Dr Ellen Townsend
Social Psychology & Health group
University of Nottingham,
research interests lie in clinical and health psychology. I apply psychological
theories and methods in order to increase our understanding of important
psychological phenomena (e.g. mental health problems, risk perception and
risk-related decision-making and explicit/implicit attitudes and complex
behaviours (especially self-harm). I lead the Self-Harm Research group in the
department and a national Clinical Research Group on self-harm funded by the
NIHR (MHRN). I conduct systematic reviews in order to increase the
evidence-base in relation to interventions for self-harm and mental health
problems. I am PI on the ‘Listen-Up!’ project: understanding and helping
looked-after young people who self-harm’ funded by the Department of Health
Policy Research Programme to support the implementation of the National
Suicide Prevention Strategy. See our project website: www.listen-up.ac.uk for more
about me and my research group
Students and PhD funding
conference presentations and keynote addresses
administrative roles and committees
my twitter account @selfharmnotts for updates about
me and my research group. I am currently on sabbatical – the best way to
contact me is via email.
peer reviewed journals
E. (Forthcoming). Self-Harm in Young People. Clinical Review. Evidence-Based Mental Health.
Townsend, E., Spence, A. and Knowles, S. (2014.) Investigating
the operation of the affect heuristic: Is it an associative construct?’ Journal of Risk Research, 17 (3), 299-315.
S., Townsend, E. and Anderson, M. (2013.)
minds”. Socially motivated self-harm is perceived as less serious than
internally motivated: A qualitative study of youth justice staff. Journal of Health Psychology. Full text available online before
print here: http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/05/1359105312459874.full.pdf+html
E. and Pitchford, N. Baby knows best?
(2012). The impact of weaning style on food preferences
and body mass index in early childhood in a case–controlled sample. BMJ Open
Full text available here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmjopen-2011-000298
Fleming, P., Townsend, E., van Hilten,
J.A., Spence, A., and Ferguson, E. (2012). Expert relevance and the use of
context-driven heuristic processes in risk perception. Journal of Risk Research, 15,
857-873. Available online here.
Knowles, S., Townsend, E. & Anderson, M (2012).
Youth Justice staff attitudes towards screening for
self-harm. Health &
social care in the community, 20(5), 506-515.
S. & Townsend, E. (2012). Implicit and Explicit Attitudes toward
Self Harm: support for a functional model.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental
Psychiatry, 43, 730-736.
Article available online here.
Townsend, E., Anderson, M. (2011). Factors associated with self-harm in
community-based young offenders: the importance of psychological variables, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry
&Psychology. First published on: 16 June 2011 (iFirst).To
link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/14789949.2011.591415. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2011.591415
- Ulph, E., Leong, J., Glazebrook, C., & Townsend, E. (2010.) A qualitative study exploring
genetic counsellors' experiences of counselling children. European Journal of Human Genetics, 18,
1090-1094. Article available online here.
- Townsend, E., Walker, D., Sargeant,
S., Vostanis, P., Hawton, K., Stocker, O., Sithole, J. (2010). Systematic review and
meta-analysis of interventions relevant for young offenders with mood
disorders, anxiety disorders, or self-harm. Journal of Adolescence, 33, 9-20. PDF. Article available online here.
- Ulph, F., Townsend, E. and Glazebrook, C. (2009). How should risk
be communicated to children? A cross-sectional study comparing different
formats of probability information. BMC
Medical Informatics and Decision Making. 9: 26. Article available here.
E., Spence, A., Townsend, E., Prowse, C., Palmer, J., Fleming, P., and Van Hilten,
J.A. (2009). What Type of Information is Trusted
by whom? A Multi-Level Analysis
of the Stability of the Information Source-Trust Association for Blood
Transfusion. Transfusion, 49
(8), 1637-1648. Article. PDF.
E., Prowse, C. Townsend, E., Spence, A., van Hilten
J. A., Lowe, K. (2008). Acceptability of blood and blood
substitutes. Journal of Internal
Medicine, 263 (3) 244-255.
- Townsend, E., Walker, D., Sargeant,
S., Stocker, O., Vostanis, P., Sithole, J., & Hawton, K. (2008). Interventions
for mood and anxiety disorders, and self harm
in young offenders. (Protocol.) Cochrane Database of Systematic
2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD007195. Article.
A. and Townsend, E. (2008). Spontaneous Evaluations: Similarities and Differences between
the Affect Heuristic and Implicit Attitudes. Cognition and Emotion, 22 (1), 83-93. Article.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2007)
Predicting behaviour towards genetically modified (GM) food using
implicit and explicit attitudes. British
Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 437-457. Article. PDF.
- Fleming, P., Ferguson, E., Townsend, E.,
Lowe, KC, (2007). Perceptions in transfusion medicine: a pilot study on
risk and ethics for blood and blood substitutes. Artificial Cells, Blood
Substitutes and Biotechnology, 35(149-156).
P., Townsend, E, Lowe, K.C. and Ferguson, E. (2007) Social
desirability influences on judgements of biotechnology across the
dimensions of risk, ethicality and naturalness. Journal of Risk Research, 10 (7), 989-1003.
- Townsend, E. (2007). Suicide terrorists: Are they suicidal?
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 37 (1), 35-49. Article. PDF.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2006). Examining consumer behaviour towards genetically
modified (GM) food in Britain. Risk
Analysis, 26,(3), 657-670. Article. PDF.
- Knowles, S. Townsend, E. and
Anderson, M. (2006). Using ASSET data for mental health
research on Young Offenders: issues and implications for researchers. Educational and Child
Psychology, 23 (2), 52-61.
- Spence, A. and Townsend, E. (2006). Implicit
attitudes towards Genetically Modified (GM) foods: A comparison of
context-free and context-dependent evaluations. Appetite, 46, 67-74. Article. PDF.
- Townsend, E. (2006). Affective
influences on risk perceptions of, and attitudes toward, genetically
modified food. Journal of Risk Research, 9 (2), 125-139.
- Ferguson, E., Leaviss,
J. Townsend, E., Fleming, P. Lowe, K.C. (2005). Perceived safety of
donor blood and blood substitutes: the role of informational frame,
patient groups and stress appraisals. Transfusion Medicine, 15,
- Townsend, E. and Campbell, S. (2004).
Psychological determinants of willingness to taste and purchase
genetically modified food. Risk
- Townsend, E. Clarke, D.D. and Travis, B.
(2004). Effects of context and feelings on perceptions of genetically
modified food. Risk
S. and Townsend, E.
(2003) Flaws undermine results of UK biotech debate. Nature
425 p 559.
C., Hawton, K., Houston, K., Townsend E. (2003) Correlates of relative
lethality and suicidal intent among deliberate self-harm patients. Suicide
and Life Threatening Behaviour 33 (4), 353-364.
K., Houston, K., Haw, C., Townsend,
E., Harriss, L. (2003) Comorbidity of
Axis I and Axis II Disorders in Patients Who Attempt Suicide. American
Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1494-1500.
K., Haw, C., Townsend, E.,
Hawton, K. (2003). General practitioner contacts with patients before
and after deliberate self-harm. British Journal of General Practice,
53 (490), 365-370.
C., Hawton, K., Whitehead, L., Houston, K., Townsend, E. (2003) Assessment and aftercare for
deliberate self-harm patients provided by a general hospital psychiatric
service. Crisis, 24, 145-150.
K., Haw, C., Houston, K., Townsend,
E. (2002). Family history of suicidal behaviour:
prevalence and significance in deliberate self-harm patients. Acta Psychiatrica
Scandinavica, 106, 387-393.
- Haw C, Houston K, Townsend E, & Hawton, K.
(2002). Deliberate self-harm patients with depressive disorders:
treatment and outcome. Journal
of Affective Disorders, 70, 57-65.
Hawton, K., Harriss, L., Bale, E., Bond, A.
(2001) Substances used in deliberate self-poisoning 1995-1997: trends
and associations with age, gender, repetition and suicide intent Social
Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36, 228-234
- Townsend, E., Hawton, K., Altman, D.G., Arensman, E., Gunnell, D.,
Hazell, P., House, A., Van Heeringen,
K. (2001) The efficacy of problem-solving treatments after deliberate
self-harm: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials with respect to
depression, hopelessness and improvement in problems. Psychological
Medicine, 31, 979-988.
- Arensman, E., Townsend, E., Hawton, K., Bremner, S., Feldman, E., Goldney,
R., Gunnell, D., Hazell,
P., Van Heeringen, K., House, A., Owens, D., Sakinofsky, I., Träskman-Bendz,
L. (2001) Psychosocial and pharmacological treatment of patients
following deliberate self-harm: the methodological issues involved in
evaluating effectiveness. Suicide
and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31, 169-180.
K., Townsend, E., Deeks, J., Appleby, L., Gunnell,
D., Bennewith, O., Cooper, J. (2001) Effects
of legislation restricting pack sizes of paracetamol
and salicylates on self poisoning in the
United Kingdom: before and after study. British Medical Journal, 322,
C., Houston, K., Townsend,
E., Hawton, K. (2001) Deliberate Self-Harm Patients with Alcohol
Disorders: Characteristics, Treatment and Outcome. Crisis, 22(3),
C., Hawton, K., Houston, K., Townsend,
E. (2001) Psychiatric and personality disorders in deliberate
self-harm patients. British
Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 48-54
K., Arensman, E., Townsend, E., Bremner, S.,
Feldman, E., Goldney, R., Gunnell,
D., Hazell, P., Van Heeringen,
C., House, A., Owens, D., Sakinofsky, I., Träskman-Bendz, L. (1998) Deliberate self-harm: a
systematic review of the efficacy of psychosocial and pharmacological
treatments in preventing repetition. British
Medical Journal, 317, 441-7.
S., Geddes, J., Hawton, K., Townsend,
E., Jamison, K., Goodwin, G. (2001). Lithium for maintenance
treatment of mood disorders. (Cochrane Review). In: The
Cochrane Library, 2, 2001. Oxford: Update Software.
K., Townsend, E., Arensman, E., Gunnell, D.,
House, A., Van Heeringen, C.
(1999) Psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for deliberate self harm. (Cochrane Review). In: The
Cochrane Library, Issue 3. Oxford: Update Software.
A. J., Townsend, E.,
Underwood, G. Expertise in musical sight reading: A study of
pianists. (1998) British Journal of Psychology, 89 (1), 123-149.
§ Townsend, E. (Forthcoming.) Suicide Terrorism. Chapter to appear in Oxford Handbook of Suicide and Self-Injury. MK. Nock (Ed). Due to be
published by Oxford University Press in 2012.
§ Townsend, E.
(2007). Cognitive-behavioural interventions for young offenders. In ‘Mental Health Interventions for
vulnerable children and young people’ (P. Vostanis,
Ed). Jessica Kingsley, London.
§ Ferguson, E., Fleming, P., Townsend, E., & Lowe
KC. (2006). Perceived Naturalness and Risk of Blood and Blood Substitutes. In
Columbus, F. (Ed.) New Developments in Blood Transfusion Research.
Nova Science Publishers, New York. (pp 65-76).
S. and Townsend, E. (2005) How To Make A Minority Look Like A Majority'. Australasian
Science, March 2005, pp. 28-29.
Ulph, F., Leong, J, Glazebrook,C, Townsend, E.
(2005). When do mum and dad need their genes back? Communicating information
about genetics to children. Psychology
& Health, 20, 268 Suppl. 1, AUG 2005.
Ulph F, Glazebrook C, Leong J,
Shakespeare F, Townsend E
(2005). "It's certainly letting a little bit of a flood gate open":
Genetic counsellors' views about the UK newborn
screening programme for cystic fibrosis. Journal
of Medical Genetics 42: S122-S122 Suppl. 1 SEP.
K, Townsend E. (2002)
UK legislation on analgesic pack sizes: impact on suicidal behaviour. EUR PSYCHIAT 17: 67S-67S Suppl. 1.
J, Burgess S, Hawton K, Townsend E,
Jamison K, Goodwin G. (2002) Lithium prophylaxis of mood
disorders: Efficacy, acceptability and anti-suicidal effects, Journal of Affective Disorders, 68
(Award winning support service for self-harm). http://www.harmless.org.uk/
Can Cope: resources to build resilience and cope in times of stress: http://connectingwithpeople.org/ucancope
of Oxford Centre for Suicide Research: http://cebmh.warne.ox.ac.uk/csr/
is at Hand. Information for those bereaved by suicide or other sudden
foundation for Suicide Prevention: http://www.afsp.org/
association of Suicidology: http://www.suicidology.org/
Society for Risk Analysis: http://www.sra.org/
Page last updated: 20-6-2014.