DeSTRESS Project - Understanding and Dealing with Stress

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Lorraine Hansford

Lorraine is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on a new study, De-Stress. De-Stress in an ESRC funded research project running from November 2016 to April 2019, examining the medicalisation of distress in low-income communities.Using a range of qualitative methods, the study seeks to understand how moral narratives (relating to individual responsibility and welfare entitlements) impact on healthcare decisions, prescribing practice and experiences of health and wellbeing.

From 2012 – 2016 Lorraine worked as an Associate Research Fellow on the STARS Trial, leading the process evaluation, and was part of the child mental health team. STARS (Supporting Teachers and childRen in Schools) is investigating whether training teachers in the ‘Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management’ strategies has benefits for the child and the teacher, specifically improving child behaviour and academic attainment and improving teachers’ sense of professional efficacy and mental health. This large, randomised controlled trial started in September 2012 and worked with 80 primary schools and 1600 families in Devon over five years.

Prior to this Lorraine worked as an Associate Research Fellow on the ‘Helping Children Achieve’ trial, investigating the effectiveness of 2 parenting programmes to improve behaviour and reading in inner-city primary school children. Lorraine also carried out some secondary analysis of the ‘Sharptalk’ data; using qualitative data from an online forum to explore the experiences and views of young people accessing health care after self-harming.

Before moving into research Lorraine worked as a qualified youth and community worker for 17 years, working with a wide range of young people and families, including teenage parents, young people in care, children at risk of exclusion and adults with learning disabilities. From 2005-2009 Lorraine worked as a freelance consultant in roles mainly involving service evaluations, reviews and policy development, with local authorities, voluntary organisations and as an Additional Inspector for Youth Services with Ofsted.