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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Dr Sania Shakoor

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health,



I am a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health, Chartered Psychologist and multidisciplinary researcher, whose research interests lie in developmental psychopathology with a focus on youth adversity (i.e. bullying, stressful life events), violence (i.e. intimate partner violence) and inequalities in mental health conditions and service use and provision. To date my work has utilised genetically sensitive longitudinal data from large cohorts to explore risk and resiliency factors, and underlying mechanisms (i.e. cognitive processing) that shape the mental health of vulnerable young individuals. My recent works explore the experiences of mental health and associated antecedents, service care and health provisions in underserved populations, including those belonging to diverse backgrounds. Projects have utilised mixed methodologies, including participatory research methods, co-creation, creative arts, systematic reviews, qualitative interviews, focus groups, and quantitative statistical techniques.

I Co-Direct with Dr Georgina Hosang, the ASSET Research Group which undertakes research focused on life adversity (e.g., childhood maltreatment), mental and physical health across the life course, particularly in underserved communities. I am on the board of trustees for the anti-bullying charity Kidscape, and have collaborative networks with organisations such as the Muslim Mind Collaborative.

I completed my PhD in Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK. My thesis investigated cognitive mechanisms as a developmental pathway for children’s involvement in bullying and adjustment problems. After my doctoral studies, I joined Birkbeck, University of London as a Postdoctoral Researcher, where I conducted quantitative genetic research on psychotic experiences in adolescence. Before joining Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in 2018, I was a Lecturer at Kingston University, where I was the Course director for MSc Child Psychology. I have experience in lecturing and supervising students on a variety of topics related to psychopathology, forensic mental health, child development, individual differences, environmental and genetic factors. At QMUL I currently lecture and supervise students on the MSc in Psychological Therapies, and MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health.


Research Interests:

  • Development of mental health problems in childhood and adolescence (i.e. psychotic experiences)
  • Interpersonal violence (i.e. bullying, intimate partner violence, youth violence)
  • Genetic and environmental influences which contribute to risk and promote resilience to youth adversity, violence and mental health difficulties
  • Prevalence and experiences of violence and mental health difficulties in minority groups

Experiences of mental health and associated antecedents, service care and health provisions in underserved populations


Please click through to see a complete list of Sania's publications

Outstanding publications 

  1. Shakoor, S., Theobald, D., Ttofi, M.M., Farrington, D.P (2020) Intergenerational Continuity of Intimate Partner Violence: an investigation of possible mechanisms. Journal of Interpersonal Violence: epub
  2. Shakoor, S., McGuire, P., Cardno, A.G., Freeman, D., Ronald, A. (2018) A twin study exploring the association between childhood emotional and behaviour problems and specific psychotic experiences in a community sample of adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 59, 565-573.
  3. Shakoor, S., Zavos, H., Haworth, C.M.A., McGuire, P., Cardno, A.G., Freeman, D., Ronald, A. (2016) Association between stressful life events and psychotic experiences in adolescence: evidence for gene-environment correlations. British Journal of Psychiatry 208: 532-538
  4. Shakoor, S., Zavos, H., McGuire, P., Cardno, A.G., Freeman, D, Plomin, R., Ronald, A. (2015) Psychotic experiences and cannabis use are linked in adolescence because of common environmental risk factors: No evidence for a shared genetic propensity. Psychiatry Research 30: 144-51
  5. Shakoor, S., McGuire, P., Cardno, A.G., Freeman, D., Plomin, R., Ronald, A. (2015) A shared genetic propensity underlies experiences of bullying victimization in late childhood and self-rated paranoid thinking in adolescence. Schizophrenia Bulletin 41: 754-63.
  6. Bowes, L., Maughan, B., Ball, H., Shakoor, S., Ouellet-Morin, I., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., & Arseneault, L. (2013) Chronic bullying victimization across school transitions: The role of genetic and environmental influences. Development and Psychopathology 25: 333-346
  7. Shakoor, S., Jaffee, S.R., Bowes, L., Ouellet-Morin, I., Andreou, P., Happé, F., Moffitt, T.E., & Arseneault, L., (2012). A prospective longitudinal study of children’s theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 53:254-261
  8. Shakoor, S., Jaffee, S., Andreou, P., Bowes, L., Ambler, A.P., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., Arseneault, L. (2011) Mothers and children as informants of bullying victimisation: Results from an epidemiological cohort of children. Journal of abnormal child psychology 39:379-387
  9. Ouellet-Morin, I., Odgers, C.L., Danese, A., Bowes, L., Shakoor, S., Papadopoulos, A.S., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E., & Arseneault, L. (2011). Blunted cortisol responses to stress signal social and behavioral problems among maltreated/bullied 12 year-old children. Biological Psychiatry 70:1016-1023
  10. Ouellet-Morin, I., Danese, A., Bowes, L., Shakoor, S., Ambler, A.P., Pariante, C., Papadopoulos, a., Caspi,A., Moffitt, T.E., Arseneault, L. (2011) A discordant MZ twin design shows blunted cortisol reactivity among bullied children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 50: 574-582
  11. Arseneault, L., Bowes, L., Shakoor, S. (2010) Bullying victimization in youths and mental health problems: 'Much ado about nothing'? Psychological Medicine 40:717-729.
  12. Riazi, A., Shakoor, S., Dundas, I., Eiser, C., McKenzie, S.A. (2010) Health-related quality of life in a mixed-ethnic clinical sample of obese children and adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 8:134-139
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