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 Rachel Draper

Rachel Draper

Research student, Psychology, School of Psychology

Email:
draperrs@cardiff.ac.uk
Location:
Centre for Human Developmental Science

Postgraduate Education

My proposed PhD title is: The effectiveness and impact of attachment-informed interventions for adopted children.

2018-2019: MSc Social Science Research Methods (Distinction), Cardiff University.

Dissertation title: Psychological consultation in the South East Wales Adoption Service: The experiences of social workers and clinical psychologists.

Undergraduate Education

2014-2018: BSc Psychology with Professional Placement (First Class Honours), Cardiff University.

Dissertation title: Does mindfulness mediate the relationship between mind wandering and dysphoria?

Awards

2018: Stuart Dimond Memorial Prize for Best Undergraduate Project (Joint Winner)

2018: British Psychological Society Welsh Branch Undergraduate Award (Joint Winner)

2016: Stuart Dimond Memorial Prize for Best Overall Performance in Second Year

2015: Stuart Dimond Memorial Prize for Best Overall Performance in First Year (Joint Winner)

2015: Cardiff University Undergraduate Scholarship for Best Overall Performance in First Year

Relevant Employment

2019-present: I currently provide assistance to second year undergraduate students working on group research projects

2017: Research Assistant, Baby and Adult Building Blocks Language Evaluation (BABBLE), Cardiff University, School of Psychology – Dr Cerith Waters

2017: School of Psychology Research Internship (SPRInt), Cardiff University, School of Psychology – Dr Cerith Waters

2017: Student Volunteer, Early Intervention in Psychosis Service (EIS), Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – Dr Jessica Woolley

2016-2017: Placement Student, Child and Family Psychological Health Service, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – Dr Rhiannon Cobner

2016: Research Assistant, QuickScreen Project, Cardiff University, School of Psychology – Dr Todd Bailey

2016: School of Psychology Research Internship (SPRInt), Cardiff University, School of Psychology – Dr Sofia Gameiro

Research interests

Children adopted from care have often lived through traumatic life experiences, with Selwyn, Meakings and Wijedasa (2015) estimating that 72% of adopted children have experienced some form of abuse or neglect prior to being adopted. Whilst research suggests being adopted has numerous developmental benefits for children with histories of complex trauma (Van Ijzendoorn & Juffer, 2006), many adopted children continue to struggle throughout childhood and adolescence and this distress is felt throughout the family system (Selwyn & Meakings, 2015). Despite Welsh Government calls for greater post-placement support for adoptive families (National Assembly for Wales Children and Young People Committee, 2012), provision of post-placement support across Wales is still somewhat varied and location-dependent (National Assembly for Wales Children and Young People and Education Committee, 2016). Furthermore, there is little empirical evidence to support the use of any one intervention with adoptive families, which leaves unanswered the question of what good post-placement support should look like.

My PhD research seeks to address this gap in the literature. The project involves a collaboration between Cardiff University, School of Psychology and Psychologists from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board working within the South East Wales Adoption Service. The aim is to use both research data and practice-based evidence from therapeutic work already happening in South Wales (this work uses an attachment-informed model influenced by Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy), with the ultimate aim of contributing to the conversation about effective post-placement support for adopted children and their families.

Research Topics

  • Adoption and post-placement support
  • Effectiveness of psychological interventions
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Child and adolescent clinical psychology

Research Group

Development and Health