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Dr Christina Cooper

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a researcher with experience in public health and social sciences research, with an educational background in psychology. My work lies in understanding and evaluating complex social issues and interventions, with a focus on community, culture and place. Taking a systems approach to health, I draw on theories from intersectionality and the social determinants of health to understand health inequalities, social injustice, and health outcomes for marginalised groups.  I am experienced in applying a range of mixed methods approaches in both health and educational research, specialising in realist synthesis and evaluation.

My doctoral thesis explores complex interventions to prevent adolescents from engaging in multiple risk behaviours. This research uses a customised realist methodology to understand what works, for whom, in what circumstances, and why.

Christina Cooper

My research interests lie broadly in understanding the interface between marginalised individuals, their particular life circumstances, and the broader societal, institutional, and organisational structures which aim to support them.  

My research has focused on how trust and engagement develop in relationships between people, often with multiple and complex needs, and the organisations that aim to meet those needs. It has highlighted how the fragmentation of service provision often fails to acknowledge the complexity of people's lives and the various drivers to their decision making.

Place based approaches to health and wellbeing recognise that we need to move beyond treatment of disease or the cause of disease to address the wider social determinants of health, to consider the impact of psychosocial factors and to understand the interplay between factors within complex social systems. Drawing on a wide range of models from psychology and sociology, I have used substantive theory, such as relationalism and intersectionality, to provide explanations of social and health practices which transcend the agency-structure divide.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Blurring the boundaries between synthesis and evaluation. A customized realist evaluative synthesis into adolescent risk behavior prevention, Cooper, C., Lhussier, M., Carr, S. 1 May 2020, In: Research Synthesis Methods
  • Protocol for a realist review of complex interventions to prevent adolescents from engaging in multiple risk behaviours, Cooper, C., Lhussier, M., Shucksmith, J., Carr, S. 1 Sep 2017, In: BMJ Open
  • Operationalisation of realist synthesis as a PhD student; what works, for whom, and in what circumstances?, Somervile, S., Cooper, C., Wilmot, S., Dalkin, S., Lhussier, M. 3 Oct 2016, Centre for the Advancement of Realist Evaluation and Synthesis (CARES) 2016
  • Natural variation in both position coding and visual attention affects visual word recognition, Lavis, R., Cooper, C., Cornelissen, P. 2000, In: Perception

Philosophy PhD October 10 2018


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