K Roberts


About me: My background is in mental health within both research and clinical settings and I have extensive experience of working with children and young people across different settings. I hold a BSc in Psychology and Sociology from Brunel University and an MSc in Applied Mental Health Research from King’s College London. Through these experiences I have been very fortunate to be exposed to a large portfolio of projects including both quantitative and qualitative research. Topics of such research include: mental health, HIV/AIDS, family, violence and community. Mental health is an ongoing issue of concern, with widespread implications for individuals and society inclusive of consequences for health systems, the workforce and the economy on a global scale. I am particularly passionate about developing impactful research at a policy level to promote improved outcomes across multiple generations.

My research: My research explores mental health in adolescent pregnancy and HIV, focusing on adolescent mothers (HIV-infected/affected) and their children in South Africa. The PhD forms part of a wider longitudinal study, led by Prof. Lucie Cluver and Dr. Elona Toska, designed to understand the complexity of structural and individual factors contributing to the experience of adolescents and their children. This study will include 700 adolescent parents and child dyads.

The difference this research makes: This research focuses on underserved issues regarding adolescents, HIV and maternal mental health and the specific challenges associated with such phenomena in combination, particularly with regard to teenage pregnancy. Additionally, this research focuses on the next generation encountering HIV and potential cross generational effects. This study aims to adjust the current dialogue to ensure that this group are included; aims to inform policy and scalable provision to promote improved outcomes across multiple generations.

Supervisors: Prof Lorraine Sherr and Dr Colette Smith

Selected publications:

  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J., Mebrahtu, H., Tomlinson, M., Skeen, S. & Cluver, L.D. (2018) The impact of cash grant receipt and good parenting on child nutrition outcomes in South Africa and Malawi. Maternal and Child Nutrition, [Submitted].
  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J. & Croome, N. (2018). Parenting concepts and experiences of adults abandoned as infants. Vulnerable Children & Youth Studies, [Submitted].
  • Sherr, L., Macedo, A., Tomlinson, M., Skeen, S., Hensels, I.S. & Roberts, K.J. (2018). Parenting in adversity: Effects of older caregivers, biological carers and troubled carers on child outcomes in high HIV-affected communities. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, [Submitted].
  • Roberts, K.J., Gordon, S., Sherr, L., Stewart, J.M.B., Skeen, S., Macedo, A., Tomlinson, M. (2018).  ‘When you are a data collector you must expect anything’. Barriers, Boundaries and Breakthroughs: Insights form the South African data collection experience. Global Health Promotion, [Accepted].
  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J. & Croome, N. (2018). Disclosure and identity experiences of adults abandoned as babies: A qualitative study. Cogent Psychology, [Accepted].
  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J., Hothi, S. & Balchin, N. (2018). Never too old to learn: parenting interventions for grandparents – a systematic review. Cogent Social Sciences, [Accepted].
  • Macedo, A., Sherr, L., Tomlinson, M., Skeen, S. & Roberts, K.J. (2018). Parental Bereavement in Young Children Living in South Africa and Malawi: Understanding Mental Health Resilience. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 78(4), 390-398.
  • Roberts, K.J., Smith, N., Bowden-Jones, H. & Cheeta, S. (2017). Gambling Disorder and suicidality within the UK: An analysis investigating mental health and gambling severity as risk factors to suicidality. International Gambling Studies, DOI:10.1080/14459795.2016.1257648.
  • Sherr, L., Macedo, A., Cluver, L.D., Meinck, F., Skeen, S., Hensels, I.S., Sherr, L.T.S., Roberts, K.J. & Tomlinson, M. (2017). Parenting, The other oldest profession in the world – A cross-sectional study of parenting and child outcomes in South Africa and Malawi. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 5, 145-165; DOI:10.1080/21642850.2016.1276459.
  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J. & Croome, N. (2017). Emotional distress, resilience and adaptability: a qualitative study of adults who experienced infant abandonment. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 5(1), 197-213.
  • Skeen, S., Sherr, L., Tomlinson, M., Croome, N., Gandhi, N., Roberts, K.J. & Macedo, A. (2017). Interventions to improve psychosocial well-being for children affected by HIV and AIDS: a systematic review. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, DOI:10.1080/17450128.2016.1276656.
  • Sherr, L., Roberts, K.J. & Gandhi, N. (2016). Child violence experiences in institutionalised/orphanage care. Psychology Health & Medicine, 22(1), DOI:10.1080/13548506.2016.1271951.
  • Hensels, I.S., Sherr, L., Skeen, S., Macedo, A. Roberts, K.J. & Tomlinson, M. (2016). Do not forget the boys – Gender differences in children living in high HIV-affected communities in South Africa and Malawi in a longitudinal, community-based study. AIDS Care, 28(2), 100-109. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2016.1176680
  • Sherr, L., Hensels, I.S., Skeen, S., Tomlinson, M., Roberts, K.J. & Macedo, A. (2015). Exposure to violence predicts poor educational outcomes in young children in South Africa and Malawi. International Health, 8(1), 36-43. DOI:10.1093/inthealth/ihv070
  • Stevenson, K., Jarred, S., Hinchcliffe, V. & Roberts, K. (2015). Can a dog be used as a motivator to develop social interaction and engagement with teachers for students diagnosed with autism? Support for Learning, 30(4), 341-363. DOI:10.1111/1467-9604.12105

Pathway: International Development

Location: UCL Institute for Global Health

Email: k.roberts@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @K_J_Rob