Accessibility statement

Dr Jenny Threlfall

 MA Eng Lang, MA Social Work (Edinburgh) and PhD Social Work (USA)

  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work
  • Admissions Tutor (MA Social Work)
  • Teaching Partnership Lead
  • System integration in health, social care and social work Interdisciplinary Cluster Lead


Areas of Expertise

  • Parenting
  • Academic Achievement
  • Racial and economic inequality

Academic Biography

I qualified as a social worker in 2003 and then worked in various youth development and educational settings in the UK and US. Most recently I worked with African American teens and their families in an inner city neighbourhood of St. Louis, Missouri. I stayed in the US for my doctoral studies, graduating from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis in the summer of 2015.

My dissertation research focused on the ways in which African American caregivers were involved in their children’s high school education and planning for college in the context of racial and economic inequality. I used qualitative methods to explore the challenges families faced as a result of factors such as segregated neighbourhoods and school systems. My study also highlighted forms of cultural wealth present in the low-income urban communities that participants lived in.

Other recent research projects I have been involved in have included the adaptation of an evidence based parenting program for urban African American fathers and an intervention study of trauma treatment for girls in child welfare.

I joined the School for Business and Society in August 2015.

  • MA English Language and Literature: University of St. Andrews
  • Masters in Social Work: University of Edinburgh
  • PhD in Social Work: Washington University in St. Louis, USA Dissertation: Parent involvement in education and college planning for African American high school students


Current Research Projects

My research interests centre on developmental outcomes for young people in the context of racial and economic inequality. I am especially interested in issues related to parenting.

Although I use various research methods, I have particular expertise in qualitative interviewing and analysis.

2019 to 2021: Parents and their Communities. A qualitative study of the potential for asset-based approaches to support parents with learning difficulties. Co-investigator with Dr Katie Graham and Dr Hannah Jobling. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research for Patient Benefit Programme.


Auslander, W., Myers, S., Threlfall, J.M., Edmond, T., & Dunn, J. (in press). Mental health pathways linking childhood maltreatment to interpersonal revictimisation during adolescence for girls in child welfare. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Threlfall, J.M., & Kohl, P.L., (2015). Addressing child support in fatherhood programs: Perspectives of fathers and service providers. Family Relations, 64(2), 291-304.

Threlfall, J. M., Seay, K. D., & Kohl, P. L. (2013). The parenting role of African-American fathers in the context of urban poverty. Journal of Children and Poverty, 19(1), 45-61.

Stahlschmidt, M. J., Threlfall, J.M., Seay, K. D., Lewis, E. M., & Kohl, P. L.(2013). Recruiting fathers to parenting programs: Advice from dads and fatherhood program providers. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(10), 1734-1741.





Jenny Threlfall

Contact details

Dr Jenny Threlfall
Senior Lecturer in Social Work Teaching Partnership Lead
School for Business and Society

Tel: 01904 32 1253