You are here: Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues / People / Director: Professor Jacqueline Barnes
Document Actions

Professor Jacqueline Barnes

  • Director, Local Community Context Evaluation Module, National Evaluation of Sure Start
  • Director, Support for Local Programmes Module, National Evaluation of Sure Start
  • Director, Right from the Start
  • Director, Families and Neighbourhood Study
  • Director, Nurse-Family Partnership Implementation Study
  • Director, Group-based Family Nurse Partnership formative evaluation

Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues,
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street

Tel +44 (0)20 7079 0837
Mobile: 07855 308311

Jacqueline Barnes is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London and Honorary Senior Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic. She is an internationally recognised expert in the study of community characteristics, family functioning and young children's behaviour, conducting research in the UK, Europe and the USA. She has studied the identification and management of emotional and behavioural problems of young children in pre-school settings; methods of assessing parental behaviour; the relevance of measures of parenting for different cultural and socioeconomic groups; evaluation of child mental health and child abuse prevention programmes; early intervention to prevent children's mental health problems; the relevance of community characteristics and the environment to family functioning and child development; the impact of serious parental illness or bereavement on families; the impact of assisted reproduction on parenting and child behaviour; the implications for mothers of returning to work after having a new baby; and the use of qualitative methodologies to investigate family functioning and child behaviour.

She directed the Families and Neighbourhoods study that took place in four communities in England to investigate which aspects of the community facilitate or hinder parenting. The study employed a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Interviews were conducted with approximately 900 parents with children ranging from 1 to 11 to examine their perceptions of the communities and the ways in which monitoring of child activities and other parenting issues vary according to the community. Detailed observations were made in the areas, in-depth interviews with a sub sample of families and focus groups with 11 and 12 year olds in local schools. Results of the study are published in a recent book, “Down our Way” published by Wiley.

Professor Barnes is one of the principal investigators of the National Evaluation of Sure Start, responsible for directing the local community context study and the technical support to local programme evaluations. She was responsible for collecting a range of indicators to describe the Sure Start programme areas and for developing ways of categorising the areas in ways that will be informative to the impact, implementation and cost effectiveness studies of the National Evaluation. Professor Barnes also directed a randomised trial (Right from the Start) to evaluate a volunteer home visiting programme for mothers with new babies throughout England. 

She has ongoing collaboration with University College Medical School; she was involved in an international study of children conceived using intracyclic sperm injection (ICSI) and invitro fertlisation (IVF); she was one of the investigators of parental perceptions of a bereavement support service for children and one of the investigators in a team who developed an innovative game-like measure of Quality of Life, suitable for children aged 4 to 10 with chronic medical conditions.  Work is currently underway to further develop this instrument for administration via the Internet.  Collaborating with Oxford University she is a senior researcher on the Families, Children and Child Care study, which followed 1,200 families from the time that their children were 3 months old until school entry at 51 months.

Currently she is directing a study of the implementation of David Olds’ Nurse-Family Partnership early intervention programme in 10 pilot sites throughout England.


Bookmark this page