Louise Arseneault, PhD

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience UK

Louise Arseneault  is Professor of Developmental Psychology and ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow. Louise Arseneault’s research focuses on the study of harmful behaviours such as violence and substance dependence, their developmental origins, their interconnections with mental health, and their consequences for victims. In the early stages of her career, she examined harmful behaviours as a developmental outcome, primarily in adolescents and in adults. Overtime, the focus of her research broadened to include harmful behaviours as causes of mental health problems. She has taken a developmental approach to investigate how the consequences of violence begin in childhood and persist to mild-life, by studying bullying victimisation and child maltreatment. Her research aims are to answer questions relevant to psychology and psychiatry by harnessing and combining 3 different research approaches: developmental research, epidemiological methods and genetically sensitive designs. Her work incorporates social as well as biological measurements.Louise completed her PhD in biomedical sciences at the University of Montreal and moved to the UK for a post-doctoral training at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. She has been working with well-known longitudinal cohorts such as the Montreal Longitudinal Cohorts, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study and the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally-representative sample of families with twins in England and Wales. She has also been exploring another important nationally-representative cohort, the National Child Development Survey (NCDS), with a Mid-Career Fellowship Award from the British Academy. She has recently been appointed the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Mental Health Leadership Fellow.Louise’s fellow role with the ESRC includes providing intellectual leadership and strategic advice in the priority area of mental health. It is a broad agenda including engaging research communities, promoting collaborations, advocating for mental health research, championing the co-design and co-production of research and providing advice to the ESRC and other research councils. Throughout the three year fellowship, she will play a vital role in championing the role of the social sciences in mental health research. She will advise on how social science research can best address the challenges that mental health poses for our society, communities and individuals.

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