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Stephan Collishaw

Professor Stephan Collishaw

Personal Chair, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences

School of Medicine

+44 29206 88436
Hadyn Ellis Building, Room 2.20, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


My research takes a lifecourse developmental approach to study common mental health problems including depression and anxiety.  I use prospective population and high-risk cohorts to study the development of mental health problems across childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. I am interested in protective factors that promote mental health resilience in high risk children and that optimize long-term outcomes. My research also examines population-level change in young people's mental health, and tests which factors explain the recent increase in youth anxiety and depression. I belong to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, and am co-director for the Wolfson Centre for Young People's Mental Health.

























Adrannau llyfrau



My research focuses on the following main areas.

1) Developmental life course mental health research. Adult mental heath problems have their routes in childhood, and childhood disorders typically have long-lasting effects on health and development. My research uses prospective longitudinal data to examine the links between child and adult mental health.

2) Mental health resilience. Many children in high-risk groups develop mental health problems, but some show remarkably positive outcomes. Identifying modifiable protective factors can help identify new targets for prevention and intervention. 

3) Time trends in child and adolescent mental health. My long-standing research in this area focuses on tracking prevalence trends, on changes in the long-term outcomes for children with mental health problems, and on reasons that explain (or not) trends in mental health. 

Selected publications:

  • Sellers R, Warne N, Pickles A, Maughan B, Thapar A, Collishaw S (2019) Cross-cohort change in adolescent outcomes for children with mental health problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60, 813-821.
  • Riglin, L., Collishaw, S., Richards, A., Thapar, A. K., Rice, F., Maughan, B., ... & Thapar, A. (2018). The impact of schizophrenia and mood disorder risk alleles on emotional problems: investigating change from childhood to middle age. Psychological medicine, 48(13), 2153-2158.
  • Rice F, Sellers R, Hammerton G, Eyre O, Bevan-Jones R, Thapar AK, Collishaw S, Harold GT, and Thapar A. (2017). Antecedents of new-onset major depressive disorder in children and adolescents at high familial risk. JAMA Psychiatry 74, 153-160.
  • Collishaw S, et al (2016). Mental health resilience in the adolescent offspring of parents with depression: a prospective longitudinal study. Lancet Psychiatry. 3, 49-57.
  • Collishaw S. (2015). Annual Research Review: Secular trends in child and adolescent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 370-393.
  • Maughan, B., Collishaw, S., & Stringaris, A. (2013). Depression in childhood and adolescence. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 22(1), 35.
  • Thapar A, Collishaw S, Pine DS, Thapar AK. (2012). Depression in adolescence. The Lancet, 379, 1056-67.
  • Collishaw, S., Maughan, B., Natarajan, L., & Pickles, A. (2010). Trends in adolescent emotional problems in England: a comparison of two national cohorts twenty years apart. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(8), 885-894.
  • Collishaw, S., Pickles, A., Messer, J., Rutter, M., Shearer, C., & Maughan, B. (2007). Resilience to adult psychopathology following childhood maltreatment: evidence from a community sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(3), 211-229.
  • Collishaw S, Maughan B, Goodman R, Pickles A (2004). Time trends in adolescent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 1350-62.


I teach and mentor undergraduate medical students, offer a number of medical Student Selected Component projects focused on child and adolescent mental health and supervise research projects for the intercalated Psychology and Medicine degree.


Education and qualifications

  • 2003: D.Phil. Psychology. University of Sussex
  • 1994: M.A. Psychology. University of Sussex
  • 1993: B.A. Psychology. University of Sussex

Career overview

  • 2018-present: Cardiff University, School of Medicine, Professor
  • 2009-2018: Cardiff University, School of Medicine, Senior Lecturer
  • 2006-2009: Institute of Pscyhiatry, King's College London, Research Fellow
  • 2007-2008: University of Oxford, Senior Research Officer 
  • 1998-2006: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Research Associate

Elected fellowships

  • Academy of Social Sciences, elected 2020 


Areas of supervision: Child and adolescent mental health (risk and resilience, epidemiology, long-term outcomes)

Current students

Thomas Broughton (second year), topic: relative age in school year and mental health

Lorna Ushaw (second year), topic: optimizing mental health outcomes for children with ADHD

Egle Padaigate (first year), topic: mental health resilience in offspring of parents with recurrent depression

Previous PhD Students and destinations

Olga Eyre. Awarded 2019. Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship - Chronic Irritability in ADHD: Examining the clinical and genetic links with depression. Destination: Welsh Clinical Academic Trainee, Cardiff University

Gemma Hammerton. Awarded 2016. Explaining risk for suicidal ideation in adolescent offspring of depressed parents. Destination: Senior Research Associate. Awarded Sir Henry Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship. Bristol University.

Ruth Sellers. Awarded 2013. Antisocial behaviour in the offspring of depressed parents.  Destination: ESRC Young Leaders Post Doctoral Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer. University of Sussex

Becky Mars. Awarded 2013. A longitudinal family study of depression. Destination: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Post Doctoral Fellowship. University of Bristol

Gemma Lewis. Awarded 2012. Gene-environment interplay in depression. Destination: Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, UCL. 

Current supervision

Tom Broughton

Tom Broughton

Research student

EglĖ PadaigaitĖ

EglĖ PadaigaitĖ

Research student