UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Dr Lucy Foulkes

Honorary Lecturer

Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st May 2013

Research summary

My research focuses on adolescent mental health. I am particularly interested in understanding how increased public mental health awareness has impacted adolescents, in terms of possible self-diagnosis and the overpathologising of emotional distress. I am currently completing a Prudence Trust research fellowship (at the University of Oxford) to investigate whether mental health interventions in secondary schools are causing iatrogenic harm and adverse affects in some adolescents. 

I am also interested more broadly in social development and social cognition during adolescence, and how these processes might affect (and be affected by) mental health problems.


! completed my 4-year MRC-funded PhD in UCL's Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology department, supervised by Profs Essi Viding and Eamon McCrory (2011-2015). My thesis focused on social reward processing and psychopathic traits. I then worked as a postdoc at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, with Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (2015-2017). This focused on the MYRIAD trial, investigating the effect of mindfulness on adolescent mental health. I then took up a lectureship in psychology and education at the University of York (2018-2020). 

I am currently honorary lecturer in psychology in UCL's Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology department. I am author of the book What Mental Illness Really Is... And What It Isn't (Penguin Random House, 2021) and am writing a second book, about adolescent development, due for publication in late 2024.