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Ruth Sellers


Senior Research Associate

E-mail Address



  • PhD Psychology, Cardiff University, 2010-2013
  • BA Psychology, Cardiff University, 2003-2006

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Associate member of the Division of Psychological Medicine & Clinical Neurosciences, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University
  • Associate member of the Wolfson Centre for Young People's Mental Health, Cardiff University

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Ruth is a Senior Research Associate and Deputy Director of the Andrew & Virginia Rudd Research and Professional Practice Centre. 

Ruth received her PhD in 2013 from Cardiff University. She was later awarded an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship (2016- 2019) at the University of Sussex, examining mechanisms for the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology.

Her primary research interests focus on a number of strands: (i) the examination of risk and resilience-based processes underlying childhood and adolescent psychopathology, specifically depression and disruptive behaviour disorders; (ii) the interplay between genetic factors, and family and school environmental factors in examining the precursors and processes that underlie individual differences in children’s psychopathology and related outcomes; (iii) examining the interplay between mental health and physical health outcomes during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Ruth uses advanced statistical methods and employs longitudinal/cohort population, high-risk cohorts and genetically informative research designs to better understand mechanisms that may explain the development of psychopathology and other adverse outcomes and that can help to inform intervention and prevention strategies.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Intergenerational transmission of mental health difficulties and related outcomes
  • Gene-environment interplay for child development
  • Family influences, child mental health & related outcomes
  • Interplay between physical & mental health
  • Trends in mental health

Prospective PhD Applications

PhD Supervision (taking candidates for 2023 intake if aligned with Rudd research group)

Current Research Project(s)

  • Siblings Analysis Taskforce member with University of Oregon Collaborators (August 2019 – present).
  • Fathers Taskforce member with University of Oregon Collaborators (February 2019 – present). 
  • Advisory Board Member and school youth engagement lead for e-Nurture Network. (September 2018 – present)

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  • Postgraduate
    • MPhil and MEd lecturing (Psychology & Education)
    • MPhil and MEd supervision (Psychology & Education)
  • Undergraduate
    • Education Tripos
    • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos
    • Undergraduate dissertation supervision

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Principal and Recent Publications

Sellers, R., Riglin, L., Harold, G. T., & Thapar, A. (2022). Using genetic designs to identify likely causal environmental contributions to psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 1-13.

Sellers, R., Harold, G. T., Smith, A. F., Neiderhiser, J. M., Reiss, D., Shaw, D., ... & Leve, L. D. (2021). Disentangling nature from nurture in examining the interplay between parent–child relationships, ADHD, and early academic attainment. Psychological medicine, 51(4), 645-652.

Sellers, R., Harold, G. T., Thapar, A., Neiderhiser, J. M., Ganiban, J. M., Reiss, D., ... & Leve, L. D. (2020). Examining the Role of Genetic Risk and Longitudinal Transmission Processes Underlying Maternal Parenting and Psychopathology and Children’s ADHD Symptoms and Aggression: Utilizing the Advantages of a Prospective Adoption Design. Behavior Genetics, 50(4), 247-262.

Sellers, R., Warne, N., Rice, F., Langley, K., Maughan, B., Pickles, A., ... & Collishaw, S. (2020). Using a cross-cohort comparison design to test the role of maternal smoking in pregnancy in child mental health and learning: Evidence from two UK cohorts born four decades apart. International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(2), 390-399.

Collishaw, S., Furzer, E., Thapar, A. K., & Sellers, R. (2019). Brief report: A comparison of child mental health inequalities in three UK population cohorts. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1-3.

Sellers, R., Collishaw, S., Warne, N., Pickles, A., Maughan, B., & Thapar, A. (2019). Cross-cohort change in adolescent outcomes for children with mental health problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60(7), 813-821.

Sellers, R., Smith, A. F., Leve, L.D., Nixon, L., Cane, T., Cassell, J. A., & Harold, G.T. (2019). Utilizing genetically-informed research designs to better understand family processes and child development: Implications for Adoption and Foster-care focused interventions. Adoption and Fostering, 43(3), 351-371.

Richards, A., Horwood, J., O’Donovan, M. C., Boden, J., Sellers, R., Riglin, L., Mistry, S., Jones, H., Smith, D. J., Zammit, S., Kennedy, M., & Harold, G.T. (2018). Associations between schizophrenia genetic risk, anxiety disorders and manic/hypomanic episode in a longitudinal adult population cohort. British Journal of Psychiatry. 1-7.

Harold, G. T., & Sellers, R. (2018). Annual Research Review: Interparental Conflict and Youth Psychopathology: An Evidence Review and Practice Focused Update. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59(4), 374-402.

Mahedy, L., Harold, G., Thapar, A., Maughan, B., Araya, R., Gardner, F., Sellers, R., Hammerton, G., Bevan-Jones, R., & Collishaw, S. (2018). Resilience in high-risk adolescents of mothers with recurrent depressive disorder: The contribution of fathers. Journal of Adolescence, 65, 207-218.

Rice, F., Sellers, R., Hammerton, G., Eyre, O., Bevan-Jones, R., Thapar, A.K., Collishaw, S., Harold, G.T., & Thapar, A. (2017). Antecedents of new-onset major depressive disorder in children and adolescents at high familial risk. JAMA Psychiatry, 74(2), 153-160.

Policy-related publications

Sellers, R., Smith, A. F., Harold, G. T. (2018). Family Relationship Influences on Youth Mental Health: Moving from Evidence to Implementation. Blog post, Capita One.

Sellers, R. (2017). What Role does the Inter-parental Relationship play in Supporting Positive Child Development in the Early Years and Enhancing Outcomes in Later Life? Think Piece, Action for Children.

Acquah, D., Sellers, R., Stock, L., Harold, G. T. (2017). Inter-parental conflict and outcomes for children in the contexts of poverty and economic stress: Implications aimed at improving outcomes for children.

Department for Work & Pensions (2017). Improving lives: Helping Workless Families - evidence base.

Harold, G., Acquah, D., Sellers, R., Chowdry, H., & Feinstein, L. (2016). What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children.