Photo of Dr Luna Centifanti

Dr Luna Centifanti PhD

Senior Lecturer; Senior Research Tutor DClinPsych Psychological Sciences


    Personal Statement

    Formerly Luna C. Muñoz, I’m an American ex-pat living in Europe since 2005. I got a Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook and then received my MSc from Pennsylvania State University. I went down to New Orleans to work with Professor Paul Frick and received my PhD in 2005. After a two-year post-doc in Sweden (at the Center for Developmental Research – Örebro University), I worked as a Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and University of Durham in the UK. I came to Liverpool as a Senior Lecturer in 2016. I also am a Research Tutor on the DClinPsyc programme.

    My main field of research is the development of aggression and violence. A callous-unemotional (CU) style has been found to be highly related to violence and aggression in both boys and girls. As a developmental psychopathologist, I'm interested in the emotional and social life of those children with CU traits. Thus, I have examined CU traits and their relation to subtypes of aggression, emotional and physiological unresponsiveness, problematic peer relationships, and parenting relationships.

    I have received numerous invitations to serve the international research community. First, I am Treasurer-Elect for the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Second, I am one of three Editor-in-Chiefs for Social Development, an international journal. I co-edited Wiley’s Handbook of Developmental Psychopathology and I head the CARES lab which seeks to understand forensic, clinical and other mental health outcomes in children and adults. My longitudinal work on CU traits and parenting has been recognized by Economic and Social Research Council and Longview with the Neville Butler Memorial Prize (2011). In addition to consultancy work with local county councils and charity community organisations, I have been invited to give talks about my research at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Risely and Wymott. I've also had media appearances regarding my work: Sky TV, BBC, Secrets of the Brain, and an interview write-up for The Telegraph. Further, my TEDx Durham University talk and podcast has over 45,000 views on YouTube and has inspired many parents to email me messages of gratitude.

    Prizes or Honours

    • Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement Prize (University of Liverpool, 2019)
    • Neville Butler Memorial Prize winner (co-winner) (Longview/ESRC, 2010)