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Ann Macaskill

Professor Ann Macaskill MA (Hos), PHD, CPsychol, HPC, PFHEA, AFBPS

Professor of Health Psychology, University Head of Research Ethics


As head of research ethics my role is to protect research participants and the University's reputation by ensuring through regular review that the university's research ethics policies and procedures meet UK legal requirements and European Commission directives and the requirements of external bodies who fund and/or support university research. I manage the implementation of university research ethics policy across the university to ensure that research undertaken by undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff complies with national and international ethical standards. I oversee the development of systems to help ensure the integrity of research at Sheffield Hallam University. I chair the University ethics committee, oversee policy implementation across the 4 faculties and represent research ethics across the university on a range of committees. I provide quality assurance of the ethics and independent scientific review systems. I chair the faculty research ethics committee and I also teach, undertake research and supervise doctoral students.

  • About

    I began my career in psychology at the University of Aberdeen, followed by the University of Edinburgh where I undertook postdoctoral research, before returning to Aberdeen, and then on to the Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield. I came to SHU on a temporary contract in 1989 before there was a psychology degree and suggested that the time was opportune to develop one which we did, getting BPS approval in 1992. I was subject leader in psychology from 1991-2000, building up the department. I then became the Divisional Quality Co-ordinator. I became a Reader in Psychology in March 2001 and was awarded a Personal Chair in Health Psychology in February 2005. I have always been interested in research ethics, setting up the first research ethics committee at Sheffield Hallam University as this was required by the British Psychological Society for the new psychology degree. I became deputy chair of the University Research Ethics Committee in 2000 and became chair in 2002. My role was re-graded to Head of Research Ethics in 2008.

    I am trained as a CBT therapist as well as being a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and a registered practitioner health psychologist with the Health Professions Council. I have worked closely with colleagues in the NHS, social care and the voluntary sector over a number of years. These contacts enable me to apply my psychological knowledge and I am keen to encourage students to see beyond their textbooks to real world applications of psychology.

    I teach personality and individual differences on the MSc Health Psychology and positive psychology on the MSc Developmental Psychology.

    I supervise a number of doctoral research students and some MSc health psychology students' research projects.

    I lead workshops and do presentations on research ethics and research integrity across the university for staff and research students.

  • Teaching

    Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

    Social Sciences and Humanities

  • Research

    • positive psychology, a relatively new area within psychology that aims to create more positive institutions, promote well-being and life satisfaction in the general population and create more of a 'can do' culture. I am currently undertaking some of this work with university students, aiming to explore how we help students cope better with the stresses associated with transition to university and maximise their learning experiences
    • forgiveness, grudge holding and vengeance seeking, conflict resolution and the facilitation of forgiveness (within positive psychology remit)
    • psychological determinants of health and illness
    • evaluation of therapeutic interventions

    Ann's early research was on stress, depression and psychotherapy trial evaluations. Recently she has focussed on positive psychology particularly wellbeing and mental health, examining student and staff wellbeing and its effects on learning and achievement.

    She is currently working on a project funded by a British Academy Newton Fellowship and the Royal Thai Research fund (£111,000) assessing and Improving Health Literacy and Wellbeing in Thai families at risk of Non-Communicable Disease using positive psychology interventions. This is with Dr Ungsinun Intarakamhang, Behavioral Science Research Institute, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok. 2017-2019.

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    Macaskill, A. ( 2002). Heal the Hurt: How to Forgive and Move on. London: Sheldon Press.
    Maltby, J, Day, L., and Macaskill, A. (2006, 2010, 2013, 2017)). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence. London: Pearson. ( 4 editions produced) Sadly Lisa Day died so the fourth edition was written by Maltby and Macaskill.
    Maltby, J., Macaskill, A. & Day, L. (2011) Personality, Intelligence & Individual Differences: My Test Bank: London: Pearson.
    Maltby, J., Day, L. & Macaskill, A. (2011). Differentielle Psychologie, Personlichkeit und Intelligenz. Munchen: Pearson Studium.
    Book Chapters
    Macaskill, A, (1982) Egocentricity in the Child and its Effect on the Child's Comprehension of Kin Terms. In P Bryant (Ed) Piaget: Issues and Experiments, British Psychological Society. Book published by the British Psychological Society to mark the death of Jean Piaget.
    Macaskill, A. (1996). Long Term Efficacy of Stress Management Programmes: A Neglected Area. In H Gray, N Foreman and N. Hayes (Eds), Psychology in a Changing Europe, University of Leicester Press.
    Barlow, C. & Macaskill, A. (1996). Stress in Staff at a New University. In H Gray, N Foreman and N. Hayes (Eds), Psychology in a Changing Europe, University of Leicester Press.
    Macaskill, A. (1999). Personal Therapy: An Assessment of its Effectiveness. In C. Feltham (Ed), Current Controversies in Psychotherapy. London: Sage.
    Macaskill, A. (2006). Research ethics for projects involving data collection with human participants. In Companion for Undergraduate Dissertations, Higher Education Academy
    Macaskill, A. (2008). Just world beliefs and forgiveness in men and women. In W. Malcolm, N. De Courville, & K. Belicki (Eds.) Women's perspectives on forgiveness and reconciliation: The complexities of restoring power and connection. New York: Routledge.
    Macaskill, A. (2009). Research Ethics : Being a responsible researcher. In K. Smith, M. Todd, & J Waldman (Eds.) Doing your undergraduate social science dissertation. London: Routledge
    Macaskill , A. (2016) Personality. In Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad (Religious Studies, University of Groningen) and Prof. Robert Segal (Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen. Brill Publishers, Leiden.

    Academic Papers since 2010
    Macaskill, A. & Taylor, E. (2010. The development of a brief measure of learner autonomy in university students. Studies in Higher Education, 35(3), 351 - 359.
    Duangchan,P., Yoelao,D., Macaskill,A., Intarakamhang, U. & Suprasonsin, C. (2010). Interventions for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among Obese Elementary Schoolchildren: Observing Changes of the Combined Effects of Behavioral Models. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 5 (1), 46-59.
    Mobach, T & Macaskill, A. (2011). Motivation to drink alcohol in first year university students: Having a good time or simply coping? Health Psychology Update, 20 (2), 9-17.
    Boonyarit, I., Chuawanlee, W., Macaskill, A., & Supparerkchaisaku, N. (2012). Thai conceptualizations of forgiveness within a work context : comparison with Western models. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 7 (1), 1-30.
    Macaskill, A. (2012). Differentiating Dispositional Self-Forgiveness from Other-Forgiveness: Associations with Mental Health and Life Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31 (1), 28-50.
    Macaskill, A. (2012). A feasibility study of psychological strengths and wellbeing assessment in individuals living with recurrent depression. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7 (5), 372-386.
    Macaskill, A. (2012) The Mental Health of University Students in the United Kingdom. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 41 (4), 426-441.
    Denovan, A., & Macaskill, A. (2013). An interpretative phenomenological analysis of stress and coping in first year undergraduates. British Journal of Educational Research. 39 (6), 1002-1024.
    Boonyarit, I., Chuawanlee, W., Macaskill, A., Supparerkchaisakul, N. (2013). A Psychometric Analysis of the Workplace Forgiveness Scale. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 9 (2), 319–338.
    Macaskill, A. & Denovan, A. (2013). Developing autonomous learning in first year university students using perspectives from positive psychology. Studies in Higher Education, 38,(1), 124-142.
    Macaskill, A. & Denovan, A. (2014). Assessing psychological health: The contribution of psychological strengths. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.42 (3), 320-337.
    Killen, A. & Macaskill, A. (2015). Using a Gratitude Intervention to Enhance Well-being in Older Adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16 (4), 947-964.
    Sutipan, P. Intarakmhang,U. & Macaskill, A. (2016) "The impact of Positive Psychological Interventions on well-being in healthy elderly people" Journal of Happiness Studies. 18(1), 269-291.
    Denovan, A. & Macaskill, A. (2016). Building resilience to stress through leisure activities: A qualitative analysis. Annals of Leisure Research 20:4.
    Kirkby-Geddes, E. & Macaskill, A. (2016). Voices of the well-elderly: A qualitative study of psychological strengths and well-being. International Journal of Behavioral Science, 11(2) 21-30.
    Macaskill, A. (2016). Review of Positive Psychology Applications in Clinical Medical Populations. Healthcare 2016, 4 (3), 66 - 75. doi:10.3390/healthcare4030066
    Darabi, M, Macaskill, A., & Reidy, L. (2017). Stress among UK academics:
    identifying who copes best, Journal of Further and Higher Education, 41(3), 393-412.
    Darabi, M, Macaskill, A., & Reidy, L.(2017). A Qualitative Study of the UK Academic Role: Positive features, negative aspects and associated stressors. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 41 (4), 566-580.
    Denovan, A. & Macaskill, A. (2017). Stress and subjective well-being among first year UK undergraduate students: A longitudinal study. Journal of Happiness Studies, 18, 505–525.
    Denovan, A. & Macaskill, A. ( 2017) Stress, resilience and leisure coping among university students: Applying the broaden-and-build theory. Leisure Studies, 36 (6) , 852-865.
    Macaskill. A. (2018). Undergraduate mental health issues: the challenge of the second year of study. The Journal of Mental Health DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2018.1437611 Link below (special edition on student mental health)
    Intarakamhang, U. & Macaskill, A. (2018). Multi-group Causal Model of Health Literacy and Behaviors on Family Well-being among Thai Adults at Risk of Non-Communicable Diseases. Journal of Research in Health Sciences, 18(4): e00429

  • Other activities

    I undertake a range of consultancy projects.

    Recent examples include

    • Improving Outpatient Services for Older People, Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield, CLARC funding.
    • Developing Ethical thinking for Police Internal Ethics Committees, South Yorkshire Police.
  • Postgraduate supervision

    I have supervised 23 PhD students to completion. I am currently supervising six doctoral students. 

  • Media

    Professor Ann Macaskill is a chartered health psychologist and is trained as a cognitive behaviour therapist.

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