skip to primary navigation skip to content

Elian Fink


Senior Research Associate

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0) 122376753


  • PhD in Developmental Psychology (University of Sydney, Australia)
  • B.Psych Hons (University of Sydney, Australia)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Association for Psychological Science

Back to top


Elian’s research interests focus on social and emotional development in early childhood. Elian completed her PhD at the University of Sydney, Australia, examining the longitudinal association between children’s emotion management, socio-cognitive understanding and peer relationships. Following her PhD, Elian went on to do post-doctoral research at the Evidence Based Practice Unit at University College London and the Anna Freud Centre, exploring children and young people’s emotional well-being and mental health difficulties in the school context. She is now a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL) working on a longitudinal project examining the antecedents and outcomes of play in early childhood.

Academic Area/Links

Back to top

Research Topics

  • Social cognition, emotion regulation
  • Social competence in early childhood, friendship, peer relations
  • Affective and cognitive empathy
  • Bullying and victimisation
  • Parental influences on children's social development

Current Research Project(s)

  • Longitudinal study of the antecedents and consequences of social pretend play at the transition to school
  • Role of parental talk for children's social and emotional outcomes
  • Exploring the bullying/victimisation experience in typically developing children and children with Autism

Back to top

Principal and Recent Publications

Elian Fink, Wendy V Browne, Isla Kirk & Claire Hughes (2019) Couple relationship quality and the infant home language environment: Gender-specific findings. Journal of Family Psychology

Gabrielle McHarg, Elian Fink & Claire Hughes (2019) Crying babies, empathic toddlers, responsive mothers and fathers: Exploring parent-toddler interactions in an empathy paradigm. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 179, 23-37.

Elian Fink, Wendy Browne, Claire Hughes & Jenny Gibson (2018) Using a ‘child’s-eye view’ of social success to understand the importance of school readiness at the transition to formal schooling. Social Development.

Elian Fink, Tjeert Olthof, Frits Goossens, Sandra van der Meijden & Sander Begeer (2018) Bullying related behaviour in adolescents with autism: Links with autism severity, and emotional and behavioural problems. Autism, 22(6), 684-692.

Elian Fink, Praveetha Patalay, Helen Sharpe & Miranda Wolpert (2017) Child- and school-level predictors of children’s bullying behaviour: A multilevel analysis in 648 primary schools. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(1), 17-26.

Rebecca Kuhnert, Sander Begeer, Elian Fink, & Marc de Rosnay (2017). Gender-differentiated effects of theory of mind, emotion understanding, and social preference on prosocial behavior development: A longitudinal study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 154, 13-27.

Dawid Gondek, Julian Edbrooke-Childs, Elian Fink, Jessica Deighton, & Miranda Wolpert (2016). Feedback from Outcome Measures and Treatment Effectiveness, Treatment Efficiency, and Collaborative Practice: A Systematic Review. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 43(3), 325–343.

Helen Sharpe, Praveetha Patalay, Elian Fink, Panos Vostanis, Jessica Deighton & Miranda Wolpert (2016) Exploring the relationship between quality of life and mental health problems in children: Implications for measurement and practice, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 25 (6), 659-667.

Mark R. Dadds, Nyree Gale, Megan Godbee, Caroline Moul, Dave Pasalich, Elian Fink & David J Hawes (2015) Expression and regulation of attachment-related emotions in children with conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits, Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 47(4), 647–65.

Fink, E., Patalay, P., Sharpe, H., Holley, S., Deighton, J., & Wolpert, M. (2015) The prevalence of mental health difficulties in adolescents in 2009 and 2014: A comparison of two cross-sectional studies, Journal of Adolescent Health.

Fink, E., Begeer, S., Peterson, C., Slaughter, V., & de Rosnay, M. (2015) Friends, friendlessness, and the social consequences of gaining a theory of mind, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 33(1), 27-30.

Fink, E., Deighton, J., Humphrey, N. & Wolpert, M. (2015) Assessing the bullying and victimisation experiences of children with special educational needs in mainstream schools: Development and validation of the Bullying Behaviour and Experience Scale, Research in Developmental Disorders, 36(1), 611 – 619. DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.048

Fink, E., Begeer, S., Hunt, C & de Rosnay, M. (online, 2014) False-belief understanding and social preference over the first two years of school: A longitudinal study, Child Development.

Fink, E., Begeer, S., Peterson, C., Slaughter, V., & de Rosnay, M. (2014) Friendlessness and theory of mind: A prospective longitudinal study, British Journal of Developmental Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12060.

de Rosnay, M., Fink, E., Begeer, S., Slaughter V., & Peterson, C. (2014) Talking theory of mind: Young school-aged children’s everyday conversation and understanding of mind and emotion, Journal of Child Language, 41(5), 1179 – 1193. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000913000433

Fink, E., de Rosnay, M., Wierda, M., Kloot, H M. & Begeer, S. (2014) Recognition of Facial Emotions in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 2363 – 2368.