BA, MSc, PhD, OBE, FBA
Kathleen Kiernan joined the school in October 2004 she was previously Professor of Social Policy and Demography at the London School of Economics and Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, at LSE. Prior to LSE she was Research Director at the Family Policy Studies Centre in London; Deputy Director of the Social Statistics Research Unit at City University; a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and she began her career with the MRC on the National Survey of Heath and Development. Much of her research uses longitudinal data from the British Birth Cohort Studies including the 1946, 1958, 1970 and the Millennium Cohort Study and more recently comparative data from a range of European countries and the USA. In 2003 she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Social Sciences, Australian National University and from 2004-2016 an annual Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Child Research and Well-Being at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA. She was member of The Good Childhood Inquiry, the Family Commission and was Vice President of The European Association of Population Studies. She is currently a member of the International Panel of the Deaton Review on Inequalities in the UK. In 2006 she was awarded an OBE for services to Social Science and in 2012 was elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy.
Current research interests and projects:
Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) Nuffield Foundation funded project on Families and Inequalities in the UK: Sam Crossman and Angus Phimister, IFS.
Kiernan, K., Crossman, S. and Phimister, A. (2022), ‘Families and inequalities’, IFS Deaton Review of Inequalities
Understanding the lives of separating and separated families in the UK: what evidence do we need? Family separation scoping study - Report (PDF , 940kb) Caroline Bryson, Susan Purdon and Amy Skipp with Anne Barlow, Tamsin Ford, Joan Hunt, Kathleen Kiernan, Hamish Low, Stephen McKay, Joanna Miles and Liz Trinder. Nuffield Foundation, May 2017.
Executive Summary: Fathers and Partners in Life Study - Groundwork, Outcomes and Lessons Executive Summary Life Study KK 240816 (PDF , 471kb). Nuffield Foundation, August 2016.
Fathers and Partners in Life Study: Groundwork, Outcomes and Lessons KKFathers and Partners in LS Report to NF 20816 (1) (PDF , 1,202kb). Nuffield Foundation, August 2016.
Fathers and Partners in National and International Birth Cohort Studies Cohort Studies Final 0816 (PDF , 922kb). Nuffield Foundation, January 2014.
Garriga, A. and Kiernan, K. E. (2014) Parents’ relationship quality, mother-child relations and children’s behaviour problems: evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, Working Paper, University of York. Garriga-KiernanWP2014 (PDF , 556kb), see also: Garriga-Kiernan-tables-graphsWP2014 (PDF , 152kb).
Hobcraft, J. N. and Kiernan, K. E. (2010) Predictive factors from age 3 and infancy for poor child outcomes at age 5 relating to children’s development, behaviour and health: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study, University of York. Available online (PDF , 1,250kb), see also: Tables and Figures (PDF , 2,000kb).
Holmes, J. and Kiernan, K. (2010) Fragile Families in the UK: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study. Available online (PDF , 861kb).
Kiernan, K. E. and Mensah, F. K. (2009) Maternal indicators in pregnancy and children’s infancy that signal future outcomes for children’s development, behaviour and health: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study, University of York. Available online (PDF , 2,968kb).
Kiernan, K., McLanahan, S., Holmes, J. and Wright, M. ( 2020) Unmarried Families in the UK and US, Chapter 9 in Handbook on Demographic Change and the Lifecourse, Edited by J. Falkingham, M. Evandrou and A. Vlachantoni, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK.
M.J. Jackson, K. Kiernan and S. McLanahan (2017) Maternal Education, Changing Family Circumstances, and Children’s Skill Development in the United States and UK. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 674, 1, 59-64 Article first published online: October 25, 2017; Issue published: November 1, 2017.
Holmes, J. and Kiernan, K. (2013) 'Persistent poverty and children's development in the early years of childhood'. Policy and Politics. 41(1), 19-41. doi:10.1332/030557312X645810. Available online via ingentaconnect.
Prady SL, Kiernan K, Fairley L, Wilson S, Wright J. (2013) 'Self-reported maternal parenting style and confidence and infant temperament in a multi-ethnic community: Results from the born in Bradford cohort', Journal of Child Health Care. June 6. [Epub ahead of print] 8(4): e60693. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060693. Available online via PLoS One.
Prady, S.L., Kiernan, K., Fairley, L. and Wright, J. (2013) 'Parenting and Infant Temperament among Pakistani women living in the UK according to country of birth: results from the Born in Bradford Study', Journal of Child Care in Practice. doi:10.1080/13575279.2013.799458. Available online via T&F.
Prady, S. and Kiernan, K.E. (2013) 'The effect of post-natal mental distress among Indian and Pakistani mothers living in England on children’s behavioural outcomes', Child: Care, Health and Development. 39(5), 710-721. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2012.01426.x. Available online via Wiley.
Prady, S.L., Miles, J.N., Pickett, K.E., Fairley, L., Bloor, K., Gilbody, S., Kiernan, K., Mann, R., Wright, J. (2013) 'The psychometric properties of the subscales of the GHQ-28 in a multi-ethnic maternal sample: results from the Born in Bradford cohort,' BMC Psychiatry. 13:55 (15 February). doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-55.
Prady, S.L., Pickett, K.E., Croudace, T., Fairley, L., Bloor, K., Gilbody, S., Kiernan, K., Wright, J. (2013) 'Psychological Distress during Pregnancy in a Multi-Ethnic Community: Findings from the Born in Bradford Cohort Study,' PLoS ONE. 8(4):e60693. doi:101371/journal/pone.0060693.
Jackson, M., Kiernan, K. and McLanahan, S. (2012) 'Immigrant-Native Differences in Child Health: Does Maternal Education Narrow or Widen the Gap?', Journal of Child Development. 83(5), 1501-1509.
Jackson, M., McLanahan, S. and Kiernan, K. (2012) 'Nativity Differences in Mothers’ Health Behaviours: A Cross-National and Longitudinal Lens', The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. 643(1), 192-218.
Prady, S., Kiernan, K.E., Bloor, K. and Pickett, K.E. (2012) 'Do risk factors for post-partum smoking vary according to marital status?', Maternal and Child Health. 16(7), 1364-1373.
Shaw, R. J., Atkin, K., Bécares, L., Albor, C. B., Stafford, M., Kiernan, K. E., Nazroo, J. Y., Wilkinson, R. G. and Pickett, K. E. (2012) 'Impact of ethnic density on adult mental disorders: narrative review', The British Journal of Psychiatry: the journal of mental science. 201(1), 11-19.
Bécares, L., Shaw, R., Nazroo, J., Stafford, M., Albor, C., Atkin, K., Kiernan, K., Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2012) Ethnic Density Effects on Physical Morbidity, Mortality, and Health Behaviours: A Systematic Review of the Literature', American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300832.
Kiernan, K., McLanahan, S., Holmes, J. and Wright, M. (2011) Fragile Families in the US and UK Fragile Families. Working Paper WP 11-04-FF. Center for Research on Child Well-Being, Princeton University. Available online.
Kiernan, K. E. and Mensah, F. K. (2011) 'Poverty, Family Resources and Children's Educational Attainment: The Mediating Role of Parenting', British Educational Research Journal. 37(2), 317-336. Available online via informaworld [PDF/HTML]. Awarded the British Educational Research Association 2012 annual award for paper of the year.
Mensah, F. K. and Kiernan, K. E. (2011) 'Maternal general health and children’s cognitive development and behaviour in the early years: findings from the Millennium Cohort Study', Child: Care, Health and Development. 37(1), 44-54. Available online via Wiley [PDF/HTML].
Kiernan, K. E. and Mensah, F. K. (2010) 'Unmarried Parenthood, Family Trajectories, Parent and Child Well-Being,' in: Hansen, K., Joshi, H., and Dex, S., (eds) Children of the 21st Century: From birth to age 5, Policy Press. pp 77-94. Available online (PDF , 342kb).
Mensah, F. K. and Kiernan, K. E. (2010) 'Parents' mental health and children's cognitive and social development', Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 45(11), 1023-1035. Available online.
Mensah, F. K. and Kiernan, K. E. (2009) 'Gender differences in educational attainment: Influences of the family environment,' British Educational Research Journal. Published online 7th May 2009: Available online.
Kiernan, K. E. and Mensah, F. K. (2009) 'Poverty, Maternal Depression, Family Status and Children's Cognitive and Behavioural development in Early Childhood: A longitudinal study,' Journal of Social Policy, 38(4), 569-588. Available via Cambridge Journals Online [PDF].
Pickett, K. E., Shaw, R. J., Atkin, K., Kiernan, K. E. and Wilkinson, R. G. (2009) 'Ethnic density effects on maternal and infant health in the Millennium Cohort Study,' Social Science and Medicine, 69(10), 1476-1483.
Kiernan, K. E. (2008) 'Partnership and Parenthood,' in Elliott, J. and Vaitinglinham, R. (eds) Now we are 50: Key Findings from the National Child Development Study, CLS:IOE;ESRC.
Kiernan, K. E. and Huerta, M. C. (2008) 'Economic Deprivation, Maternal Depression, Parenting and Children's Cognitive and Emotional Development in Early Childhood,' British Journal of Sociology, 59(4), 783-806. Available online (PDF , 319kb).
Kiernan, K. E., Barlow, A. and Merlo, R. (2007) 'Cohabitation Law Reform and its impact on Marriage: Evidence from Australia and Europe International,' Family Law, 63, 71-74.
Kiernan, K. E. and Pickett, K. (2006) 'Marital Status Disparities In Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding And Maternal Depression,' Social Science and Medicine, 63, 335-346.
Kiernan, K. E. (2006) 'Non-residential fatherhood and child involvement: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study,' Journal of Social Policy, 35(4), 651-669.
Kiernan, K. E., Barlow, A. and Merlo, R. (2006) 'Cohabitation Law Reform and its impact on Marriage,' Family Law, 36, 1074-1076.
Sigle-Rushton, W., Hobcraft, J. and Kiernan, K. (2005) 'Parental Disruption and Adult Well-Being: A Cross Cohort Comparison', Demography, 43(3), 427-446.
Kiernan, K. E. (2005) 'Parenthood and Parenting', in Dex, S. and Joshi, H. (eds) Children of the 21st Century: from birth to nine months, Bristol: Policy Press.
Kiernan, K. E. (2004) 'Unmarried Cohabitation and Parenthood in Britain and Europe,' Journal of Law and Policy, 26(1), 33-55.
Kiernan, K. E. (2004) 'Cohabitation and divorce across nations and generations,' in Chase-Lansdale, P.L., Kiernan, K. and Friedman, r. (eds) Human Development across Lives and Generations: The Potential for Change, New York, Cambridge University Press. Also available as CASEpaper, No. 65.
Kiernan, K. E. (2004) 'Unmarried cohabitation and parenthood: here to stay? European perspectives,' in Moynihan, D. P., Smeeding, T. and Rainwater, L. (eds) The Future of the Family, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 66-95.
Kiernan, K. E. (2004) 'Redrawing the boundaries of marriage,' Journal of Marriage and the Family, November, 66, 980-987.
Kiernan, K. E. (2003) 'Changing European families: trends and issues,' in Scott, J., Treas, J. and Richards, M. (eds) Blackwell Companion to Sociology of the Family, Oxford Blackwell.
Kiernan, K. E. and Smith, K. (2003) 'Unmarried Parenthood: New Insights from the Millennium Cohort Study,' Population Trends, Winter 2003, 23-33.
Kiernan, K. E. (2002) 'Cohabitation in Western Europe: trends, issues and implications,' in Booth, A. and Crouter, A. (eds) Just Living Together: Implications of Cohabitation on Families, Children and Social Policy, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 3-31.
Kiernan, K. E. (2002) 'The State of European Unions: An Analysis of Partnership Formation and Dissolution,' in Macura, M. and Beets, G. (eds) Dynamics of fertility and partnership in Europe: insights and lessons from comparative research, UN New York and Geneva, Vol. 1, 57-76.
Kiernan, K. E. (2002) 'Demography and Disadvantage: Chicken and Egg?', in Hills, J., LeGrand, J. and Piachaud, D. (eds) Understanding Social Exclusion, OUP, 84-96.
Kiernan, K. E. (2002) 'Splits hit children's life chances,' THE HOUSE magazine: the Parliamentary Weekly, June 10th, No 995, Vol. 27.
Kiernan, K. E. (2002) 'Focus on Parenthood in Europe,' Bulletin Plus One Plus One, October 2002, 6(4).
Kiernan, K. E. (2001) 'The rise of cohabitation and childbearing outside of marriage in Western Europe,' International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 15(1), 1-21.
Furstenberg, F. F. and Kiernan, K. E. (2001) 'Delayed Parental Divorce: How much do children benefit?', Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63(2), 446-457.
Hobcraft, J. and Kiernan, K. E. (2001) 'Childhood Poverty, Early Motherhood and Adult Social Exclusion,' British Journal of Sociology, 52(3), 495-517.
Kiernan, K. E. (2001) 'Non-marital childbearing: a European Perspective,' in Wu, L. and Wolfe, B. (eds) Out of Wedlock: Causes and Consequences of Nonmarital Fertility, Russell Sage Foundation, 77-108.
Kiernan, K. E. (2001) 'Partnership Formation and Dissolution in Western Societies,' in Smelser, N. and Baltes, P. (eds) Encyclopaedia of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Pergamon Oxford, 11092-11099.
Kiernan, K. E. (2000) 'European Perspectives on Union Formation', in Waite, L., Bachrach, C., Hindin, M., Thomson, E., and Thornton, A., (eds) Ties that Bind: Perspectives on Marriage and Cohabitation. Hawthorne: Aldine de Gruyter.
Kiernan, K. E. and Cherlin, A. (1999) 'Parental divorce and partnership dissolution in adulthood: evidence from a British cohort study,' Population Studies, 53(2), 39-48.
Kiernan, K. E. and Mueller, G. (1999) 'Who divorces?', in McRae, S. (ed) Changing Britain: Families and Households in the 1990s, Oxford University Press.
Kiernan, K. E. (1999) 'Cohabitation in Western Europe,' Population Trends, No. 96, 25-32.
Kiernan, K. E. (1999) 'Childbearing outside marriage in Western Europe,' Population Trends, No. 98, 11-20.
Chase-Lansdale, P. L., Kiernan, K. and Friedman, R. (eds) (2004) The Potential for Change across Lives and Generations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Cambridge University Press.
Kiernan, K., Land, H. and Lewis, J. (1998) Lone Motherhood in the Twentieth Century: from footnote to front page, Oxford University Press.
Kiernan, K. and Estaugh, V. (1993) Cohabitation Extra-marital Childbearing and Social Policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation/Family Policy Studies Centre.
Kiernan, K. and Wicks, M. (1990) Family Change and Future Policy, Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trust, York.
Kiernan, K.E. (1998) Parenthood and Family Life in the United Kingdom. Review of Population and Social Policy,No 7, 1-19.
Kiernan, K and J. N. Hobcraft (1997) Parental divorce during childhood: age at first intercourse, partnership and parenthood. Population Studies, Vol 51, No 1. 41-55.
Kiernan, K (1997) The Changing Demography of Partnership and Parenthood. Benefits: a Journal of Social Security Research, Policy and Practice.
Kiernan, K (1997) Becoming a Young Parent: a longitudinal study of associated factors. British Journal of Sociology, Vol 48, No 3, 406-428.
Kiernan, K (1997) The legacy of parental divorce: social, economic and demographic experiences in adulthood.STICERD-LSE-ESRC Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, CASE Paper No 1.
Kiernan, K. E. (1996) Family Change: Parenthood, Partnership and Policy. In D. Halpern, S. Wood, S. White and G. Cameron (Eds) Options for Britain. Dartmouth, Aldershot. 185-205.
Kiernan, K (1996) Partnership behaviour in Europe: recent trends and issues. In Ed D. Coleman Europe’s Population Oxford University Press. pg 62-91.
Lewis, J and K. Kiernan (1996) The boundaries between marriage, non-marriage and parenthood: changes in behaviour and policy in post-war Britain. Journal of Family History, Vol 20, No 3, 372-387.
Kiernan, K (1996) Lone-motherhood, employment and outcomes for children. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family. Vol 3, No 3, 233-249.
Kiernan. K.E (1995) Transition to parenthood: Young mothers, young fathers: associated factors and later life experiences. LSE-STICERD Discussion Paper, No. 113, 54pg.
Cherlin, K.E. Kiernan and P. L. Chase-Lansdale (1995) Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood. Demography, Vol. 32, 3, 299-318.
Hobcraft, J.N. and K.E Kiernan (1995) Becoming a Parent in Europe. Plenary paper for European Population Conference. In EAPS/IUSSP Proceedings of European Population Conference Milan, September. 27-65.
Chase-Lansdale, P. L., A. Cherlin and K.E. Kiernan (1995) The long-term effects of parental divorce on the mental health of young adults: a developmental perspective. Child Development. Vol. 66, 1614-1634.
Kiernan, K.E. (1992) The Impact of Family Disruption in Childhood on Transitions Made in Young Adult Life.Population Studies, Vol. 46, No. 2. 213-234.
Kiernan, K.E. (1992) The respective roles of men and women in tomorrow's Europe. In Proceedings of the Eurostat Conference on "Human Resources in Europe: at the dawn of the 21st century", 29. Version also published in Employment Gazette, October 1992. Entitled 'The roles of men and women in tomorrow's Europe'.
Kiernan, K.E (1992) Men and Women at work and home. In Eds R. Jowell, L. Brook and G. Prior. The British Social Attitudes Survey , 9th Report, 89-112.
Cherlin,A., Furstenberg Jnr., F.F., Chase-Lansdale, P.L., Kiernan, K. E., Robins, P., Morrison, D.R. and Teitler, J. O. (1991) Longitudinal Studies of Effects of Divorce on Children in Great Britain and the United States. Science, Vol. 252, 1386-1389, June 1991.
Kiernan, K.E. (1991) Transitions in Young Adulthood. In M. Murphy and J. N. Hobcraft (Eds). Population Research in Britain, Special Supplement to Population Studies, Vol 55, 95-114. Population Investigation Committee, London.
Kiernan, K.E. (1991) Changing Marriage Patterns. Journal of Social Work Practice . Vol 5, No. 2, 123-131.
Kiernan, K.E, (1989) The Departure of Children: the timing of leaving home in the life-cycles of parents and children. In Grebenik, E., Hohn, C., and Mackenson,R. (Eds). The Later Phases of the Family Life Cycle, Oxford University Press, 120-144.
Kiernan, K.E. (1989) The family: fission or fusion. In H. Joshi (Ed) The Changing Population of Britain , Basil Blackwell, Oxford. 27-41.
Kiernan, K.E. (1989) Who remains Childless? Journal of Biosocial Science, Vol. 20, No. 4, 387-398.
Haskey, J and K.E. Kiernan (1989) Cohabitation in Great Britain -characteristics and estimated numbers of cohabiting partners. Population Trends, No. 58, 23-32.
Kiernan, K.E and S.M..Eldridge (1985) A demographic analysis of first marriages in England and Wales 1950 to 1980. Centre for Population Studies Research Paper. No. 85‑1, 60pg.
Kiernan, K.E. (1988) Who remains celibate? Journal of Biosocial Science, 20, 3, 253-263.
Kiernan, K.E. (1988) The British Family: Contemporary trends and issues. Journal of Family Issues, Vol 9, 3, 298-316.
Kiernan, K.E. and S.Eldridge (1987) Inter and intra cohort variation in the timing of first marriage. British Journal of Sociology, 38, 1, 44-65.
Kiernan, K.E. (1986) Teenage marriage and marital breakdown: a longitudinal study. Population Studies 40, 1, 35-54.
Kiernan, K.E (1986) Leaving home:living arrangements of young people in six West-European countries.European Journal of Population,2, 2/3, 177-184.
Eldridge S. and K.E.Kiernan, (1985) Declining first marriage rates in England and Wales: a change in timing or rejection of marriage? European Journal of Population, 1, 4,327-345.
Kiernan, K.E (1983) The structure of families today: continuity or change? In British Society for Population Studies, The Family , OPCS Occasional Paper 31. 17-36.
Kiernan, K.E. and I. Diamond (1983) The age at which childbearing starts: a longitudinal study. Population Studies 37, 3, 363-380.
Atkins, E., Cherry, N.M., Douglas, J.W.B., Kiernan, K.E. and Wadsworth, M.E.J. (1981) The 1946 British birth survey: an account of the origins, progress and results of the National Survey of Health and Development. In Mednick, S.A. and Baest, A.E. (Eds), An Empirical Basis for Primary Prevention: Prospective Longitudinal Research in Europe, Oxford University Press.
Brown, A and K.E. Kiernan. (1981) Cohabitation in Great Britain: evidence from the General Household Survey,Population Trends, 25, 4-10.
Kiernan, K.E. (1980) Characteristics of young people who move inter-regionally. In Hobcraft, J.N. and Rees, P., (Eds), Regional Demographic Development, Croom-Helm, London. 211-227.
Kiernan, K.E.(1980) Teenage motherhood: associated factors and consequences. Journal of Biosocial Science,12, 4, 393-405.
Douglas, J.W.B. Kiernan, K.E. and Wadsworth, M.E.J. (1977) Illness and Behaviour, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 70, 530-532.
Kiernan, K.E. (1977) Age at puberty in relation to age at marriage and parenthood: a national longitudinal study, Annals of Human Biology, 4, 301-308.
Cherry N. and K.E. Kiernan, (1976) Personality scores and smoking behaviour, British Journal of Preventative and Social Medicine, 30, 123-131.
Kiernan, K.E., Colley, J.R.T., Douglas, J.W.B. and Reid, D.D. (1976) Chronic cough in young adults in relation to smoking habits, childhood environment and chest illness, Respiration, 33, 236-244.
Kiernan, K (1971) The Illegitimacy phenomenon of England and Wales in the 1950s and 1960s. Unpublished MSc Dissertation in Demography, London School of Economics. Download (PDF , 6,287kb).
Chase-Lansdale, P. L., Kiernan, K. and Friedman, R. (eds) (2004) Human Development Across Lives and Generations. Cambridge: CUP.
Kiernan, K., Land, H. and Lewis, J. (1998) Lone Motherhood in the Twentieth Century Britain. Oxford: OUP.