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Kate Langley

Dr Kate Langley

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

+44 29208 76259
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


Research summary

Mental health problems in childhood can have far reaching  consequences for the individual, their family and society. I am interested in  risk factors for such problems, specifically Attention Deficit Hyperactivity  Disorder (ADHD), Conduct Disorder and co-occurring problems (such as Autism  Spectrum Disorders). I am also interested in how the presentation of these  problems changes with age and how different risk factors are associated with  the developmental course of disorder.

Teaching summary

I currently teach on Developmental Psychology within the 2nd Year Undergraduate programme. I also teach on the MSc in Children's Psychological Disorders and am module coordinator for the modules Neurodevelopmental Disorders 1: Neurobiology.


























Book sections




Research topics and related papers

Using both clinical samples of children with Attention  Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other mental health problems (e.g.  Conduct disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders) and epidemiological samples, I am  interested in how presentation of disorder and co-morbid problems are influenced by genetic and environmental  risk factors.

I am also interested in the developmental course of ADHD and  how presentation changes with age, the individual and  societal impact of continued problems as well as the risk factors involved with the continuation or remittance of  symptoms .

Research collaborators

MRC  Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics
National  Centre for Mental Health (NCMH)
Child  & Adolescent Psychiatry Group, Institute of Psychological Medicine &  Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Cardiff University


Undergraduate education

2000: BA(Hons.) Psychology, Durham University (2:1)

Postgraduate education

2005: PhD, Cardiff University
Thesis title: “A genetic study of ADHD: Examining  environmental influences and phenotypic variation”

2016: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and teaching – Distinction  2015-2016, Cardiff University, UK


Following my undergraduate degree at Durham University, I  started working as a Research Psychologist (2001-2003) with Prof Anita Thapar  at the University of Wales College of Medicine (now Cardiff University School  of Medicine) on a Wellcome Trust funded project investigating susceptibility  genes for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The project ignited  my interest in mental health and understanding the genetic and environmental  risk factors associated with such disorders.

This led to my embarking on a PhD, supervised by Prof Thapar  and Prof Peter Holmans, investigating how genetic and environmental risk  factors for ADHD influence the clinical presentation of the disorder and the  interactions between these factors. My work was extended through a Wellcome  Trust VIP Fellowship Award (2005-2006).

Whilst continuing to work in the field of genetic and other  risk factors for ADHD and other childhood mental health problems, during my  post-doctoral position at the School of Medicine (2006-2011), Cardiff  University, I became interested in using natural experimental designs to  investigate causal pathways between genetic, cognitive and social risk factors and  childhood behaviour problems.

After working with Prof Nick Craddock as part of the team establishing  the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), the first Biomedical Research  Centre in Wales (2012-2013), I took up a lecturer post in the School of  Psychology, Cardiff University, in August 2013 and was promoted to Senior Lecutrer in 2017.

Honours and awards

Awards/external committees

  • 2018-2020: Member of Welsh Government T4CHYP Neurodevelopmental Steering Group
  • 2015-current: Associate editor, BMC Psychiatry
  • 2010-current: Advisory Board member, Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry
  • 2009-current: Member of the MRC Centre for  Neropsychiatric Genetics & Genomics
  • 2005-2006: Wellcome Trust VIP Fellowship,  Cardiff University

Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society; Member ADHD working group of International Psychiatric Genetics Consortium; Member Eunethydis European ADHD Network

Professional memberships

Professional Memberships

  • British Psychological Society;
  • ADHD working group of International Psychiatric Genetics Consortium;
  • Eunethydis European ADHD Network


Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information  regarding my research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application.

Current students

  • Silvia Colonna 2016-2020 (submitted), Thesis title: The importance of emotional self-control in persistent childhood ADHD
  • Rebecca Ellis 2018-2021, Thesis title: Co-producing an intervention to improve care for children wtih Autism Spectrum Disorders: A cross-disciplinary mixed-methods study. Co-supervisor with Prof Sharon Williams (Swansea University) and Lisa Hurt (School of Medicine)
  • Thomas Broughton 2019-2022, Thesis title: Testing the role of relative age within school yer on mental health in children with neurodevelopmental vulnerability. Co-supervisor with Prof Stephan Collishaw (School of Medicine) and Prof Kate Tilling (University of Bristol)
  • Lorna Ushaw 2019-2023, Thesis title: Optimizing adult mental health outcomes in children with neurodevelopmental problems: Interplay of social and genetic factors. Co-supervisor with Prof Stephan Collishaw (School of Medicine), Prof Jon Heron (University of Bristol) and Dr Gemma Hammerton (University of Bristol)

Past students

  • Sharifah Shameem Syed Salim Agha: Awarded 2017, Thesis title: Exploring the role of parental psychopathology in a sample of children with ADHD: Investigating influences on child phenotype and the family environment
  • Charlotte Fry: Awarded 2018, Thesis title: Executive Functions, creativity and mental health in homeless young people: implications for housing outcome. Co-supervisor with Prof Katherine Shelton
  • Zoe Williams: Awarded 2018, Thesis Title: The overlap between Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms and thier association with reading skills and social cognition ability.
Let's talk about ADHD

Let's talk about ADHD

06 November 2019