Behavioural, emotional and social problems in children with developmental speech and language dif...

University of East Anglia
July 07 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


Children and young people growing up with a communication disability (problems with speaking and or understanding what is said to them, or reading and writing) are at greater risk than their peers of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) during childhood (Lindsay and Dockrell, 2012). For example, they are more likely to have difficulties in forming friendships, they may be the target of bullying, they may experience high levels of anxiety, or they may ‘act out' in the classroom or in other settings. Childhood BESD may in turn be associated with serious mental health problems later in life (Goodman, Renfrew and Mullick, 2000). There is a strong evidence base around interventions to promote psychological resilience and well-being for children and young people in the general population. For example, the UK Department of Health recommends five approaches to intervention (see, such as engaging in physical activity and encouraging play and creativity. The aim of this project is to gather preliminary evidence about whether such interventions can be effective for children and young people with communication difficulties.


The project will be organised around several key objectives:

  • Develop a research proposal appropriate to the candidate's own research interests and experience

  • Carry out a systematic review

  • Conduct secondary analysis of observational data (see ) relevant to the project

  • Design and carry out a feasibility study relating to one of the interventions

  • Engage in relevant training in research skills and personal and professional development

  • Disseminate results to academic and non-academic audiences.

This project is suitable for candidates with experience/interest in mental health or speech, language and communication, or other relevant discipline. A tailored training program will be provided.

Funding notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee may also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess