Staff Profile


Dr Nicola Abbott

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923088

Profile summary

I am a Developmental Social Psychologist with a specific interest in pro-social bystander behaviours. I am mostly interested in the helpful behaviours of young people, when they witness bullying in their school. I am also interested in the following: cyberbullying and helpful online behaviour, attitudes towards different groups (e.g. people with disabilties and immigrants), special educational needs interventions (e.g. postural care and inclusion) and prejudice-reduction interventions (e.g. intergroup contact). I conduct my research working mainly with secondary schools, but also with primary schools.  Before joining the Psychology Team at Canterbury Christ Church University in January 2014, I completed my PhD at the University of Kent.

Research and knowledge exchange

Richard Benjamin Memorial Trust (2014). This was a twelve month externally funded grant, where I was the Principle Investigator. The project piloted a disability-simulation intervention with school children, aimed at promoting more positive attitudes towards disabled peers. Project title: Disability simulation: Developing a school-based intervention to promote positive attitudes towards children with postural care needs.

ESRC Festival of Social Science, CCCU (2014-present). I work closely with the Outreach Team at CCCU to coordinate the Psychology Outreach work. I organised the iTech: Understanding young people's use of technology event in 2014 and the Psychology: The good, the bad and the ugly event in 2015.  In 2016, I collaborated with colleagues in Sociology and Politics to run a multipdisciplinary event entitled Migration: Seeing myself in others

I have also been successful at securing internal funding for a number of other RKE projects, including: 4 Quality Research Grants, 1 Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) Grant and 1 RKE Internship Grant. 

Teaching and subject expertise

My subject expertise lies within Developmental and Social Psychology (see Profile summary section above). I am a qualified teacher with experience in Higher Education teaching from September 2009. I supervise students in their undergraduate, Masters and PhD studies. I have been awarded a number of awards for my teaching, but I am most proud of those based on student nominations. I am the Year 3 (Level 6) Coordinator for the BSc Psychology and my current teaching responsibilities, by level, are as follows.

Level 4 (Year 1): I convene the core Social and Developing Self module and I also co-convene the Graduate Attributes in Psychology module.

Level 5 (Year 2): I teach on the Social and Developmental Psychology module and the Psychology and Education module.

Masters Conversion Course: I teach on the Developmental Psychology module and the Learning and Development module.

External activities

EASP, Granada (2017, July). Intergroup name-calling: Comparing helpful bystander intentions to victim-perpetrator-bystander triads. Forthcoming oral presentation.

BPS Bullying Conference, Goldsmiths (2017, March). Tackling bullying in schools: Considering interpersonal, group and intergroup approaches. Invited talk.

Publications and research outputs

Palmer, S., & Abbott, N. (2017). Bystander responses to biased-based bullying in schools: A developmental intergroup approach. Child Development Perspectives, 12(1), 39-44. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12253

Cameron, L. & Abbott. N. (2017). Intergroup contact in action: Using intergroup contact to change children’s outgroup orientation. In A. Rutland, D. Nesdale & C. Spears Brown (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook of Group Processes in Children and Adolescents (pp. 455-471). UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Spruin, L., & Abbott, N. & Holt, N. (2017). Examining the Experiences of a Short Break Scheme amongst Adolescents with Disabilities (Service Users) and their Parents, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 1-15. doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2017.1348599 

Hotham, S., Hamilton-West, K. E., Hutton, E., King, A. & Abbott, N. (2017). A study in to the effectiveness of a postural care training programme aimed at improving knowledge, understanding, and confidence in parents and school staff. Child: Care, Health and Development. doi:10.1111/cch.12444

Spruin, L. & Abbott, N. (2017). Improving the student experience in higher education: An action research approach to implementing collaborative learning strategies. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 3(1), 65-90. ISSN: 2044-3315.

Abbott, N. & Cameron, L. (2014). What makes a young assertive bystander? The effect of intergroup contact, empathy, cultural openness, and in-group bias on assertive bystander intervention intentions.  Invited contribution to the Journal of Social Issues, 70, (1), 167-182. doi: 10.1111/josi.12053 


Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00