- Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE
- Dr Simon Moore
- Dr Vaseekaran Sivarajasinga
- Dr Jonathan Bisson
- Professor Pamela Taylor
- Professor Kent Matthews
- Professor Robert Newcombe
- Professor Stephanie van Goozen
- Dr Peter Morgan
- Dr Iain Brennan
Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE
Professor Jonathan Shepherd is Director of the Violence and Society Research Group and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University’s School of Dentistry. It was his early career research into the rates of alcohol-related facial injuries treated in the NHS which led him to focus his research on violence.
His research, which spans the social and medical sciences, provided many new insights, and the foundations for the Group’s continued work in this field - in particular, his research into the extent to which assaults resulting in NHS treatment is not reported to the police and the substantial mental health impact on victims in terms of post-traumatic disorder and other conditions.
Throughout his career, Professor Shepherd's discoveries have been published in medical and social science journals. He summarised implications for clinical services and violence prevention in a series of 10 BMJ and Lancet editorials, as part of the implementation of the findings of his research.
As well as being the principal psychologist in the Violence and Society Research Group, Dr Simon Moore is a senior lecturer in Psychology in the School of Dentistry.
His widely published research focuses on violence, alcohol-related harm, fear of crime, complex models of behaviour, and decision making, paying particular attention to understanding how crowding might influence aggression and violence around licensed premises. Dr Moore’s crowd model simulates what would happen when drunk and staggering drinkers are added into otherwise sober crowds.
Other significant studies have included research into late night drinking on city streets, concluding that more than one in three men were over the danger limit for drink on late-night city streets. The study was significant in that it identified that previous studies relying on drinkers’ own estimates of consumption had missed the true extent of alcohol misuse and binge drinking.
Dr Moore is also a member of the Youth Alcohol Research Network and currently three MRC Addiction Research Clusters ("Causes, Epidemiology and Prevention of Substance Use (and Gambling) Among Young People", "The REAP Cluster: Research for Effective Alcohol Policies" and "Nationally Integrated Quantitative Understanding of Addiction Harms").
Dr Sivarajasingam is a Senior Clinical Lecturer/Consultant in Oral Surgery in the School of Dentistry.
Dr Sivarajasingam’s PhD work into evaluations of public space CCTV and the measurement of violent crime using A&E records and police violence data demonstrated the reliability and validity of hospital data for this purpose. Using this new national measure of violence has been his principal interest ever since. Stemming from this, he has studied violence using panel data relating to socioeconomic, injury and alcohol variables. He leads the National Violence Surveillance Network (NVSN) which has provided annual reports on trends in violence-related harm since 2000, a major output from the Group. This has brought clarity to otherwise confusing messages about trends in violence from Home Office records. This work has been published in leading criminology, public health and economics journals.
In collaboration with researchers from Cardiff Business School, he has discovered that low alcohol prices are causally linked with injuries sustained in violence. Other research areas focus on racist violence from an accident and emergency perspective, and smoking and alcohol habits of undergraduate dental students.
Dr Bisson is a Clinical Reader in Psychological Medicine based in the School of Medicine. His main research interest lies in the field of Traumatic Stress, particularly in the effectiveness of early identification and treatment. His work has contributed significantly to the Group’s focus on novel pathways of care for victims of violent crime.
He has conducted various studies including two widely cited randomised controlled trials of early psychological interventions following traumatic events and three Cochrane systematic reviews in the Traumatic Stress field.
His work has strongly influenced national and international guidance in the field of Traumatic Stress including that produced by the World Health Organisation, NICE, the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He has also been co-chair for, and co-wrote the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s Guideline on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is currently President of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Professor Pamela Taylor
Pamela Taylor is Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine. Professor Taylor also leads the Offender Health Research Network within the Group. The Network’s over-arching aim is to increase the effectiveness of the treatment of mental health problems in offenders.
Professor Taylor leads the forensic psychiatry group at the University which hosts national and international research networks including the Offender Health Research Network-Cymru (OHRN-C); Pathways from psychosis to serious violence group, an all-Wales group within the Mental Health Research Network-Cymru (MHRN-C); an international research network: SWANZDSAJCS, which joins nine countries on five continents to learn about our similarities and differences in demographic, legal and clinical services in the field; and a UK and Ireland research group in conjunction with the University of Kent and the Salvation Army.
Professor Kent Matthews
Professor Kent Matthews is a Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking and Finance at Cardiff Business School. Among his research interests are investigations into the underground economy, including risk of violence and injury. Within the Violence and Society Research Group, he has investigated the influence of beer prices for both men and women across the economic regions in England and Wales. Through this Professor Matthews and colleagues concluded that alcohol prices and injury sustained in violence were causally related for both sexes. The results suggest that the real price of alcohol (using beer as an example) is a major factor driving the consumption of alcohol and the incidence of violent injury.
Professor Robert Newcombe is based in the Department of Epidemiology, Statistics and Public Health at the School of Medicine. He is the statistics expert for the Group.
A medical statistician, Professor Newcombe is also a member of the Statistics Methodology group in the Clinical Epidemiology Interdisciplinary Research Group. He has undertaken extensive collaborative work with colleagues in many fields including decision making in primary care, epidemiology of injuries, resuscitation in pre-hospital care, alcohol-related violence, post-traumatic stress, healthcare acquired infection and sentinel node biopsy for staging breast cancer. His work in the Violence and Society Research Group has included research into early cognitive-behavioural therapy for post-traumatic stress symptoms after physical injury; correlations between alcohol, violence and victimization in adolescence; and a randomised evaluation of a brief alcohol misuse intervention in a magistrate's court setting.
Professor Stephanie van Goozen
Professor Stephanie van Goozen, is a well-known scholar in the area of gender-related psychopathology, with special expertise in the psychophysiological and neuroendocrine mechanisms involved in children’s conduct disorder (CD). Understanding childhood predictors and risk factors for violence is an important part of the work of the Group.
Before coming to Cardiff, Professor van Goozen worked in the Departments of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in Utrecht (Netherlands) and Cambridge (UK), where she was responsible for establishing new lines of research on the neurobiology of CD in children (Utrecht) and adolescents (Cambridge). Children at risk for CD and substance abuse exhibit impulsivity, reactive aggression, sensation seeking, and excessive risk taking. Negative affect and a difficult temperament have also been documented, together with deficient self-regulation.
Professor van Goozen has a track record in studying these constructs and uses observational, behavioural, psychophysiological and hormonal measures to understand the behavioural problems of CD youngsters. Her results show that this group is characterised by reduced Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis and ANS activity under situations of threat and provocation, and, using computer-based tasks, are insensitive to punishment but oversensitive to reward. These findings were not only shown to be specific for CD children, because similar patterns were not observed in children with ADHD, but also to be predictive of intervention success.
In 2004 Professor van Goozen was awarded an MRC program grant (£1.240K) for a longitudinal study of the development of violence in a Cardiff birth cohort. In 2005 and 2006 she received grants from the British Academy (£20K) and ESRC (£260K) to study neuropsychological functioning in young offenders. She and her students have published in high quality journals. A review paper in which a neurobiological model of childhood antisocial behaviour is presented has been published in the premier review journal in Psychology, Psychological Bulletin.
Dr Peter Morgan
Dr Peter Morgan is Reader in Quantitative Analysis in the Quantitative Methods Group of the Accounting & Finance Section at Cardiff Business School. His research and teaching there include work on expert systems, analysis of time series for violent assault data and visualization techniques for exploring multivariable data sets.
His collaborations within the Violence and Society Research Group are based around the analysis of trends in A&E records from across England and Wales and interview data from assault victims. In the former case, the aim is to investigate how the trend and level of violence vary between regions and by age and gender of the victim. The data on individual victims’ circumstances suggests that alcohol consumption is an important factor in explaining the difference in risk of being assaulted for men and women.
Dr Iain Brennan
Dr Brennan is a key post-doctoral researcher in the Group. He manages the day-to-day business of the Group, co-ordinating meetings, bringing in guest speakers and maintains its wide networking activity.
Dr Brennan’s research focuses on weapon use and priorities for violence prevention in this context.