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Dr Anji Wilson

Dr Anji Wilson

Research Associate



Anji joined the CNE as an RA on the Nuffield Foundation's project Rhythmic Perception, Music and Language. Together with Ruth Cumming, she tested children in schools across East Anglia. On completion of the project Anji worked on the MRC's study into Auditory Processing in Dyslexic Children: Behavioural and Neural Investigations, and from there moved onto the EEF/Wellcome Trust's GraphoGame Rime study in which a specially created computer game is used to help children learn to read by developing their phonological awareness through rhyme analogy.

Educational background and work history

I took a degree in Pathobiology at the University of Reading (1979-1982) to go into medical research. My MSc at Oxford broadened my interests into biological anthropology. I worked in a cancer epidemiology group, as well as teaching at what is now Oxford Brookes University before I joined the Department of Experimental Psychology in Cambridge. This period of research led me into the areas of cognitive development and associated school attainment. Following my doctorate (1989 to 1997) I worked at the Winnicott Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge from 1994-1997, on a study into the efficacy of short-term, home-based counselling support for first time mothers. It also looked at the impact of maternal post-natal depression on the development of children. At the same time I worked with researchers from the Park Hospital for Sick Children in Oxford on a study into the experiences of young people with Down's Syndrome. After the relocation of the Winnicott Research Unit I initiated and worked in conjunction with the Cambridge Mediation Service (formerly The Cambridge Family and Divorce Centre) on a project to evaluate school-based counselling support for children who had experienced parental separation or divorce (1998 to 2000). This project was funded by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and resulted in a report designed for dissemination to relevant practitioners. In April 2000 I joined the Centre for Family Research, to work with Martin Richards on a qualitative, interview-based study investigating connections between concepts of family and kinship and those of inheritance and genetics in young people (students and young parents.) This project was entitled 'Understanding inheritance: kinship connections and genetics' and was funded by the Wellcome Trust. This is an ongoing area of my interest in concepts of family and their wider practical implications. Since November 2004 I have been part of a research team investigating the predictors of success in the transition to school, led by principal researcher Claire Hughes. I have co-ordinated and participated in school research visits. This has involved psychometric assessments with children and interviewing of school staff. I have also visited and interviewed family members at home.

Other Publications

Publications and presentations

September 2005 discussant at Socio-legal conference on ‘Kinship’ in Cambridge. Proceedings of conference to be published as a book in July 2006.

April and July 2004 presented findings from the school-based support study at practitioner conferences in Manchester and London.

Schools and family change: school-based support for children experiencing divorce and separation, Anji Wilson and Janet Edwards, with Susie Allen and Carol Dasgupta, in the Family Change Series, Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2003. (Published in the form of a report and a summary of findings document)

Controlled trial of the short- and long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression. 1. Impact on maternal mood. P.J. Cooper, L. Murray, A. Wilson et al, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2003, 182, 412-419.

Controlled trial of the short- and long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression. 2. Impact on the mother-child relationship. L. Murray, P.J. Cooper, A. Wilson et al, British Journal of Psychiatry, 2003, 182, 420-427.

The development and validation of a predictive index for postpartum depression, P.J. Cooper, L. Murray, R.Hooper and A.W. West, Psychological Medicine, 1996, 26, 627-634.

Cognitive and educational attainment in different ethnic groups, A.M. West, N.J. Mackintosh and C.G.N. Mascie-Taylor, J. Biosoc. Sci., 1992, 24, 539-555.

West Indian and Asian children's educational attainment, 1970-1985, N.J. Mackintosh, C.G.N. Mascie-Taylor and A.M. West in 'Educational Attainments: Issues and Outcomes', edited by G.K.Verma and P.Pumfrey, Falmer Press, 1988, 87-99.