Dr Lucy Foulkes



I joined the department as a Lecturer in Psychology in Education in January 2018. Previous to this, I was a postdoctoral researcher at UCL’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (2015-2017). I worked in Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience lab, which investigates social, cognitive and neural development in adolescence. In this role I worked on MYRIAD, a national trial investigating the impact of mindfulness training in secondary schools.

I completed my PhD at UCL’s Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology department (2011-2014). This was an MRC-funded PhD in Mental Health. In my PhD I focused on social reward and its associations with psychopathic personality traits. I was supervised by Profs Essi Viding and Eamon McCrory and based in the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit.



I study adolescence, the period of substantial social, psychological and physical change that begins at puberty and ends with adult independence.

I am interested in two aspects of adolescence. The first is the development of social cognition during this period of time, when relationships with peers become increasingly complex and play a crucial role in adolescents’ wellbeing. I am especially interested in social reward - the aspects of social interactions that are enjoyable. As part of this strand of research, I have developed the Social Reward Questionnaire (for adults) and the Social Reward Questionnaire - Adolescent.

Second, I am interested in adolescent mental health. The majority of mental illness begins during adolescence, and I am interested in understanding what can be done, especially in schools, that can protect against this risk. To this end I am involved with MYRIAD, a large multisite study assessing the impact of school mindfulness training on adolescents’ wellbeing and resilience; this project is led by collaborators at UCL, Oxford and the CBU in Cambridge.

Research group(s)

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Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323155