Personal profile

Overview

Debbie is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology (Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences) and is a Practitioner Psychologist (Health Psychologist).

Debbie is the Doctoral Academy student experience lead for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

Research interests

Debbie is a Senior Lecturer in health psychology and Health Psychologist. She also acts as a Stage 2 Health Psychology supervisor. If you are interested in studying for a PhD on the topic of reproductive or sexual health, please contact Debbie.

Debbie's main research interests are pregnancy-related behaviour change, the idea of pregnancy as a teachable moment, breastfeeding behaviours, maternal obesity and the impact of socio-economic environment on health behaviours.

Debbie designs and delivers health psychology training for health care professionals to support their clinical care of pregnant women.  Current work includes contributing health psychology expertise to stillbirth research with Professor Dame Tina Lavender and Dr Tracey Mills at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Professor Alex Heazell at St.Marys Hospital, Manchester. She is involved in initiaitives run by Blackpool Better Start and Leeds Recovery College.

Debbie is also involved in educational research and widening participation activities. She is chair of the governing committee at an inner-city primary school in Leeds.     

Debbie worked at The University of Manchester between 2009 and 2017, in this time she was the project coordinator of a programme of work focusing on maternal obesity in the School of Midwifery, Nursing and Social Work (funded by the Department of Health and Department for Education in collaboration with Tommys baby charity). Between 2017-2020, she left Manchester to work at Leeds Trinity University as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. Debbie returned to Manchester University in 2020.

Teaching

 Current teaching responsibilities:

  • Academic Advisor and independent project supervisor - BSc Psychology programme
  • Illness and Healthcare (PSYC69852) unit lead - MSc Clinical & Health Psychology and MSc Health Psychology programme
  • Mind and Body (PSYC69822) unit lead - MSc Clinical & Health Psychology and MSc Health Psychology programme
  • Health Psychology Placement (PSYC66660) unit lead - Msc Health Psychology programme.

My collaborations

Dr Sinead Currie, Stirling University

Dr Zoe Darwin, University of Huddersfield.

Dr Sophie Russell, The University of Surrey

Dr Anja Wittkowski, The University of Manchester

Professor Dame Tina Lavender and Dr Tracey Mills, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 

Dr Madeleine Benton, Kings College London

Professor Alex Heazell, Manchester NHS Foundation Trust 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • British Psychological Society (BPS) – Full Member, since Jan 2009
  • Division of Health Psychology

Methodological knowledge

Qualitative research methods 

Meta-synthesis

 

Qualifications

  • Senior Fellow of the HEA - 2017
  • PhD (Affluence, deprivation and young parenthood – an exploration of pregnancy decisions in four Local Authorities in London) - 2007
  • MSc Health Psychology - 2003
  • BSc Psychology - 2002

Social responsibility

Debbie several widening participation (WP) events.  These include University experience days for GCSE and A-Level students and Psychology Education and Well-being in schools (PEWs) for primary school children.

Nuffield Research Placement Provider 2020/2021- Organisation

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute

Keywords

  • Maternal health, behaviour change

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
  • Psychology Discovery Day

    Debbie Smith (Participant)

    1 Jul 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • GCSE Experience day

    Debbie Smith (Participant)

    2016 → …

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • A-Level experience day

    Debbie Smith (Participant)

    Dec 2013 → …

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch

  • Psychology Education and Wellbeing in Schools (PEWS)

    Debbie Smith (Participant)

    2013 → …

    Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch