Research Background

This page summarises my  employment history and published research papers.


  • Independent  Assessment:  Attachment Style Interview and Parenting Role Interviews and reports for children's services and adoption and fostering agencies.
  • Honorary Research Psychologist Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies, Middlesex University (2012- Ongoing):  I am training lead at the Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies. specialising in training interview measures for psychosocial risks using the Attachment Style Interview, Parenting Role Interview, Q Pack & Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse Interview for  children’s services and practitioners. Recent evaluations for St Michael's' Fellowship Young Father's Outreach work (2023) and Securing Change service (2021). Recent team training for the Jersey Government, Isle of Man Government, Adoption teams in the UK and researchers and practitioners in Estonia, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, USA and Denmark.
  • Lifespan Training Courses: Full information can be found at
    Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies: Full information can be found at


For the majority of my career I worked with the Lifespan Research Group (which then became the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies), with Professor Antonia Bifulco, Professor George Brown and  Professor Tirril Harris.  Between 1995-1999 I was involved with a Medical Research Council funded project investigating how life events, childhood adversity and psychosocial risk factors impact upon levels of depression, anxiety and substance abuse.  Over my career I work with assessment interviews for childhood neglect and abuse, adult stress and coping, attachment style, self-esteem, relationship with partner, parenting behaviours and psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. In the 1990s I also had a research post at the Institute of Psychiatry working on the Twins Early Developmental Study.

Academic published papers

  •  Bifulco, Antonia, Jacobs, Catherine, Oskis, Andrea, Cavana, Francesca and Spence, Ruth (2019) Lifetime trauma, adversity and emotional disorder in older age women. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare | Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Interdisciplinary Journal, 21 (2) pp. 29-43.
  • Bifulco, A., Schimmenti, A., Moran, P. Jacobs, C Bunn, A., and Rusu, A. C. (2014). Problem parental care and teenage deliberate self-harm in young community adults. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Spring; 78 (2), 95-114.
  • Bifulco, A., Schimmenti, A.,Jacobs, C.,Bunn, A., and Rusu, A. C. (2014). Risk factors and psychological outcomes of bullying victimization: A community-based study. Child Indicators Research, 7(3), 633-648.
  • Fisher, H.L., Bunn, A., Jacobs, C., Moran, P., and Bifulco, A. (2011). Concordance between mother and offspring retrospective reports of childhood adversity. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35 (2), 117-122
  • Moran, Patricia, Jacobs, Catherine, Bunn, Amanda and Bifulco, Antonia (2007) Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team.Child and Family Social Work, 12 (2). pp. 143-151
  • Evans, Phil & Forte, D & Jacobs, Catherine  & Fredhoi, C & Aitchison, E & Hucklebridge, Frank & Clow, Angela. (2007).Cortisol secretory activity in older people in relation to positive and negative wellbeing. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 32. 922-30
  • Bifulco, Antonia and Bernazzani, O. and Moran, P. M. and Jacobs, C.  (2005) The childhood experience of care and abuse questionnaire (CECA.Q): validation in a community series British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44 (4). pp. 563-58
  • Bifulco, A., Moran, P.M., Ball, C. Jacobs, C.,  Baines, R., Bunn, A., and Cavagin J. (2002).  Childhood adversity, parental vulnerability and disorder: examining inter-generational transmission of risk  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(8), 1075-1086.
  • Moran, Patricia M., Bifulco, Antonia, Ball, Caroline, Jacobs, Catherine and Benaim, Kate (2002) Exploring psychological abuse in childhood. I: developing a new interview scale Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 66 (Summer) pp. 213-240
  • Moran, Patricia,  Jacobs, Catherine, Bunn, Amanda and Bifulco, Antonia (2007) Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team Child and Family Social Work, 12 (2). pp. 143-151
  • Caspi, A., Moffitt, T., Morgan, J., Rutter, M., Taylor, A., Arseneault, L., Tully, L., Jacobs, C., Kim- Cohen, J, & Polo-Tomas, M. (2004).  Maternal Expressed Emotion Predicts Children's Antisocial Behaviour Problems: Using MZ-Twin Differences to Identify Environmental Effects on Behavioural Development Developmental Psychology 40 (2), 149 – 160
  • Moffitt, TE, & the E-risk Study Team   (2002). Contemporary teen-aged mothers in Britain.   Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • Sayal, Kapil & Checkley, Stuart & Rees, Melinda & Jacobs, Catherine & Harris, Tirril & Papadopoulos, Andrew & Poon, Lucia. (2002). Effects of social support during weekend leave on cortisol and depression ratings: A pilot study. Journal of affective disorders

Attachment Style and Parenting published papers

  • The child attachment style interview (Child-ASI) and depression: preliminary findings Bifulco, Antonia and Jacobs, Catherine and Oskis, Andrea and Bunn, Amanda and Spence, Ruth (2021) The child attachment style interview (Child-ASI) and depression: preliminary findings. Educational and Child Psychology 38 (1). pp. 62-74.
    fulco, A., Damiani, R., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A. and Spence, R. (2019) Partner violence in women – Associations with childhood maltreatment, attachment style and Major Depression. Maltrattamento e Abuso all’Infanzia, Aug (16), 13- 28
  • Jacobs, Catherine, Boyce, Nichola, Ilan-Clarke, Yael and Bifulco, Antonia (2019) Assessing attachment style in traumatized adolescents in residential care: A case approach. Maltrattamento E Abuso All’infanzia: Rivista Interdisciplinare Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Interdisciplinary Journal, 21 (1) pp. 39-54.
  • Spence, Ruth, Jacobs, Catherine and Bifulco, Antonia (2018) Attachment style, loneliness and depression in older age women. Aging and mental health
  • Bifulco, Antonia, Jacobs, Catherine, Ilan-Clarke, Yael, Spence, Ruth and Oskis, Andrea (2017) Adolescent attachment style in residential care: the attachment style interview and vulnerable attachment style questionnaire. British Journal of Social Work, 47 pp. 1880-1883.
  • Oskis, Andrea & Clow, Angela & Hucklebridge, Frank & Bifulco, Antonia & Jacobs, Catherine & Loveday, Catherine. (2013). Understanding alexithymia in female adolescents: The role of attachment style. Personality and Individual Differences. 54. 97–102
  • Jacobs, Catherine, Ilan-Clarke, Yael and Bifulco, Antonia (2012) Caring about attachment in young people in residential care: the use of the attachment style interview. Report of a voluntary sector and university partnership. Community Care Inform.
  • Bifulco, Antonia and Moran, Patricia and Jacobs, Catherine and Bunn, Amanda (2009) Problem partners and parenting: exploring linkages with maternal insecure attachment style and adolescent offspring internalizing disorder. Attachment and Human Development, 11 (1). pp. 69-85
  • Bifulco, Antonia, Jacobs, Catherine Bunn, Amanda, Thomas, Geraldine and Irving, Karen (2008) The Attachment Style Interview (ASI): a support-based adult assessment tool for adoption and fostering practice. Adoption and Fostering 32 (3) pp. 33-45
  • Bifulco, A., Kwon, J-H., Jacobs, C., Moran, P.M, Bunn, A. and Beer, N. (2006). Adult attachment style as a mediator between childhood neglect/abuse and adult depression and anxiety. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 41(10), 796-805.
  • Bifulco, Antonia and Kwon, Junghye and Jacobs, Catherine and Moran, Patricia M. and Bunn, Amanda and Beer, Nils (2006) Adult attachment style as mediator between childhood neglect/abuse and adult depression and anxiety. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 41 (10). pp. 796-805.
  • Bifulco, Antonia and Mahon, J. and Kwon, J.-H. and Moran, P. M. and Jacobs, C. (2003) The Vulnerable Attachment Style Questionnaire (VASQ): an interview-based measure of attachment styles that predict depressive disorder. Psychological Medicine, 33 (6). pp. 1099-1110.