Personal profile


Sarah Foster is an academic psychologist who teaches psychological and research concepts to students on Social Work and Guidance and Counselling degree courses.

Sarah undertakes research exploring applications and implications of psychological concepts to clinical and social work practice. Of particular interest are the concepts of attachment, childhood adversity, trauma, resilience and mentalizing.

Sarah has been involved in a Wellcome Trust funded research programme, led by Dr Robbie Duschinsky at Cambridge University, which examined the meaning and implications of the infant disorganised attachment classification. Through her collaboration with Dr Duschinsky, Sarah has also critiqued the use of attachment theory in practice, including in family court decision making, and explored the theory of mentalizing. Sarah is currently undertaking doctoral research on attachment and reflective functioning in relation to clinical and social work practice. 

Sarah runs the North East Attachment Special Interest Group. This provides a forum for practitioners and academics to come together to consider the implications of attachment theory, research findings and assessments for practice. If you would like more information, or wish to join the group, please contact Sarah. 


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Attachment goes to court: child protection and custody issues

    Forslund, T., Granqvist, P., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Sagi-Schwartz, A., Glaser, D., Steele, M., Hammarlund, M., Schuengel, C., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Steele, H., Shaver, P. R., Lux, U., Simmonds, J., Jacobvitz, D., Groh, A. M., Bernard, K., Cyr, C., Hazen, N. L., Foster, S., Psouni, E., & 50 othersCowan, P. A., Pape Cowan, C., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Wilkins, D., Pierrehumbert, B., Tarabulsy, G. M., Carcamo, R. A., Wang, Z., Liang, X., Kázmierczak, M., Pawlicka, P., Ayiro, L., Chansa, T., Sichimba, F., Mooya, H., McLean, L., Verissimo, M., Gojman-de-Millán, S., Moretti, M. M., Bacro, F., Peltola, M. J., Galbally, M., Kondo-Ikemura, K., Behrens, K. Y., Scott, S., Rodriguez, A. F., Spencer, R., Posada, G., Cassibba, R., Barrantes-Vidal, N., Palacios, J., Barone, L., Madigan, S., Mason-Jones, K., Reijman, S., Juffer, F., Pasco Fearon, R., Bernier, A., Cicchetti, D., Roisman, G. I., Cassidy, J., Kindler, H., Zimmerman, P., Feldman, R., Spangler, G., Zeanah, C. H., Dozier, M., Belsky, J., Lamb, M. E. & Duschinsky, R., Jan 2021, In: Attachment & Human Development. 24, 1, p. 1-52 52 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    31 Citations (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)
  • Open Access
    18 Downloads (Pure)
  • Six attachment discourses: convergence, divergence and relay

    Duschinsky, R., Bakkum, L., Mannes, J. M. M., Skinner, G. C. M., Turner, M., Mann, A., Coughlan, B., Reijman, S., Foster, S. & Beckwith, H., 4 Jul 2021, In: Attachment and Human Development. 23, 4, p. 355-374 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    11 Citations (Scopus)
    31 Downloads (Pure)
  • Attachment histories and futures: reply to Vicedo’s ‘Putting attachment in its place’

    Duschinsky, R., van IJzendoorn, M., Foster, S., Reijman, S. & Lionetti, F., 2 Jan 2020, In: European Journal of Developmental Psychology. 17, 1, p. 138-146 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    Open Access
    4 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)
  • Attachment difficulties and disorders

    Turner, M., Beckwith, H., Duschinsky, R., Forslund, T., Foster, S., Coughlan, B., Pal, S. & Schuengel, C., 1 Apr 2019, InnovAiT, 12, 4, p. 173-173 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    Open Access
    16 Downloads (Pure)