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Lucy Betts

Lucy Betts


School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Lucy is a Professor in Social Developmental Psychology and the Postgraduate Research Tutor for the School of Social Sciences supporting doctoral candidates across the School.   As part of the undergraduate psychology courses, Lucy contributes to the social development in children and adolescents module. At Masters level, Lucy contributes to modules on social psychology. Lucy also supervises a number of PhD candidates working in the area of social development and leads the bullying and aggressive behaviour research group.

Career overview

Lucy previously worked at Keele University as a Lecturer and Teaching Fellow.

Research areas

Lucy's main research interests lie within the area of social developmental psychology. In particular, Lucy's work focuses on experiences of cyber bullying, face-to-face bullying, and harassment.  One current strand of research examines young people’s experiences of cyber bullying, the impacts of cyber bullying for psychosocial adjustment, and adolescents' perceptions of the relative risk of experiencing cyber bullying.  A second strand of ongoing research explores young people’s experiences of street harassment.

Previously, Lucy has also examined the importance of children's peer relationships as a contributing factor for children's school adjustment including topics such as trust, the antecedents of peer status, and attachment. Aligned to her research interests on school adjustment, Lucy has also been involved with projects exploring the role of technology in secondary schools as a method of enhancing students' engagement and performance.

Current PhD candidates:

  • Michelle Cunliffe (Director of Studies)
  • Ruth Howard (Director of Studies)
  • Oonagh Steer (Director of Studies)
  • Emma Aquadro (Second Supervisor)
  • Rachel Austin (Second Supervisor)
  • Stephanie Barfield (Second Supervisor)
  • Elizabeth Mair (Second Supervisor)
  • Laura Jacobs (Second Supervisor)
  • Adauzo Ubah (Second Supervisor)

External activity

Lucy engages in a range in external activity, she is currently a(n):

  • Member of the  Anti-Bullying Alliance's advisory group
  • Core member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance
  • Chartered psychologist
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology and the Developmental Section
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Lucy is part of the editorial board for  Small Group Research and the  British Journal of Education Technology.  Additionally, Lucy also acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals, publishers, and grant agencies within the fields of social, developmental, and educational psychology. Lucy has also acted as an external examiner for undergraduate courses, taught postgraduate courses, and PhDs.

Sponsors and collaborators

Lucy lead a team of staff from the Department of Psychology at NTU who are contributing to the Prochild projected funded by the Erasmus+ scheme lead by Professor Hakan Aydin (Erciyes University, Turkey).  This two year project (2019-2021) aims to empower teacher competence in detecting and preventing child abuse.  Further details of the project can be found through the Prochild  project website.

Recently, Lucy also lead a team of staff from the Department of Psychology at NTU who are contributing to the TKCOM project designed to build Chinese teachers' key competences.  The TKCOM project was funded by the Erasmus+ scheme and lead by Dr Elena Cano (University of Barcelona, Spain).  Further, details of the project can be found through the TKCOM project website. This three year project (2017-2020) also involved international collaborations lead by:

  • Dr Marai Pessoa (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
  • Professor Yule Jin (Southwest Normal University, China)
  • Dr Jainping Xu (Beijing University, China)
  • Professor Aibao Zhou (Northwest Normal University, China)

Lucy also continues to collaborate with colleagues on research in the areas of social developmental psychology and education:

  • Samuel Bennett  (University of Glasgow)
  • Dr Leyla DeAmicis (University of Glasgow
  • Dr Trinidad Garcia (University of Oviedo)
  • Dr Anke Görzig (University of Greenwich)
  • Professor James Hartley (Keele University)
  • Dr Peter Macaulay (Derby University)
  • Dr Rachel Maunder (University of Northampton)
  • Professor Claire Monks (University of Greenwich)
  • Professor Anna Narayanan (Bharathiar University)

Lucy has also worked with a number of schools, Age UK Cheshire, and Nottingham Forest Community Trust, Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Violence Reduction Unit, and Anti-Bullying Quality Mark UK on a range of research projects.  In the past Lucy's research has been supported by the British Academy, the British Psychological Society, and BECTA.  Lucy has also received funding from the ESRC to hold an event on street harassment as part of the ESRC’s annual festival of Social Sciences.

Press expertise

  • Bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment
  • Children's peer relationships
  • School adjustment
  • Digital technology use and wellbeing