School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Kristin Hadfield


Lecturer in Positive Psychology

Room Number: Room 2.04, Fogg Building


Dr. Kristin Hadfield is Lecturer in positive psychology at Queen Mary University of London. She completed her PhD in psychology at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland in 2015. Kristin has since worked as a visiting research specialist in the Department of Health Systems Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2015) and as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University (2015-2017).


  • Positive Psychology (PSY119)
  • Essential Skills for Psychologists (PSY100)
  • Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology II (PSY209)


Research Interests:

My research focuses on resilience and wellbeing. In particular, I am interested in what makes children and adolescents thrive when faced with adverse or challenging situations. I have two main foci through which I explore protective processes, as well as a number of additional projects with which I am involved. The first assesses how risk and protective factors at the familial level interact to influence children and parents during changes in family structure. The second examines protective processes and resilience trajectories among refugee and migrant youth.

Current Projects

Family instability: I study the conditions under which changes in family structure can cause stress and what might ameliorate that stress. I explore the circumstances under which family transitions can be positive for health and wellbeing, as well as how to reduce the stress of family transitions.

Family processes: Primarily using Growing Up in Ireland data, myself and a group of researchers in Ireland are examining family relationships across childhood. We are particularly interested in children respond differently to these relationships, and to how relationships within a family impact one another.

Refugee and migrant youth: I am interested in how trauma exposure and the stress of movement and resettlement affects youth, as well as how protective processes and factors in their environments may improve their outcomes. This work takes a multi-method approach to examine changes at multiple levels (biological, cognitive, etc).

Resilience in the developmental origins of health and disease: Myself and a team of researchers are seeking to advance understanding of prenatal influences on the development of mental health problems. Specifically, we are examining the effects of protective factors during pregnancy and early childhood.

An intervention to build resilience: I am involved with an intervention Global Resilience Oral Workshops) which uses a storytelling approach to bolster resilience through character and spiritual training in Zambia.

Resilience to violent extremism: I have been working with researchers in Australia and Canada to develop a measure of resilience to violent extremism. This measure evaluates resilience at multiple levels to gain a holistic understanding.

Youth in challenging contexts: I am working with researchers in Canada and South Africa to understand patterns of resilience among youth in contexts of petrochemical production and consumption. This project examines the interactions between the biological and psychological resilience of youth, families, communities, and environmental systems.

Research department