Dr Abigail Millings
The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S10 2TP, UK
Tel: (+44) 0114 222 6525 (Psychology)/x24395 (in CATCH in the Innovation Centre)
Fax: (+44) 0114 276 6515
Room: 3.8 (Psychology)/G.08 (in CATCH in the Innovation Centre)
BSc (Hons) University of East Anglia
PhD University of East Anglia
I have two main research interests:
1) Attachment and wellbeing
Attachment theory explains how and why humans form close emotional bonds with each other. The quality of these bonds, or ‘attachments’, shape our views of ourselves, other people, and the social world (Bowlby, 1969; Ainsworth et al., 1978; Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007).
My research focusses on the trait-like characteristics associated with individuals’ attachment histories, namely, attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance (Brennan et al., 1998), and how these constructs affect psychosocial functioning. In particular, I study attachment in relation to:
- Family relationships (including co-parenting among separated parents, and infant carrier (‘sling’) use and maternal mental health)
- Wellbeing (including mindfulness, body image, and mental health)
- Help-seeking and engaging in therapy (including in student mental health)
2) E-therapies and other technologically enabled interventions to promote health and wellbeing
The Internet and smart phones enable the delivery of a wide variety of interventions, such as internet delivered self-help or guided self-help therapies, programs to promote health behaviours, and apps to support face to face therapies.
My research focuses on:
- The development of e-therapies and health and wellbeing interventions
- The therapeutic relationship in e-therapies
- The way e-therapies are evaluated and used in the NHS
2018: (Co-I) EPSRC NewMind Network: Developing an AI Empathy Agent. £15k. With Fuschia Sirois (PI), Matthew Bennion, Ian Tucker (UEL), Rafaela Neiva Ganga (LJMU), Paul Radin (NHS).
2018: (PI) Women Academic Returners’ Programme: Validating a measure of ‘Emotional Readiness’ to make co-parenting plans after separation. £10k
2016: (Co-I) Alcohol Research UK: Enhancing a brief online intervention to reduce alcohol consumption. £7.5k. With Paul Norman (PI) and Tom Webb
2016: (Co-I) CATCH Innovation Voucher: Developing an app to support Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Co-I. £15k. With Steve Kellett (PI), Martin Cooper, and Katherine Easton
2015: (Co-I) Sax Institute: Rapid research review: Behaviour change techniques in interventions to designed to promote healthy weight and support parents. AUS $21k. With Tom Webb (PI) Paul Norman and Jilly Martin
2014, 2015, 2016: (PI) OnePlusOne Consultancy Projects: Developing a measure of emotional readiness in separated parents. £12k
2014: (Co-I) University of Sheffield Cross-Cutting Network: Technology for Healthy Ageing and Wellbeing (THAW) network of 6 PhD studentships (Co-I and one of 6 supervisors)
2013: (Co-I) METRC: Understanding the psychosocial impact of skin conditions and developing learning and teaching resources for dermatology healthcare professionals. £40k With Andrew Thompson (PI) and Stacey Lavda.
2013: (PI) ESRC Seminar Series: Applying Relationships Science to Contemporary Interventions. £26,898 (FEC). With Judi Walsh (UEA), Kate Cavanagh (Sussex), Angela Rowe (Bristol), & Kathy Carnelley (Southampton).
2013: (Co-I) British Skin Foundation: Can attachment style predict coping and success of coping based intervention in people with skin conditions? £9,757. With Stacey Lavda (PI) & Andrew Thompson.
2013: (PI) Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience student bursary: Can I or my relationships help me to be healthier? A comparison of the effects of self-affirmation and attachment security primes on responses to a health-related message. £1,080.
2013: (Co-I) EU F7 - EASEL: Expressive Agents for Symbiotic Education and Learning. €2.9m With Tony Prescott (Sheffield PI), Roger Moore, & Amanda Sharkey (Sheffield) and partners at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Project co-ordinators), University of Pisa, University of Twente, & Semmelweis University.
2013: (Co-I) Sheffield Care Trust - A Service evaluation of the PARO seal robot. £10k With Gail Mountain (PI) and Amanda Sharkey)
2009: (Co-I) Small Research Grant from the Nuffield Foundation: Implicit behavioural mimicry and adult attachment. £7,490 With Natalie Hall (PI, Reading)
2008: (PI) ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: Adult attachment, partner caregiving and parenting. £95,420 (FEC). With Angela Rowe, mentor
A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here
- Wilkinson L, Rowe A & Millings A (2019) Disorganized attachment predicts body mass index via uncontrolled eating. International Journal of Obesity. View this article in WRRO
- Millings A, Carnelley K, Cavanagh K, Wilderspin A, Wiseman H & Rowe A (2018) Priming Attachment Security Improves Attitudes towards a Range of Therapies. British Journal of Psychology. View this article in WRRO
- Krasuska M, Lavda A, Thompson AR & Millings A (2017) The role of adult attachment orientation and coping in psychological adjustment to living with skin conditions. British Journal of Dermatology. View this article in WRRO
- Krasuska M, Millings A, Lavda A & Thompson A (2017) Compassion-focused self-help for skin conditions in individuals with insecure attachment: a pilot evaluation of acceptability and potential effectiveness. British Journal of Dermatology. View this article in WRRO
- Stevenson JC, Emerson LM & Millings A (2017) The Relationship Between Adult Attachment Orientation and Mindfulness: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Mindfulness. View this article in WRRO
- Bennion MR, Hardy G, Moore RK & Millings A (2017) E-therapies in England for stress, anxiety or depression: what is being used in the NHS? A survey of mental health services.. BMJ Open, 7(1). View this article in WRRO
- Broglia E, Millings A & Barkham M (2017) Comparing counselling alone versus counselling supplemented with guided use of a well-being app for university students experiencing anxiety or depression (CASELOAD): protocol for a feasibility trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 3(1). View this article in WRRO
- Millings A, Hepper E, Hart C, Swift L & Rowe A (2016) Holding back the tears: Individual differences in adult crying proneness reflect attachment orientation and attitudes to crying. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. View this article in WRRO
- Sirois F, Millings A & Hirsch J (2016) Insecure attachment orientation and well-being in emerging adults: The roles of perceived social support and fatigue. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 318-321. View this article in WRRO
- Rowe AC, Shepstone L, Carnelley KB, Cavanagh K & Millings A (2016) Attachment Security and Self-compassion Priming Increase the Likelihood that First-time Engagers in Mindfulness Meditation Will Continue with Mindfulness Training. Mindfulness, 7(3), 642-650. View this article in WRRO
- Millings A & Carnelley KB (2015) Core belief content examined in a large sample of patients using online cognitive behaviour therapy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 186, 275-283. View this article in WRRO
- Millings A, Morris J, Rowe A, Easton S, Martin JK, Majoe D & Mohr C (2015) Can the effectiveness of an online stress management program be augmented by wearable sensor technology?. Internet Interventions, 2(3), 330-339. View this article in WRRO
- Cavanagh K & Millings A (2013) (Inter)personal Computing: The Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in E-mental Health. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 1-10.
- Millings A, Walsh J, Hepper E & O'Brien M (2012) Good partner, good parent: Caregiving mediates the link between romantic attachment and parenting style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
- Millings A, Buck R, Montgomery A, Spears M & Stallard P (2012) School connectedness, peer attachment, and self-esteem as predictors of adolescent depression.. J Adolesc, 35(4), 1061-1067.
- Stallard P, Sayal K, Phillips R, Taylor JA, Spears M, Anderson R, Araya R, Lewis G, Millings A & Montgomery AA (2012) Classroom based cognitive behavioural therapy in reducing symptoms of depression in high risk adolescents: pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial.. BMJ, 345, e6058.
- Millings A & Walsh J (2009) A dyadic exploration of attachment and caregiving in long-term couples. Personal Relationships, 16(3), 437-453.