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Professor Jane Barlow



Professor of Public Health in the Early Years


WMS - Mental Health and Wellbeing
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 574884

Research Interests

Jane's main research interest is the role of early parenting in the aetiology of mental health problems, and in particular the evaluation of early interventions aimed at improving parenting practices and reducing the risk of child maltreatment, particularly during pregnancy and the postnatal period. She is Director of Warwick Infant and Family Wellbeing Unit, which provides training and research in innovative evidence-based methods of supporting parenting during pregnancy and the early years to a wide range of early years and primary care practitioners. In addition to research on the effectiveness of interventions to promote early parenting she has also undertaken extensive research in the field of child protection, and was an author on one of the recent Lancet international reviews of 'what works'. She recently co-authored a book about 'what works in the treatment of child emotional abuse', and a publication for Research in Practice entitled 'Safeguarding in the 21st Century: Where to now?'. She has also recently completed a DfE funded systematic review of the most effective models of decision-making in child protection, and is working with a number of local authorities to establish new care pathways to prevent child maltreatment. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, and recently became President of the UK Association of Infant Mental Health, and Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress to be held in Edinburgh in 2014. She is a collaborator with the International Preventing Violence across the Lifespan (PreVAiL) research network, and contributes to a range of national expert groups. She is an editor for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, co-chair of the Campbell Collaboration Social Welfare group, and on the editorial board for the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Disorders Group. She currently chairs Warwick Biomedical and Science Research Ethics Committee, and is an academic representative for Dignity at Work.


Following graduation from the University of Warwick, Jane moved to Oxford where she undertook an MSc in Sociology at Oriel College, and a DPhil at Nuffield College. Following completion of her doctorate, she was awarded an MRC NHS training Fellowship followed by a Primary Care Career Scientist Award, both of which she held at the University of Oxford. Jane was awarded honorary membership of the Faculty of Public Health in 2001, and an honorary Fellowship in 2003. She was appointed as Reader in Public Health at the University of Warwick in May 2005, and Professor in 2008. She is Director of the newly established Warwick Infant and Family Wellbeing Unit.

Research Projects

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Post Graduate Supervision

  • Parenting and Delinquency in Malyasia: A longitudinal study
  • Mixed-methods evaluation of the PEEP Reflective Parenting Perinatal Programme
  • The process of learning infant massage: A realist evaluation Date of Completion:2010
  • Families for Health: Evaluation of a family based obesity reduction programme Date of Completion:2009
  • Mums4Mums: Pilot RCT of a volunteer-based telephone support intervention for women with postnatal depression

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