UCL News


Mother knows best

27 September 2004

UCL researcher Dr Gill Craig has been awarded the British Psychological Society POWS (Psychology of Women Section) prize.

POWS Open to UK-based postgraduate researchers, POWS is awarded for the best original women-centred research.

Dr Craig was awarded the prize for her PhD 'Mother knows best,' which looks at the time-consuming feeding techniques needed to support disabled children. Her work describes how feeding technologies and practices can problematise notions of mothering and child development, and suggests how clinical services can help support parents who are making the difficult decision to have a feeding tube surgically inserted. Straddling medicine, psychology and sociology, 'Mother knows best' was supervised by Professor Graham Scambler from the Centre for Behavioural and Social Sciences in Medicine and Professor Erica Burman at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dr Craig said: "Winning the competition has meant a lot to me, as it was judged by my peers. Winning the prize has put disability, mothering and feeding on the map and that can only be a good thing for a subject that is so marginalised. The amount of time, effort and care that women spend feeding disabled children - up to seven hours in extreme cases - is rarely acknowledged. I hope that by putting feeding and disability on the agenda, professionals working in this field will gain a better understanding of the kinds of issues women face in relation to feeding and caring for disabled children, so that the health and social services can offer a more parent-friendly, supportive service to families."

Since finishing her research she has begun work as a project coordinator for the London TB Link, where she has responsibility for developing and evaluating a model of care for homeless people and other marginalised groups with tuberculosis. The project, based at the Centre of Infectious Diseases and International Health, is a joint initiative between UCL, UCLH and Camden and Islington Primary Care Trust.

To find out more about POWS use the link below.

Link: Psychology of Women Section