Research projects

Ongoing projects

Wirral Child Health and Development Study


A collaborative study of the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool with the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the Wirral Primary Care Trust and Western Cheshire PCT.

Funding body

Medical Research Council

Members of the project

Professor Jonathan HillPrincipal investigator
Professor Andrew PicklesInvestigator
Dr Helen SharpInvestigator
Dr Gill LancasterInvestigator


  • To determine the relative contributions of long-standing, and immediate antenatal and post-natal factors in predicting quality of parenting and infant development. The focus is on multiple antenatal stressors and on aspects of parenting and infant development associated with the development of later childhood behavioural problems
  • To identify sources of resilience, both in terms of individual characteristics of babies that make them resilient when faced with environmental stressors and parenting qualities that reduce risks in vulnerable babies.
  • To establish a sample with low to high levels of stress during pregnancy for developmental follow-up beyond one year.


Research team

Investigators: Prof Jonathan Hill, Dr Helen Sharp, Prof Andrew Pickles and Dr Gill Lancaster

Collaborators: Lynne Murray, University of Reading; Dale Hay, University of Cardiff; John Quinn, University of Liverpool; Vivette Glover, Imperial College London.

Study administrator: Liz Green

Research midwives: Karen Lunt, Carol Bedwell, Belinda Thompson

Antenatal interviewers: Julie Carlisle, Kate Marks, Nichaela Broyden, Jenny Lee, Joanne Roberts, Helen Jones, Melissa Bensinyor

Infant assessors: Florin Tibu, Carol Sadler, Jeanette Appleton

Mother & baby assessors: Kate Marshall and Gillian Fairclough


Further information

For more information about the study, see:



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