I was born in London, but as I was raised in Texas, my passport and accent are both of the American persuasion!
I returned to the UK five years ago to take an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Sociology and Politics at Cambridge. Through getting to know members of the street-life community, helping at a creche for teenage parents, and working on a research project about children on the Autism Spectrum, I became increasingly interesed in supporting higher-risk children and families. I met Dr Joanna Hawthorne, head of the Brazelton Centre in Great Britain in my second year, and got involved in the field of infant mental health. I became a trained facilitator of the Newborn Behavior Observations System in March, 2012, and earned my BA (2:1) the next month, including a First and the Jessie Forbes Prize for the dissertation.
After graduation, I travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to take a master's course at the University of Edinburgh in Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice. During the jam-packed 12-month degree, I focused my term papers on infant mental health, and wrote a systematic review of the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) for my dissertation. I finished in September 2013 with an MSc with Distinction.
That summer I was awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship, giving me the opportunity to become a full-time PhD student in the University of Warwick Medical School Division of Mental Health and Well-being. I am earning my certification in the NBAS, and enjoying being back in Cambridge. The project I'm developing is a pilot intervention evaluation to assess the use of the NBAS as a research tool and an intervention for caregivers and newborns in The Republic of The Gambia, under the supervision of Professors Jane Barlow and Dieter Wolke, and with the gracious support of many others. You can follow my travel and fiedlwork blog here.
I hope that by the end of this degree, I will have (1) offered, through word-of-mouth and through conferences, seminars and other mediums, information of value to parents of newborns at home and abroad, (2) communicated warmth and respect to the families who allow me into their lives during fieldwork and (3) contributed a project of high value and quality to the academic discipline of infant mental health.
S. Christine Bartram
S dot C dot Bartram at warwick dot ac dot uk