Institute of Education


Shine Research Lab - Family and School Mental Health

Researching the role of ecological processes in shaping children's mental health, and translating models of risk and resilience into school and family-based interventions.

Nursery school young boy

Director: Dr Jennifer Allen

Our work is designed to inform practitioners how to best support adults who children most rely on for their social and emotional well-being: their parents and their teachers.

We believe that a better understanding of the interplay between child temperament and the environment in the development of child psychopathology is crucial for the development of high quality interventions aimed at improving child mental health.

Are you a parent?

Learn about our research projects, get involved in our ongoing studies and find resources to help your child with anxiety or behaviour problems:

Are you a teacher?

Learn about our research projects, take part in our ongoing studies and find resources for teachers on child anxiety and behaviour problems:

Are you a researcher?

Access questionnaires for either research, clinical or educational purposes:

About us and our work

Our team



From UCL

From other institutions


    Our research falls into two broad streams:


    Bird, E., Chhoa, C. Y., Midouhas, E., & Allen, J. L. (in press). Callous-Unemotional Traits and Academic Performance in Secondary School Students: Examining the Moderating Effect of Gender. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

    Allen, J. L., Hwang, S., & Huijding, J. (forthcoming). Disruptive behavior disorders. In P. Leman, A. James (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development Part II: Adolescent Development, Volume IX - The Social Context. Wiley Blackwell.

    Fong, V. C., Hawes, D. J., & Allen, J. L. (in press). A Systematic Review of Risk and Protective Factors for Externalizing Problems in Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal.

    Allen, J. L., Bird, E., & Chhoa, C. (2018). Bad Boys and Mean Girls: Callous-Unemotional Traits, Management of Disruptive Behavior in School, the Teacher-Student Relationship and Academic Motivation. Frontiers in Education. doi:10.3389/feduc.2018.00108

    Allen, J.L. & Jones, A. (April, 2018). When does empathy emerge? Callous-unemotional (CU) traits and autism. Psychology Review Magazine, 23(4), 29-31.

    Allen, J. L., Sandberg, S., Chhoa, C. Y., Fearn, T., & Rapee, R. (2018). Parent-Dependent Stressors and the Onset of Anxiety Disorders in Children: Links with Parental Psychopathology. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27(2), 221-231. doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1038-3

    Allen, J. L., & Lerman, R. (2018). Teacher Responses to Anxiety in Children Questionnaire (TRAC): Psychometric Properties and Relationship with Teaching Staff Characteristics. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 23(2),154-168. doi: 10.1080/13632752.2017.1376974

    ​Allen, J.L. (2017). Intelligence. In C. J. Schreck, M.J. Leiber, H. Ventura Miller & K. Welch (Eds), The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice. Wiley Blackwell. www.encyclopediaofjuveniledelinquency.com

    Allen, J. L., Morris, A., & Chhoa, C. Y. (2016). Callous-unemotional (CU) traits in adolescent boys and response to teacher reward and discipline strategies. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 21 (3), 329-342. doi:10.1080/13632752.2016.1165968

    Hawes, D. J., & Allen, J. L. (2016). Evidence-based parenting interventions: Current perspectives and clinical strategies. In M. Hodes, S. Gau (Eds.), Positive Mental Health, Fighting Stigma and Promoting Resiliency for Children and Adolescents. London: Elsevier.

    Essau, C. A., & Allen, J. L. (2015). Making Parenting Work for Children’s Mental Health. In C. A. Essau, C. A., J. Allen (Eds.). London: Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). doi:10.13056/OP33

    Allen, J. (2015). When one size doesn't fit all: Temperament-based parenting interventions. (pp. 12-22). London: Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). doi:10.13056/OP33.e

    Dadds, M. R., Allen, J. L., McGregor, K., Woolgar, M., Viding, E., & Scott, S. (2014). Callous-unemotional traits in children and mechanisms of impaired eye contact during expressions of love: a treatment target? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55 (7), 771-780. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12155

    Kimonis, E. R., Centifanti, L. C. M., Allen, J. L., & Frick, P. J. (2014). Reciprocal Influences between Negative Life Events and Callous-Unemotional Traits. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42 (8), 1287-1298. doi:10.1007/s10802-014-9882-9

    Allen, J. L., Briskman, J., Humayun, S., Dadds, M. R., & Scott, S. (2013). Heartless and cunning? Intelligence in adolescents with antisocial behavior and psychopathic traits. Psychiatry Research, 210 (3), 1147-1153. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.08.033

    Allen, J., Creswell, C., & Murray, L. (2013). Prevention of anxiety disorders. In P. Graham, S. Reynolds (Eds.), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Children and Families (pp. 323-336). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Allen, J. L., Rapee, R. M., & Sandberg, S. (2012). Assessment of maternally reported life events in children and adolescents: A comparison of interview and checklist methods. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 34 (2), 204-215. doi:10.1007/s10862-011-9270-5

    Dadds, M. R., Allen, J. L., Oliver, B. R., Faulkner, N., Legge, K., Moul, C., Scott, S. (2012). Love, eye contact and the developmental origins of empathy v. psychopathy. British Journal of Psychiatry, 200 (3), 191-196. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.110.085720

    Allen, J. L., Lavallee, K. L., Herren, C., Ruhe, K., & Schneider, S. (2010). DSM-IV criteria for childhood separation anxiety disorder: Informant, age, and sex differences. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24 (8), 946-952. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.06.022

    Allen, J. L., Blatter-Meunier, J., Ursprung, A., & Schneider, S. (2010). Maternal daily diary report in the assessment of childhood separation anxiety. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39 (2), 252-259. doi:10.1080/15374410903532619

    Allen, J. L., Blatter-Meunier, J., Ursprung, A., & Schneider, S. (2010). The separation anxiety daily diary: Child version: Feasibility and psychometric properties. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 41 (6), 649-662. doi:10.1007/s10578-010-0194-1

    Allen, J. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2009). Are reported differences in life events for anxious children and controls due to comorbid disorders?. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23 (4), 511-518. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.10.005

    Salmon, K., Dadds, M. R., Allen, J., & Hawes, D. J. (2009). Can emotional language skills be taught during parent training for conduct problem children?. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 40 (4), 485-498. doi:10.1007/s10578-009-0139-8

    Van Bergen, P., Salmon, K., Dadds, M. R., & Allen, J. (2009). The effects of mother training in emotion-rich, elaborative reminiscing on children's shared recall and emotion knowledge. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10 (3), 162-187. doi:10.1080/15248370903155825

    Allen, J. L., Rapee, R. M., & Sandberg, S. (2008). Severe life events and chronic adversities as antecedents to anxiety in children: a matched control study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 1047-1056. doi:10.1007/s10802-008-9240-x

    McMahon, C. A., Gibson, F. L., Allen, J. L., & Saunders, D. (2007). Psychosocial adjustment during pregnancy for older couples conceiving through assisted reproductive technology. Human Reproduction, 22 (4), 1168-1174. doi:10.1093/humrep/del502

    Allen, J. L., Abbott, M. J., Rapee, R. M., & Coltheart, M. (2006). Ew gross! Recognition of expressions of disgust by children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behaviour Change, 23 (4), 239-249. doi:10.1375/bech.23.4.239

    Allen, J. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2005). Anxiety Disorders. In P. Graham (Ed.), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Children and Families (pp. 300-319). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Study with us

    Research themes

    Jennifer Allen is available to supervise the following themes:

    • Parenting in relation to either child anxiety / callous-unemotional (CU) traits and antisocial behaviour
    • Child anxiety / CU traits and antisocial behaviour in the school context (e.g., teacher-child or peer interaction)
    • Child anxiety / CU traits and antisocial behaviour and stress generation
    • The role of positive emotions in CU traits and antisocial behaviour
    • Teacher or parent-focused intervention for child anxiety / CU traits and antisocial behaviour.

    Current PhD students

    Celine Chhoa, Erin Moran, Suhlim Hwang, Tom Milson, Xiaodi Chen, Xinyi Cao.