Dr. Karen Goodall

Lecturer in Applied Psychology


Karen is a chartered Psychologist whose teaching is focused predominantly on developmental psychology and mental health. She is currently the Programme Director of the MSc Children and Young People's Mental Health and Psychological Practice, in the deparment of Clinical and Health Psychology.  She is also Senior Tutor for the School of Health in Social Science, overseeing the school-wide personal tutoring system. Karen has over 17 years experience teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, with experience of supervising at undergraduate, taught Masters, Phd and taught Doctorate levels. Her teaching is focused on attachment, developmental psychology, mental health, emotion regulation and non-typical development.  

Karen was awareded an MA (1st class Hons) in Psychology from The University of Edinburgh in 1998 and a PhD in 2002. Her PhD  was focused on collaborative learning in children with Down syndrome and other learning disabilities and was funded by the Down Syndrome Association of Scotland. Her supervisor was Prof. Jennifer Wishart.

She is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Member of Senatus Academicus
  • Senior Tutor, School of Health and Social Science
  • Programme Director MSc Mental Health Health of Children and Young People: Psychological Approaches

Undergraduate teaching

MA Health, Science and Society programme

  • Psychological Perspectives on Psychological Perspectives on Health and Care (Attachment and mental and physical health)

Postgraduate teaching

  •  Programme Director  for the MSc in Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice programme 

I contribute to teaching on the following programmes/courses:

MSc in Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Psychological Practice

  • Attachment: Theory and Application (course organiser) 
  • Dissertation (course organiser)

MSc in Psychology of Mental Heath (conversion course)

  • Conceptual and Theoretical Psychology (Course organiser)

MSc Psychological Therapies

  • Developmental theory and CBT

MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People

  • Developmental theories

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I have capacity to take on  Masters in Research and PhD students in the following areas:

  • impact of childhood adversity/abuse/trauma on later psychological functioning
  • attachment and its relationship to mental health in children and adults, and enduring conditions (psychosis)
  • emotional and self regulatory capacity - the development of; correlates of and relationship to mental health in children and adults
  • trait mindfulness and its assoication with self regulatory capacity
  • postive psychology, especially the regulation of positive emotion and aversion to positive emotion 

I have considerable experience in PhD examining in the roles of internal and external examiner.

Current PhD students supervised


Anna Trejnowska (2015 - present) Adult attachment and coping with a brain tumour diagnosis

Loukia Bololia - Dramatherapy and Autism Spectrum Disorder    

Kiyoshi Nasir Bhuiyan - Ipad technology in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Jenni Murray (2018-present) - The role of compassion on intrusive thoughts of caregivers of adults with dementia

Gina Murphy (2018 - present) - The impact of loneliness on paranoia

David Carmichael (2016-present) The Relationship Between Childhood Trauma, Negative Core Schema and Paranoia in People with Persecutory Delusions: A Mediation Analysis                                                                       

Past PhD students supervised


2019 Melissa Akoral Thesis title: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Distress Related to Psychosis Experiences.

2017 Zara Brodie Thesis title: The relationship between adult attachment and the regulation of anger.

2015 Louise Cotton  Thesis title:  'Mind the Gap: An Investigation into Disfluency and Hesitation Phenomena in Adults with Dyslexia.

2014 Clare Uytman Living With Limb Loss: Individuals' and Prosthetists' Perceptions of Amputation, Prosthesis Use and Rehabilitation.

2013 Rahul Sambaraju Thesis title: Immigration and Unemployment in the Financial Recession: A Discours Analytic Study on Exclusion of Immigants.


Professional Doctorate

2008-2014 Michael McCreadie   Prof. Doctorate in Health Psychology 


MSc Research

2016-17 Daria Karbainova The Impact of Daily Loving-Kindness Meditation on the Regulation of Positive emotion

2015-16 Jingya Yuan Attachment as a Mediator between Childhood Emotional Maltreatment and Adulthood Regulation in Positive Emotion (MSc by Reseach).



Research summary

I have am primarily interested in how early experiences in childhood exert an effect on later mental health/well-being. Within this broad scope, I have interests in the following areas:

  • Attachment as an organising framework for the understanding of mental health and well-being
  • The regulation of internal mental processes and affect, including metacognitive processes and the regulation of positive, as well as negative emotion
  • Correlates of dispositional (naturally occurring) mindfulness, including attachment, metacognition and attentional control
  • Effects of childhood trauma, especially emotional abuse
  • Attachment-related factors in the negotiation of terminal and life-long conditions

I also have a further interest in interactions between individuals and their healthcare professionals with a view to understanding how interpretations of these interactions impact on assessment of risk and decision-making processes. I am happy to discuss applications with potential PhD students in any of these areas.

Research activity

I am a member of the research group Developmental Psychopathology, which is focused on investigating developmental trajectories of mental health and well-being in children and young people and the development of current psychological models of emotional distress and mental health.  

We are further focused on the development and evaluation of psychological interventions for young people with significant mental health difficulties and emotional distress.  

I am also a member of the Edinburgh Child and Adolescent Research Network (ECAP), which brings together child psychologists based in Clinical Psychology, Psychology and Education.  

Recent and ongoing projects include:

Attachment, emotion regulation and attentional control as predictors of dispositional mindfulness in adolescents

Perceptions of emergency calls by bystanders at out-of-hospital cardiac arrests http://www.rrg-edinburgh.com/projects/the-first-first-responder/

Attachment and the regulation of positive emotion

Attachment and distress in psychosis

Research themes


Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology

  • Risk and Resilience
  • Developmental Psychopathology and Wellbeing

Research groups

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Health​

Affiliated research centres

View all 43 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

24th February 2017 Invited chair. Scottish Nurture Group Network Annual Scottish conference: Teaching and learning for children with social, emotional and mental health issues


Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE), Glasgow, UK, April 4-5 2018

Papers delivered

Goodall, K. The role of emotion in the relationship between attachment and dispositional mindfulness. European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Braga, Portugal, 28th August - 1st September, 2017.

Trejnowska, A. McVittie, C. and Goodall, K,. A mixed methods investigation of the experience of being diagnosed with a brain tumour. European Conference on Health Psychology, Padova, Italy, 29 Aug - 1st Sept 2017.

Uytman, C., McVittie, C. and Goodall, K. If you’ve never been through it, you can’t understand” An IPA exploration of prosthetist--patient communication. European Conference on Health Psychology, Padova, Italy, 29 Aug - 1st Sept 2017.

Brodie, Z. P., Goodall., K. Attachment insecurity as a predictor of dispositional anger in adulthood. European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Braga, Portugal, 28th August - 1st September 2015.

Goodall, K.  Children’s knowledge about factors associated with the maintenance of normal bodyweight. European Health Psychology Society, Innsbruck, 26th-30th August, 2104.

 Goodall, K, Grünwald, L. & Darling, S. Attachment, emotional abuse and physical abuse predict schizotypy in a nonclinical sample. International Psychological Applications Conference and Trends, Madrid, 26th-28th April, 2013.

Goodall, K., McVittie, C., McKinlay, A. & Uytman, C. Predictors of positive emotion regulation strategies: attachment and self esteem. 26th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Prague, Czech Republic, 21st-25th August 2012.

Goodall, K., Darling, S., Myles, J. and Hutt, A.   The contributions of adult attachment and schizotypy to working memory. The 12th European Congress of Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey, 5th-8th July 2011.

Goodall, K. & Trejnowska, A. The role of adult attachment style and emotion regulation in predicting mindfulness in non-meditators. . The 12th European Congress of Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey, 5th-8th July 2011.

Goodall, K. & Binnie, L. (2010). Theory of mind in children in Nurture groups. Annual Conference for Educational Psychologists in Scotland, Edinburgh, UK, 30th Sept -1st  Oct 2010.

Wilson, S., Goodall, K. & McVittie. (2010). Sceptical believers. The British Psychological Society Qualitative Methods in Psychology Conference, Nottingham, UK, 23rd-25th August 2010.

Elliott, Ian and Goodall, Karen and McVittie, Chris and Trejnowska, Anna (2010) Young workers’ experiences of abuse in public-facing jobs [invited speaker]. In: STUC Congress, 19th April, Dundee. (Unpublished)

Goodall, K.  (2009) Adult attachment and Schizotypy. British Psychological Society Scotland, Edinburgh, UK, 28th-29th November, 2009.

McVittie, C., Hepworth, J. & Goodall, K. (2009). Gender identities and health: how partners construct masculinities and femininities in relation to older men. In C. McVittie & A. McKinlay (Chairs), Discourses of health and illness. Symposium presented at the 6th Biennial Meeting of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology, Lausanne, Switzerland.8th-11th July 2009.

Magill, M. & Goodall, K. (2006) To cut or not to cut: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of birth choice after caesarean. The British Psychological Society Social Psychology Conference, Birmingham, UK, 6-8 September, 2006.

Goodall, K.E. (2004). Children’s understanding of overweight and obesity. The British Psychological Society Developmental Conference. Leeds Metropolitan University, 2-5 September, 2004.

Goodall, K.E. (2003). A comparison of a direct teaching method and contingent assistance on the spatial problem-solving skills of children with Down syndrome. Annual conference of the Developmental section of the British Psychological Society. Coventry University, 11-14 September 2003.

Goodall, K.E. (2000). Collaborative learning in typically-developing children and children with learning disabilities. European Conference on Educational Research, The University of Edinburgh, 20-23 September 2000.

Goodall, K.E. (2000).  The effect of collaboration with a peer on understanding of concept of number and matter in children with Down syndrome. The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference. The University of Bristol, 14-15September, 2000.

Goodall, K.E. (2000). A qualitative video-analysis of collaborative interactions between children with Down syndrome and children with non-specific learning disabilities. Down Syndrome Research Forum. Sarah Duffen Centre, Portsmouth, May  2000.

Goodall, K.E. (1999). Peer learning in children with Down’s syndrome and children with non-specific learning difficulties. The British Psychological Society Education Section Annual conference. The University of Greenwich, 6-7 November 1999.

Goodall, K.E. (1997). A preliminary investigation of collaborative learning in children with Down syndrome. The British Psychological Society Postgraduate Affairs Group Conference, University of Lancaster, October 1999.