Emma Wilson

Thesis title:

The role of peer victimisation (traditional bullying and cyberbullying) and a support-seeking coping style in the prediction of self-harm among adolescents, and the relationship with gender.


Bullying victimisation has consistently been linked to adolescent self-harm in longitudinal studies (Giletta et al., 2015; Jutengren et al., 2011). Cyberbullying is a more recent form of bullying victimisation associated with self-harm. Compared with non-victims, those who have experienced cybervictimisation were OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.65-3.34) times as likely to self-harm (John et al., 2018).

A person’s coping style and choice of coping strategies has been found to moderate the relationship between bullying (traditional or cyber) and mental health outcomes (Moore et al., 2017), including self-harm (John et al., 2018; van Geel et al., 2015), or coping and self-harm (Guerreiro et al., 2013) but no study has looked specifically at bullying, coping style (specifically the use of support-seeking strategies), and self-harm.

Access to social support is often linked to positive outcomes but less research has looked at the internal role of social support seeking as an adaptive coping style for addressing a stressor such as bullying. This PhD will also look at the moderating effect of gender, as both social support seeking and self-harm have a gendered component. It will also explore any nuances in different forms of bullying (e.g., physical v cyberbullying).

Primary research question: To what extent does a support-seeking coping style moderate the relationship between peer victimisation and self-harm and what is the role of gender?


1. To conduct a critical review of the academic literature on the relationship between bullying and self-harm, and the moderating effect of a support-seeking coping style and gender.

2.To explore the relationship between bullying, coping, social support, gender and self-harm within a cohort of adolescents from South London. The study will use a primarily quantitative approach to address the aims. Interview data may be used to explore barriers and experiences of support-seeking for episodes of bullying and self-harm.

Social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MindfulEm LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mindfulem/ Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emma-Wilson-16

First supervisor:

Craig Morgan


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health




a. Academic journalsEmma Wilson (2020) Where next for youth mental health? Reflections on current research and considerations for the future, Journal of Mental Health, 29:4, 371-375, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1766001

Rowlands, K., Wilson, E., Simic, M., Harrison, A., & Cardi, V. (2020). A Critical Review of Studies Assessing Interpretation Bias Towards Social Stimuli in People With Eating Disorders and the Development and Pilot Testing of Novel Stimuli for a Cognitive Bias Modification Training. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 538527. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.538527

b. Policy reports and book chapters

Evans-Lacko, S., Wilson, E., et al.* (2019). World Alzheimer Report 2019: Attitudes to dementia. London: Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). Available at: https://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2019.pdf *Note: authorship is officially ADI but I was part of the LSE team commissioned to put report together. I am listed in one of the first pages as co-author.

Knapp, M., McDaid, D., Wilson, E., (2018). Money matters: Funding care. In A. Martin, M. Bloch, & M. Volkmar (Eds.), Lewis’s child and adolescent psychiatry: A comprehensive textbook (5 ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Wilson, E., Roger, K., & Ney, S., (2017) The Clement House rotunda project: an evaluation of six informal learning spaces at LSE. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.

McDaid, D., Wilson, E., Knapp, M., (2017). Barriers and facilitators to commissioning cost-effective services for promotion of mental health and wellbeing and prevention of mental ill-health. London: Public Health England

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/Emma.wilson.html https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emma-Wilson-16

Emma is an accredited Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor