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Dr Ruth Sellers

Ruth sellers Profile Photo

Dr Ruth Sellers (PhD)

Andrew & Virginia Rudd Senior Lecturer in Child Development & Community Mental Health
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Areas of expertise: Developmental psychopathology, family processes, gene-environment interplay, longitudinal analyses

Research areas: Developmental psychopathology, intergenerational transmission, gene-environment interplay for child development, family influences, child mental health & related outcomes, interplay between physical & mental health, trends in mental health

Other relevant positions: Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Deputy Director of the Rudd Research & Professional Practice Programme, Associate member of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University 

Preferred gender pronouns: she/her

Twitter handle: @ruth_sellers



Ruth is an Andrew & Virginia Rudd Senior Lecturer in Child Development & Community Mental health at BSMS. She was appointed Deputy Director of the Rudd Research and Professional Practice Programme in 2020 and was appointed an Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, within the Faculty of Education in 2021.

Ruth received her PhD in 2013 from Cardiff University. She was later awarded an ESRC Future Research Leader Fellowship (2016- 2019) at the University of Sussex, examining mechanisms for the intergenerational transmission of psychopathology.

Ruth is also an associate member of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University, and an Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.



Ruth’s primary research interests focus on a number of strands: (i) the examination of risk and resilience-based processes underlying childhood and adolescent psychopathology, specifically depression and disruptive behaviour disorders; (ii) the interplay between genetic factors, and family and school environmental factors in examining the precursors and processes that underlie individual differences in children’s psychopathology and related outcomes; (iii) examining the interplay between mental health and physical health outcomes during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

Ruth uses advanced statistical methods and employs longitudinal/cohort population, high-risk cohorts and genetically informative research designs to better understand mechanisms that may explain the development of psychopathology and other adverse outcomes and that can help to inform intervention and prevention strategies. To address these research strands, Ruth continues to collaborate with a number of external academic partners.

Selected Publications

Sellers R, Harold G. T., Smith A. F., Neiderhiser J, Reiss D, Shaw D, Natsuaki N M, Thapar A., Leve L D. (2021) Disentangling nature from nurture in examining the interplay between parent–child relationships, ADHD, and early academic attainment. Psychological Medicine. 51 (4), 645-652.

Sellers, R., Harold, G. T., Thapar, A., Neiderhiser, J. M., Ganiban, J. M., Reiss, D., ... & Leve, L. D. (2020). Examining the Role of Genetic Risk and Longitudinal Transmission Processes Underlying Maternal Parenting and Psychopathology and Children’s ADHD Symptoms and Aggression: Utilizing the Advantages of a Prospective Adoption Design. Behavior genetics50(4), 247-262.

Sellers, R., Warne, N., Rice, F., Langley, K., Maughan, B., Pickles, A., ... & Collishaw, S. (2020). Using a cross-cohort comparison design to test the role of maternal smoking in pregnancy in child mental health and learning: evidence from two UK cohorts born four decades apart. International journal of epidemiology49(2), 390-399.

Sellers R, Collishaw, S., Warne, N., Pickles, A., Maughan B, Thapar A. (2019). Cross-cohort change in adolescent outcomes for children with mental health problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60(7), 813-821

Sellers, R., Smith, A. F., Leve, L.D., Nixon, L., Cane, T., Cassell, J. A., Harold, G.T. (2019). Utilizing genetically-informed research designs to better understand family processes and child development: Implications for Adoption and Foster-care focused interventions. Adoption and Fostering, 43(3), 351-371.

Harold, G. T., Sellers, R. (2018). Annual Research Review: Interparental Conflict and Youth Psychopathology: An Evidence Review and Practice Focused Update. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59(4), 374-402.

Richards, A., Horwood, J., O’Donovan, M. C., Boden, J., Sellers, R., Riglin, L., Mistry, S., Jones, H., Smith, D. J., Zammit, S., Kennedy, M., Harold, G.T. (2018). Associations between schizophrenia genetic risk, anxiety disorders and manic/hypomanic episode in a longitudinal adult population cohort. British Journal of Psychiatry. 1-7.

Rice, F., Sellers, R., Hammerton, G., Eyre, O., Bevan-Jones, R., Thapar, A.K., Collishaw, S., Harold, G.T. and Thapar, A. (2017). Antecedents of new-onset major depressive disorder in children and adolescents at high familial risk. JAMA psychiatry, 74(2), pp.153-160.

Harold G. T., Leve L., Sellers R. (2017). How can genetically informed research help inform the next generation of interparental and parenting interventions? Child Development.88 (2), 446-458.

Sellers R, Hammerton G, Harold GT, Mahedy L, Potter R, Thapar AK, Thapar A, Collishaw S. (2016) Examining whether offspring psychopathology influences illness course in mothers with recurrent depression using a high-risk longitudinal sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.125 (2), 256.

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