Dr Ruth Spence


NameDr Ruth Spence
Job titleSenior Research Fellow Psychology
Research institute
Primary appointmentPsychology
Email addressr.spence@mdx.ac.uk
ORCIDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6197-9975
Contact categoryResearcher

Employment

Senior Researcher
Middlesex University
01 Sept 2022

Education and qualifications

PhD Developmental Psychiatry
01 Apr 2013
Cambridge University
MSc Applied Forensic Psychology
01 Sept 2005
York University
BA(Hons) Psychology
01 Jun 2003
Glasgow University

Grants

The prioritisation of potentially harmful subjects and the estimation of future risk
03 Apr 2023
Police STAR Fund
Invisible risks: Combating secondary trauma to safeguard children
01 Nov 2021
End Violence Fund
Evaluation of the London Accommodation Pathfinder Project
01 Sept 2022
London Borough of Camden Council
Young Fathers Service Evaluation
01 Feb 2023
St Michael's Fellowship
Pathfinder to develop better understanding and new opportunities to improve policing response to rape
01 Feb 2021
Avon & Somerset Police and the Home Office
Suspected Suicides on the Railways in England: Regional and Environmental Factors
Network Rail
Operation Soteria Bluestone Transforming the Police Response to Rape and Serious Sexual Offences
01 Sept 2021
MOPAC

Projects

  • High Harm Perpetrator Project (Domestic Abuse) Research Developing an algorithm to identify high risk/high harm perpetrators of domestic abuse
  • Pathfinder to develop better understanding and new opportunities to improve policing response to rape
  • Operation Soteria Bluestone Transforming the Police Response to Rape and Serious Sexual Offences
  • Young Fathers Service Evaluation
  • Invisible risks: Combating secondary trauma to safeguard children
  • The prioritisation of potentially harmful subjects and the estimation of future risk

Prizes and Awards

Research outputs

Supporting digital key workers: Addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Martellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Spence, R. and DeMarco, J. 2024. Supporting digital key workers: Addressing the challenges faced by content moderators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management. 24 (2), pp. 212-228. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTPM.2024.137818

Content moderator mental health, secondary trauma, and well-being: a cross-sectional study

Spence, R., Bifulco, A., Bradbury, P., Martellozzo, E. and DeMarco, J. 2024. Content moderator mental health, secondary trauma, and well-being: a cross-sectional study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 27 (2), pp. 149-155. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2023.0298

The psychological impacts of content moderation on content moderators: a qualitative study

Spence, R., Bifulco, A., Bradbury, P., Martellozzo, E. and DeMarco, J. 2023. The psychological impacts of content moderation on content moderators: a qualitative study. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace. 17 (4). https://doi.org/10.5817/cp2023-4-8

Moderating online child sexual abuse material (CSAM): Does self-regulation work, or is greater state regulation needed?

Bleakley, P., Martellozzo, E., Spence, R. and DeMarco, J. 2023. Moderating online child sexual abuse material (CSAM): Does self-regulation work, or is greater state regulation needed? European Journal of Criminology. 21 (2), pp. 231-250. https://doi.org/10.1177/14773708231181361

Content moderators’ strategies for coping with the stress of moderating content online

Spence, R., Harrison, A., Bradbury, P., Bleakley, P., Martellozzo, E. and DeMarco, J. 2023. Content moderators’ strategies for coping with the stress of moderating content online. Journal of Online Trust and Safety. 1 (5), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.54501/jots.v1i5.91

Criminal court sentencing: the case for specialist ‘young adult’ courts

Ward, J. and Spence, R. 2022. Criminal court sentencing: the case for specialist ‘young adult’ courts. The British Journal of Criminology. 63 (4), pp. 1041-1057. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azac076

Understanding sexual violence and factors related to police outcomes

Davies, K., Spence, R., Cummings, E., Cross, M. and Horvath, M. 2022. Understanding sexual violence and factors related to police outcomes. Frontiers in Psychology. 13, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.977318

The moderation effect of secure attachment on the relationship between positive events and wellbeing

Spence, R., Kagan, L., Nunn, S., Bailey-Rodriguez, D., Fisher, H., Hosang, G. and Bifulco, A. 2022. The moderation effect of secure attachment on the relationship between positive events and wellbeing. PsyCh Journal. 11 (4), pp. 541-549. https://doi.org/10.1002/pchj.546

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on reporting of rape, serious sexual offences, and domestic abuse in one English police force

Spence, R., Horvath, M., Dalton, C. and Davies, K. 2022. Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on reporting of rape, serious sexual offences, and domestic abuse in one English police force. Journal of Gender-Based Violence. 6 (2), pp. 242-260. https://doi.org/10.1332/239868021X16425806897258

The child attachment style interview (Child-ASI) and depression: preliminary findings

Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Oskis, A., Bunn, A. and Spence, R. 2021. The child attachment style interview (Child-ASI) and depression: preliminary findings. Educational and Child Psychology. 38 (1), pp. 62-74.

Understanding trauma in children and young people in the school setting

Spence, R., Kagan, L., Kljakovic, M. and Bifulco, A. 2021. Understanding trauma in children and young people in the school setting. Educational and Child Psychology. 38 (1), pp. 87-98.

Life events and emotional disorder revisited: research and clinical applications

Bifulco, A., Spence, R. and Kagan, L. 2020. Life events and emotional disorder revisited: research and clinical applications. London, UK Routledge.

Life events, depression and supportive relationships affect academic achievement in university students

Spence, R., Kagan, L., Nunn, S., Bailey-Rodriguez, D., Fisher, H., Hosang, G. and Bifulco, A. 2022. Life events, depression and supportive relationships affect academic achievement in university students. Journal of American College Health. 70 (7), pp. 1931-1935. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2020.1841776

Lifetime trauma, adversity and emotional disorder in older age women

Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Oskis, A., Cavana, F. and Spence, R. 2019. Lifetime trauma, adversity and emotional disorder in older age women. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare. 21 (2), pp. 29-43. https://doi.org/10.3280/mal2019-002003

Partner violence in women - associations with childhood maltreatment, attachment style and major depression

Bifulco, A., Damiani, R., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A. and Spence, R. 2019. Partner violence in women - associations with childhood maltreatment, attachment style and major depression. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare. 21 (2), pp. 13-28. https://doi.org/10.3280/MAL2019-002002

A contextual approach to trauma experience: lessons from life events research

Spence, R., Kagan, L. and Bifulco, A. 2019. A contextual approach to trauma experience: lessons from life events research. Psychological Medicine. 49 (9), pp. 1409-1413. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033291719000850

Characteristics of severe life events, attachment style, and depression – Using a new online approach

Bifulco, A., Kagan, L., Spence, R., Nunn, S., Bailey-Rodriguez, D., Hosang, G., Taylor, M. and Fisher, H. 2019. Characteristics of severe life events, attachment style, and depression – Using a new online approach. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 58 (4), pp. 427-439. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12221

The long-term effects of childhood financial hardship mediated by physical abuse, shame, and stigma on depression in women

Spence, R., Nunn, S. and Bifulco, A. 2019. The long-term effects of childhood financial hardship mediated by physical abuse, shame, and stigma on depression in women. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare. 21 (1), pp. 55-72. https://doi.org/10.3280/MAL2019-001005

Web-based measure of life events using Computerized Life Events and Assessment Record (CLEAR): preliminary cross-sectional study of reliability, validity, and association with depression

Bifulco, A., Spence, R., Nunn, S., Kagan, L., Bailey-Rodriguez, D., Hosang, G., Taylor, M. and Fisher, H. 2019. Web-based measure of life events using Computerized Life Events and Assessment Record (CLEAR): preliminary cross-sectional study of reliability, validity, and association with depression. JMIR Mental Health. 6 (1). https://doi.org/10.2196/10675

Attachment style, loneliness and depression in older age women

Spence, R., Jacobs, C. and Bifulco, A. 2020. Attachment style, loneliness and depression in older age women. Aging and Mental Health. 24 (5), pp. 837-839. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2018.1553141

Adolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire

Bifulco, A., Jacobs, C., Ilan-Clarke, Y., Spence, R. and Oskis, A. 2017. Adolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire. The British Journal of Social Work. 47 (7), pp. 1870-1883. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw117

Help-seeking in emerging adults with and without a history of mental health referral: a qualitative study

Spence, R., Owens-Solari, M. and Goodyer, I. 2016. Help-seeking in emerging adults with and without a history of mental health referral: a qualitative study. BMC Research Notes. 9 (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-016-2227-8

Factors associated with variation in hospital use at the end of life in England

Bardsley, M., Georghiou, T., Spence, R. and Billings, J. 2019. Factors associated with variation in hospital use at the end of life in England. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. 9 (2), pp. 167-174. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjspcare-2015-000936

Measuring life events and their association with clinical disorder: a protocol for development of an online approach

Spence, R., Bunn, A., Nunn, S., Hosang, G., Kagan, L., Fisher, H., Taylor, M. and Bifulco, A. 2015. Measuring life events and their association with clinical disorder: a protocol for development of an online approach. JMIR Research Protocols. 4 (3), p. e83. https://doi.org/10.2196/resprot.4085

Focus on: antidepressant prescribing trends in the prescribing of antidepressants in primary care

Spence, R., Roberts, A., Ariti, C. and Bardsley, M. 2014. Focus on: antidepressant prescribing trends in the prescribing of antidepressants in primary care. Nuffield Trust.

The longitudinal psychometric properties of the EAS temperament survey in adolescence

Spence, R., Owens, M. and Goodyer, I. 2013. The longitudinal psychometric properties of the EAS temperament survey in adolescence. Journal of Personality Assessment. 95 (6), pp. 633-639. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2013.819513

Item response theory and validity of the NEO-FFI in adolescents

Spence, R., Owens, M. and Goodyer, I. 2012. Item response theory and validity of the NEO-FFI in adolescents. Personality and Individual Differences. 53 (6), pp. 801-807. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.06.002

Clinical and economic outcomes from the UK pilot psychiatric services for personality-disordered offenders

Fortune, Z., Barrett, B., Armstrong, D., Coid, J., Crawford, M., Mudd, D., Rose, D., Slade, M., Spence, R., Tyrer, P. and Moran, P. 2011. Clinical and economic outcomes from the UK pilot psychiatric services for personality-disordered offenders. International Review of Psychiatry. 23 (1), pp. 61-69. https://doi.org/10.3109/09540261.2010.545989

An evaluation of new services for personality-disordered offenders: staff and service user perspectives

Fortune, Z., Rose, D., Crawford, M., Slade, M., Spence, R., Mudd, D., Barrett, B., Coid, J., Tyrer, P. and Moran, P. 2010. An evaluation of new services for personality-disordered offenders: staff and service user perspectives. International Journal of Social Psychiatry.
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