Professor Anna Barnett

BA PhD CPsychol AFBPs

Professor in Psychology

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Anna Barnett

Role

Main roles: 

  • Co-lead 'Children & Young People' Research, Innovation & Knowledge Exchange (RIKE) Network
  • REF coordinator for Unit of Assessment 4

Anna gained her first degree in Psychology and Physical Education at UCNW Bangor and PhD in Child Development at the Institute of Education, University of London. She worked as a Research Fellow on various projects at the Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, UCL and at the University of Oxford before joining Oxford Brookes in 2004.

Anna’s  general area of research is the development of motor control and coordination in children and young adults. One  strand of her work is very practical, involving the development of assessment tools  and delivery of interventions to teach motor skills. Another strand focuses on understanding various aspects of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - including diagnosis and assessment in children and adults . Anna also has a special interest in the teaching and learning of handwriting and typing skill, as an important component of the broader skill of writing.  

Areas of expertise

  • Motor Development,
  • Perceptual-Motor Control & Learning,
  • Teaching & Learning of Handwriting,
  • Developmental Assessment. 

Teaching and supervision

Courses

Modules taught

Undergraduate modules:

  • Personality and Psychometrics
  • Understanding Developmental Disorders
  • Psychology Project

Postgraduate modules:

  • Intelligence, Personality & Individual Differences

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Fiona Tierney Families’ experience of using sleep-related routines with their young children Active
Parmida Mohammadpour Home Numeracy Practices of Primary School Children: Parent Perspectives 2022
Teresa Joyce Executive Function in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder 2021

Research

Anna’s  general area of interest is the development of motor control and coordination in children and young adults. Within this area she pursues two different strands of research. The first has very practical applications, involving the development of assessment tools and delivery of interventions to teach motor skills. The latter includes a ‘Learn to Ride a Bike’ course in Oxford for children with motor difficulties.

As described in an Impact Case Study, Anna is co-author of the Movement ABC-2 Test and Checklist to identify and describe motor difficulties in children aged 3 to 16 years. She  has also developed the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH and DASH17+) to assess handwriting speed in  9-25 year olds. These are published by the international test publisher, Pearson Clinical and are sold world-wide to health and education professionals. Anna continues to work with colleagues to develop new assessment tools for practitioners, most recently the Handwriting Legibility Scale and Writing Quality Scale. She has also worked with the international test publisher, Hogrefe Ltd. to produce a UK adaptation of The Intelligence and Development Scales - 2nd Edition (IDS-2).

The second strand of Anna's research focuses on various aspects of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - including diagnosis and assessment in children and adults with this condition and exploration of the genetic contribution to motor difficulties. Anna also has a special interest in the teaching and learning of handwriting and typing skill, as an important component of the broader skill of writing. Her work in this area includes surveys of policy and practice in primary and secondary schools and examinations of handwriting in individuals with developmental disorders such as DCD and dyslexia.

Research impact

REF 2021 Impact Case Study: Improving identification and support of individuals with handwriting and movement difficulties through development of two tests: Movement ABC-2 and DASH.

The Movement ABC-2 Test is internationally recognised as the 'gold standard' for identifying children with motor difficulties. Prof Anna Barnett's revision and development has provided health and education professionals with a reliable assessment tool, improving the support for children and their familiies. This test is recommended in the latest International guidelines on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - a condition recognised as having a major impact on the lives of children and adults  - and has also been translated into several languages for global use. The parallel development of specific tests for handwriting (DASH) and (DASH17+) for children and adults has provided clinicians and teachers with the tools to help support students with their class work and written examinations.

Further information:

Centres and institutes

Groups

Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • 'Writing in the Digital Age' 1159 RB10010 - addnl staff costs (01/08/2021 - 31/12/2023), funded by: Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), funding amount received by Brookes: £5,766
  • Writing in the digital age - Led by Brunel University (01/08/2019 - 31/12/2023), funded by: Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), funding amount received by Brookes: £10,216
  • Development of Movement ABC-3 (14/06/2018 - 14/12/2021), funded by: Pearson Education Ltd, funding amount received by Brookes: £21,667

Projects as Co-investigator

  • The Genetics of Motor Coordination(01/09/2022 - 28/02/2024), funded by: The Waterloo Foundation, funding amount received by Brookes: £59,994, funded by: The Waterloo Foundation

Publications

slide 1 of 6