Cambridge University

Professor Gordon Harold

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In an academic career that began in Ireland, and has taken him to the United States and the universities of Cardiff, Otago and Sussex, Gordon Harold’s most recent appointment is with the Faculty of Education, as Cambridge’s first Professor of the Psychology of Education and Mental Health.

My research examines factors that positively or negatively affect young people’s mental health and development from birth to age 18+ years. It’s asking the question: how do we promote a well-functioning young person who is positioned to do well in life? To do that, it addresses the connections between domestic adversity — conflict between parents, for example, the interplay with biological susceptibility factors (e.g. genetics) — disorders such as anxiety, depression, conduct problems, neurodevelopmental problems and other long-term developmental outcomes such as attainment at school.

These problems and the factors that affect them need to be identified early and supported in the right way if we want to prevent them from causing life-long, debilitating conditions. That means directing the right professionals to the right targets, which in turn means understanding which targets to aim for, and how we implement effective interventions, and prevention frameworks. It’s an exciting field that requires considerable flexibility, because the scientific knowledge base changes constantly.

Research pillars
  • Public mental health

News and Events

CPH Showcase Talks Now Available
CPH Showcase Talks Now Available -

Talks from the CPH Annual Showcase on Health Inequalities are now available on the Cambridge Public Health YouTube channel. These include presentations by Professor Kevin Fenton and Professor Mike Kelly.