skip to primary navigation skip to content

Christine O'Farrelly


Senior Research Associate and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223


  • PhD Developmental Psychology (University College Dublin)
  • BA Psychology (University College Dublin)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • UKRI Future Leaders Fellow 2022 - 2027

Back to top


Christine is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Senior Research Associate at PEDAL. She currently works as Principal Investigator and Co-Chief Investigator across various projects in the Centre that aim to support children, families, and communities in the earliest years of children’s life.

Christine’s research focuses on developing and evaluating early childhood programmes to promote children’s early development and caregivers’ experiences of parenting. Christine is committed to bringing children’s own perspectives into her work by involving them in all stages of our research. She enjoys working with and supporting vibrant and inclusive teams, by supervising research assistants and associates, and Masters and PhD students.

Before joining PEDAL, Christine worked in the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College London as Trial Manager on the Healthy Start, Happy Start study. She also worked at the Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin on the Preparing for Life evaluation as the project coordinator for the Day in a Life of Preparing for Life Parent, Children’s Thoughts about School, and Play to Learn studies.

Academic Area/Links

Back to top

Research Topics

  • Developmental psychology
  • Early intervention to promote positive child mental health
  • Children’s perspectives
  • Play in the early years

Current Research Project(s)

  • Christine is Principal Investigator on the UKRI-funded Helping Little Minds Thrive project. This programme of work will widen access to effective supports for families, to help babies and toddlers have the best start in life.
  • Christine is Co-Chief Investigator of the Nuffield-funded Playtime with Books project. This project is developing a virtual programme that supports parents and young children to share books together.
  • Christine is Co-Chief Investigator of the NIHR-funded Healthy Start, Happy Start study project. This research evaluates the effectiveness of a brief, video-feedback parenting programme.

Back to top

Principal and Recent Publications

O’Farrelly, C., Watt, H., Babalis, D., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Byford, S., Barker, B.,Ganguli, P.,…& Ramchandani, P.G. (2021). A Brief Home-Based Parenting Intervention to Reduce Behavior Problems in Young Children: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatrics. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6834.

O’Farrelly, C., & Tatlow-Golden, M. (2022). It’s up to you if you want to take part. Supporting young children’s informed choice about research participation with simple visual booklets, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 30:1, 63-80.

Skene, K., O’Farrelly, C. M., Byrne, E. M., Kirby, N., Stevens, E. C., & Ramchandani, P. G. (2022). Can guidance during play enhance children’s learning and development in educational contexts? A systematic review and meta‚Äźanalysis. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13730.

Rao, Z., Barker, B., O’Farrelly, C., & Ramchandani, P. (2021). Maternal anxiety and depression and their associations with mother–child pretend play: a longitudinal observational study. BMC Psychology.

Patel, J., Smith, R., O’Farrelly, C., Iles, J., Rosan, C., Ryan, R., & Ramchandani, P. (2021). Assessing behavior in children aged 12–24 months using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Infancy. doi: 10.1111/infa.12425.

O’Farrelly, C. (2021). Bringing young children’s voices into programme development, randomized controlled trials and other unlikely places. Children & Society, 35(1), 34-47.

O’Farrelly, C., Booth, A., Tatlow-Golden, M., & Barker, B. (2020). Reconstructing readiness: Young children’s priorities for their early school adjustment. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 50, 3-16.

O’Farrelly, C., Doyle, O., Victory, G., & Palamaro-Munsell, E. (2018). Shared book reading in early infancy and later child development: Evidence from an early childhood intervention. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2017.12.001.

O’Farrelly, C., Lovett, J., Guerin, S., Doyle, O., & Victory, G. (2017). Enhancing infant mental health using a capacity building model: A case study of a process evaluation of the Ready, Steady, Grow initiative. Infants and Young Children. 30, 269-287.

Ryan, R., O’Farrelly, C., & Ramchandani, P. (2017). Parenting and child mental health. London Journal of Primary Care. doi: 10.1080/17571472.2017.1361630.

Christine O'Farrelly

image of staff member