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Kevin Browne

Director of Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Prof. Kevin Browne is Chair of Forensic Psychology and Child Health, as well as Director of the Professional Doctorate Programmes in Forensic Psychology and the research Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology.

He first held academic appointments at the University of Surrey, University of Leicester and University of Birmingham Medical School before being appointed as Professor and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre in Child Care and Protection at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham from 1998 to 2007. He then became the Chair of Forensic and Child Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Liverpool (2007 to 2009).

In 2009 he joined the University of Nottingham as Chair of Forensic Psychology and Child Health, and then became Head of the Institute for Work, Health & Organisations (I-WHO) in August 2010 until it was incorporated into the School of Medicine Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology in September 2013.

Expertise Summary

Clinical Practice

Professor Browne is a Fellow of the Society for Biology (FSB) and is registered with the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) as a forensic psychology practitioner. He is also a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and holds a European Practicing Certificate in Psychology. In addition, he is listed in the Expert Witness Register of Chartered Psychologists under the auspices of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

He regularly offers advice and consultancy to legal proceedings, health and social service agencies, government departments, non-governmental organisations, international societies and agencies of the United Nations. Furthermore, he is actively involved in the development of standards of education and training of forensic psychologists for the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC).

With regard to psychological reports for the courts, his areas of expertise are concerned with the assessment of violent and sexual offenders, the development and assessment of risk for aggression, antisocial and criminal behaviour in children, teenagers and adults. In particular, he assesses the potential for violence by parents and caregivers and those individuals high risk for child abuse and neglect. Related to this expertise, he carries out assessments on parenting in general and evaluates parent-child interaction and relationships from an attachment theory perspective.

He also conducts evaluations on the consequences and developmental effects of children growing up in a violent family and witnessing spouse or elder abuse or experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse themselves. He compares this to the effects of viewing violent media entertainment on anti-social and aggressive behaviour in children and adolescents.

Teaching Summary

Professor Kevin Browne has developed an HPC approved/BPS accredited 3 year professional (practitioner) Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Programme and a Masters by Research in Forensic and… read more

Research Summary

Prof. Browne's research interests are concerned with health systems and organisations to support the transition to parenthood, maternal health and child health. In particular, he is interested in the… read more

Selected Publications

International

  • Following an invitation by UNICEF and Save the Children UK to summarise his work in relation to the risk posed to young children in institutional care, he completed a small monograph entitled 'The risk of harm to young children in institutional care'. This publication was presented to the UN General Assembly and in October 2009, a guideline was agreed by 192 member states that no child under three years of age should be placed in institutional/residential care.
  • In February 2010, he was awarded an EU Daphne programme grant for two years (£350,000) for a 10 Country study of child abandonment and its prevention. Previously, he had been invited by UNICEF to consult with senior ministers of government on the prevention of infant abandonment and the closure of residential care institutions for children less than 3 years of age and their deinstitutionalisation into family based care. This has involved visits to the governments of Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Romania to offer advice on health and social policies related to services for children in need.
  • From 1st January 2003 to 31st March 2005, a quarter of his time was contracted by the UK Department for International Development to act as Chief Executive to the High Level Group for Romanian Children chaired by the Prime Minister of Romania and Baroness Emma Nicholson MEP, the European Commission Rapportuer for Romania. The role of this post was to bring together Ministries involved in the promotion of child rights, care and protection, with major Non Government Organisations and international agencies, who act as donors and advisers to the development, reform and capacity building of children services in Romania.
  • At the same time, he acted as a temporary adviser to the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe offering technical advice on child protection to 52 countries in Europe and Central Asia. This work was carried out in collaboration with WHO/HQ Geneva, UNICEF and the World Bank and has involved field work in Armenia, Estonia, Romania, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic.

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National

  • At a national level, he has been invited to give evidence to Lord McKenzie on the Child Poverty Bill 2010 and has also given evidence to the Home Office Select Committee on knife crime (2009) and child trafficking 2009.
  • Within the UK, his consultancy work also concerns of the effects of media violence, child protection and the prevention of child maltreatment. During the last four years, he has been invited to participate in three 'Think Tanks' organised by the Prime minister's office and the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the introduction of the Nurse Family Partnership Program into the UK.
  • Previous to his international work, he was involved with the assessment and treatment of young offenders and was contracted half time by the Department of Health as co-ordinator of research and evaluation for the Youth Treatment Service in England from 1992 to 1999. During this time, his Home Office sponsored investigations into the effects of media violence on young offenders became nationally recognised and he was invited to become a member of the British Board of Film Classification Consultancy Council.

Professor Kevin Browne has developed an HPC approved/BPS accredited 3 year professional (practitioner) Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Programme and a Masters by Research in Forensic and Criminological Psychology within the School of Medicine.

Read more about the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (D.Foren.Psy)

Read more about the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Top-Up (D.Foren.Psy)

Read more about the Research in Forensic and Criminological Psychology

He also currently supervises the following research projects:

  • list currently being updated.

Current Research

Prof. Browne's research interests are concerned with health systems and organisations to support the transition to parenthood, maternal health and child health. In particular, he is interested in the concept of infanticide and child abandonment and its relationship to economic transition and poverty. He is currently researching this topic with a grant (EU 350,000) from the European Union Daphne programme in collaboration with 9 country partners. Indeed, he has formulated policy proposals on the prevention of infant abandonment for the Government of Romania, supported by UNICEF. These recommendations were accepted by the Prime Minister's Office in April 2006.

In relation to this work, he co-authored a publication in 2009 entitled 'Child maltreatment: Burden and Consequences in high-income countries' (Lancet Series on Child Maltreatment 1) The Lancet, 373 (9657) 68-81, and have been a part of a successful application for 3 million euro European Union FP7 grant programme on Child Abuse and Neglect in the Balkans.

Deinstitutionalising and transforming children's services across Europe

He has recently completed a five year project funded by the European Commission (80%) and the WHO (20%) on the effects of early institutional care on child health, development and behaviour and the identification of good practices and capacity building to deinstitutionalise and transform children's services across Europe. This was followed by dissemination and training in 12 European countries also supported by the European Commission Daphne Programme.

Read 'Overuse of institutional care for children in Europe' Browne, K.D., Hamilton-Giachritis, C.E., Johnson, R. and Ostergren, M. (2006). Overuse of institutional care for children in Europe. British Medical Journal. 332 : 485-487 (25/02/06).

The application of attachment theory

The consequences of disrupted attachment patterns are of special interest. Theoretically, his research concentrates on the application of attachment theory to social interactions and their pathology with special emphasis on the development of violent and antisocial behaviour, the concept of 'victim to offender' and the intergenerational continuity of family violence, child abuse and neglect.

Previous research

His previous research on human aggression, family violence and child abuse attempted to predict and assess the potential for physical and sexual violence from social and behavioural characteristics of the offender, the victim and the context. In relation to this research, a model has been developed outlining causes of child maltreatment and violence in the family.

This work has been applied to peri-natal screening for child abuse and neglect and to observing the differences between abusing and non-abusing families in clinical environments and in the home. The identification of maltreated children in the classroom environment (through children's drawings and psychometric measures) has proved complex and unreliable. Consequently, he now places even more emphasis on a public health approach to the early prediction and prevention of family violence and child abuse and neglect.

Related to this work, he has produced two recent policy publications:

  • A chapter on 'Violence against the child in the home and family' contributed to the UN Secretary General's World Report on Violence to Children (Oct. 2006)
  • A policy briefing to the World Health Organisation (Aug. 2007) on 'Preventing Child Maltreatment in Europe: A Public Health Approach'.

His research interests also include the assessment and treatment of both juvenile and adult domestic violent offenders and sex offenders. These studies have also looked at early attachment patterns and the previous experiences of abuse and neglect in childhood. In relation to this research work, he has explored the consequences of children growing up in a violent family and how this interacts with the effects of media violence on young people (see Browne, K.D. and Hamilton-Giachritsis, C.E. 2005. The Lancet, 365, 702-710.).

Future Research

An two year EU Daphne grant proposal has been submitted to investigate the extent and characteristics of juvenile sex offenses in six countries within Europe, with special emphases on the identification of legal and therapeutic interventions with teenagers who commit sexual assaults on other children and peers.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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