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Rachel Marsden

Dr Rachel Marsden BSc (Hons), PhD, CPsychol, PGCert, FHEA

Senior Lecturer


I joined the Psychology department at SHU in 2009. I currently teach across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the areas of Biopsychology, Abnormal and Developmental Psychology.

I am an active member of the Sheffield Hallam’s Athena Swan Award.


Senior Lecturer

Teaching interests:

Developmental Psychology

Atypical Development



Abnormal Psychology

Health Psychology

Research interests:

Current research interest and activity include:

Food preferences and eating behaviours in children with autism and typically developed children.

Nutritional intake of children with autism.

Complementary Medicine use in children with autism (particularly gluten free/casein free diets) and the beliefs and cognitions behind parents decisions to use CAM for their child.

Sensory processing in autism (particularly in relation to food preferences).

Health psychology (children’s food preferences, intake and obesity)




Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts


Module Leader for UG L4 Cognitive Processes and Psychobiology.

Module Leader for PG Cognitive Development and Psychobiology.


My research and scholarly activity has centred around food preferences, diet intake and eating behaviours in children who are on the autism spectrum. I am also interested in the nutritional intake of children with autism. In a recent investigation I have examined the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) (particularly gluten free/casein free diets) in autism and the beliefs and cognitions behind parents decisions to use CAM for their child. Other research interests include health psychology, biopsychology and neuropsychology.


Journal articles

Hart, K., Marsden, R., & Paxman, J. (2020). Generation of thirst: a critical review of dehydration amongst older adults living in residential care. Nursing and Residential Care, 22 (12).

Marsden, R., Francis, J., & Garner, I. (2019). Use of GFCF Diets in children with ASD. An investigation into parents' beliefs using the theory of planned behaviour. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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