Professor Kate Bennett

I am a Professor of Psychology and Director of Education Development and Innovation in the Institute of Population Health.

COVID-19 research areas

I am involved in three COVID-19 research projects:

Current studies

As part of the C19PRC study, we have been conducting interviews with three groups of people:

  • Older Adults, aged 65 and over
  • A general adult sample, aged 18-64
  • A smaller sample of women and men with children under one and pregnant women.

To date we have interviewed more than 60 participants. We will return our findings to these participants, to follow up on their experiences of COVID-19. The findings from this study are informing both Public Health England and the Cabinet Office. Members of the consortium include colleagues from the University of SheffieldUlster University and University College London, as well as collaborators from the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

Why these areas are important

COVID-19 has touched all of us, and the impact on wellbeing and social cohesion is as yet unknown. What we do know is that there is a differential effect on older people, people from BAME communities and from communities with low socio-economic status. It is important to understand both the degree and the qualitative feel of those experiences. Having a strong evidence base is essential for good policy making and practice.

Why working towards tackling COVID-19 inspires me

Unfortunately, in a way, the pandemic feeds directly into my research interests – bereavement, resilience and psychology of ageing. I have been particularly motivated by the plight of older people and the poor way they have been treated. In addition, it seems to me that COVID-19 is a useful test of my ecological model of resilience which considers individual, community and societal resources as important factors in promoting (and hindering) resilience.

Team science

All of the projects I am involved in require team work. This crisis has enabled me to work with both new and old collaborators. I am able to work with people with different skills, different perspectives, and help to develop the skills of early career researchers.

What it means to be part of the University of Liverpool at this time

I have spent much of the last few years promoting student experience as Head of the School of Psychology. For the last few months, my research colleagues have supported me through the transition to a new role, back to a greater focus on research. The support of my colleagues has been tremendous. I have told my graduating students that their journey is one to resilience drawing on individual resources, the community of peers, and the society that is the University. It seems to me that this is especially true of the academic journey at this challenging time.

To find out more about my work, email me.

Back to: Coronavirus (COVID-19)