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John Fox

Clinical Director (D.Clin.Psy) and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology (honorary)

School of Psychology

+44 (0)29 2087 5271
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

My research is primarily within the field of clinical psychology with a particular emphasis on eating disorders and clinical health psychology. Over the last 14 years, I have undertaken a series of studies looking at emotional factors in eating disorders leading to the publication of the SPAARS-ED model in 2009. We are currently looking at developing psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa via working with the 'Anorexic Voice’ (with Matt Pugh, Stephanie Tierney and Janet Treasure’s group). I am also undertaking research, via my PhD student, Charli Babb, on autism and restrictive eating patterns. This is in collaboration with colleagues at Austistica, UCL (Will Mandy) and Catherine Jones (Cardiff). I also have an interest in qualitative research methodologies.

Teaching summary

Most of teaching is upon the D.Clin.Psy programme at Cardiff University. My teaching includes, working with risk, qualitative methodologies and cognitive analytic therapy (CAT).

Undergraduate education

Royal Holloway University of London BSc Psychology - 1995

Postgraduate education

D.Clin.Psy – Cardiff University – 2002
PhD – Edinburgh University - 2010








Research topics and related papers

MRC/ESRC Interdisciplinary Research Studentship in Medical and Social Sciences, University of Manchester (2012) - PhD studentship

Title: The Role of Emotional Sensitivity, Family, and Peer Characteristics in Anorexia Nervosa.
Total Money: £100,000
This PhD research programme has been designed to extend the SPAARS-ED model (Fox and Power, 2009) and look at its application within the context of families and other social relationships.

Psychological Sciences Bursary (2012), University of Manchester - 3 year full time PhD Studentship

Total Money: £105,000
Title: Processing Pride in Anorexia Nervosa: Implications for Treatment Motivation and Outcome.
This research project was designed to further research emotional factors in eating disorders and looks at how positive emotions, such as pride, may actually prevent engagement in treatment and negatively impact motivation to recover from an eating disorder.

Autistica Charity – Research Funding for Two PhD Case studentships (with matched funding from Cardiff University and UCL) - Three Year funded project

Total Money: £90,000 from Autistica Charity, £45,000 from Cardiff University and £45,000 from UCL (2017)

Title: Towards a Successful Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa in Autistic Women (Investigators: Dr. Mandy (UCL), Dr. Fox (Cardiff) and Dr. Tchanturia (IOPPN).

This research project will address the following specific aims:

  • Identify causes and maintaining factors of AN in autism, from the perspective of autistic women, parents and clinicians.
  • Identify barriers to service adaption and successful treatment of autistic women with AN, from the perspective of autistic women, family members and clinicians.
  • Derive a specific psychological model of AN in autism.

Research collaborators

Dr Catherine Jones, WARC and School of Psychology, Cardiff University
Dr Will Mandy, Clinical Psychology, UCL
Dr Matt Pugh, Vincent Square eating disorders NHS service
Prof Janet Treasure, IOPNN
Dr Valentina Cardi, IOPNN

Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

Charlie Babb, PhD
Tina Howard, D.Clin.Psy
Elinor MacCormac, D.Clin.Psy
Natalie Stott, D.Clin.Psy