Professor Margaret Harris


Emeritus Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Margaret Harris


Margaret Harris began her career as a lecturer at Birkbeck College, moving to Royal Holloway University of London in 1989 as a Senior Lecturer and then Reader and Professor. In 2006 she moved to Oxford Brookes University to become Head of the Psychology Department and Director of the new Institute for Research in Child Development. In 2012 the Department of Psychology merged with the Department of Social Work and Public Health. In 2016, Margaret retired as Head of Department and is now focusing on her research in a part-time role.  


Margaret's main interests are in the development of written and spoken language and she has published widely in this area. Much of her research in the past two decades has focused on the language development of deaf children, especially the dynamics of deaf and hearing mothers' communication with their deaf children and literacy attainment in deaf school children and young people. She is the author of five books, and has recently published a new undergraduate textbook on developmental psychology. She was Editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology (2008-13), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education and a founding Editor of Mind & Language.   

Research grants and awards

  • ESRC 2013 - 2016 The impact of new technologies on the reading and phonological skills of deaf primary school children £332,181
  • Technology Strategy Board 2010 –2012 National trial of Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles (with Mark Burgess, OBU)
  • Technology Strategy Board 2009 -2011 User perceptions of MINI E
    (joint project with School of Technology at Oxford Brookes) £147,755
  • British Academy 2009-2010 Comparing measures of mind-mindedness and parental reflective function (with Morag MacLean, OBU)£7,495
  • Burdett Trust for Nursing 2009-2010 A pilot study to evaluate the accuracy of health visitor assessments of the quality of mother-infant interactions (with Jane Appleton, OBU and John Oates, Open University)£40,489
  • ESRC 2009-2010 Reading attainment and reading strategies in deaf adolescents with a cochlear implant £80,272



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