an intervention aimed at mitigating FOB.

Outstanding applicants are sought from areas such as psychology or related health sciences to join the School of Psychology, Faculty of Health at Liverpool John Moores University.

• A good first degree in psychology or related discipline is essential.
• A Master’s degree is highly desirable.
• Potential applicants should have experience in conducting systematic literature reviews, and both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
• Prior experience in conducting survey-based research and working in a clinical setting, particularly in areas relating to perinatal mental health, is desirable.

Funding Notes

Only UK & EU citizens can apply for this studentship. Funding will consist of full tuition fees for three years and the award of a living stipend at UK Research Council rates.


Applicants should email a CV, covering letter detailing their suitability for the project and contact details of two referees to: Dr Kayleigh Sheen [email protected]

For an informal discussion about this opportunity please email Dr Kayleigh Sheen ([email protected]) for more information.

Applicants must be available for interview in June 2020.

The successful applicant will be expected to start between 21st September and 2nd October 2020.

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