Michelle St Clair

Dr

Accepting Doctoral Students

20092020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

I joined the University of Bath as a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology in 2014. My background for the 7 years prior to joining the University of Bath had been in the field of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Manchester and the University of Cambrige.  In particular, I have developed expertise on analysing large scale, complex data analysis across several different projects. In 2020 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. 

My current research interests focus on several related aspects of developmental psychology. In particular, my research team at Bath is investigating how early language delay and disorder (Developmental Language Disorder [DLD; previously known as Specific Language Impairment] more specifically) influences long term child and adolescent outcomes.  We are particularly interested in investigating the developmental pathways from early language difficulties to the increased rates of emotional and social difficulties which are commonly found in this population.  As developmental language disorder has a high prevalence rate (approximately 7%), understanding the pathways to the increased maladaptive outcomes found in this population is of importance.

We investigate this by both looking at language ability and language delay in large scale cohort studies as well as with projects run from our new laboratory facilities in Bath aiming to test more specific hypotheses.  The combination of initial analyses in a longitudinal cohorts with follow-up studies to more specifically investigate hypotheses is a strength of my group's research here in Bath. 

Alongside Professor Nicola Botting at City, University of London and Dr Jenny Gibson at the University of Cambridge, I have recently launched an ambitious new project - Engage with Developmental Language Disorder. This project aims to do two main things.  First, we aim to make research on DLD more accessible to those who need to understand it most - the parents of children with DLD and adults with DLD. We do this by summarising scientific papers into an accessible format for non-experts.  Secondly, this project is building a research database of families, adolescents and individuals with DLD.  Regular emails are sent advertising different DLD research projects from a wide variety of researcher.  DLD researchers simply need to fill in a few forms and send in evidence of their ethical approval for us to advertise their projects to E-DLD members. The overall aim of this project is to create a resource for the entire DLD community - information for parents and increased research capacity for DLD researchers.

To complement my work on DLD, I have started a new line of research looking at how parental use of smart phones may influence child language environment. We know from a range of studies that the quantity and quality of language children hear is overwhelmingly influential in the pace of their language development.  Emerging evidence indicates that smart phone use may reduce parental responsivity to children.  How these factors interact to influence a child's language environment and language development is one of our current areas of interest.

Willing to supervise doctoral students

How parental mobile phone use influences the child language environment and the pace of language development

Developmental Language Disorder and emotional self regulation in children

Developmental Language Disorder and peer victimisation/friendship difficulties

Early environmental factors (specifically SES related differences) and rates language acquisition

Rates and importance of unsuspected language disorders in either the a.) unemployed population; b) CAMHS referred population; c) children/adolescence/youth in juvenile detention centres.

External positions

Visiting Scientist, University of Cambridge

1 Jul 20151 Jul 2016

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