CATS director Professor Toni Bifulco presents at the International Academy for Intercultural Research (IAIR) Rapperswil Switzerland 24-29 July 2022
CATS director Toni Bifulco presented as part of a symposium at the International Academy for Intercultural Research (IAIR) in Rapperswil Switzerland 24-29 July 2022. The symposium was entitled “Transgenerational Transmission of Socio-cultural and Psychological Trauma in Different Cultural Contexts” and the speakers were international from the Ukraine (Professor Zasiekina), Israel (Professor Pat-Horenczyk) and the USA (Dr Bojko) as well as Professor Bifulco. The sessions went well and indicated the long term effects of PTSD among victims and combatants and the factors which transmit to family members and cross generations. The conference was held in a wonderful location by lake Zurich in very hot weather!
The Psychological Toll of the War in Ukraine - International trauma research panel on 13th September 2022
On the 13th September the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre hosted a virtual conference, in partnership with the Ambassadors for Ukraine, Poland and Israel in South Africa. It was well attended with over 200 people registered from all across the world. Professor Bifulco and Dr DeMarco from CATS presented at the conference, with positive responses from the audience. To view a recording of the conference please visit Live Recording – The Pychological Toll of the War in Ukraine. To view an article about the conference written by Professor Tali Nates and published in the South African Jewish Report please visit Conference Article.
CATS awarded funding from the Technology Coalition to develop an intervention for content moderators
We have been awarded funding from the Technology Coalition to investigate the impact of online child sexual abuse material on content moderators – individuals who are charged with constantly surveilling and removing traumatic images and videos of child sexual abuse. We will explore and quantify the issues facing content moderators and identify coping strategies currently used by content moderators and highlight what works – and does not work. Results of the study will be used to develop a pilot intervention to support and protect the mental health of content moderators. Visit The Technology Coalition Website for more details.
CPD training courses in interview assessment measures
We run short courses in assessment measures in the areas of Attachment, Parenting, and Child Abuse and Care. The interviews, adopted for adult, adolescent and child use, have been extensively published and used in research and are now available for professionals working in clinical and social care settings. Visit Lifespan Training website for details and upcoming dates.
'Life Events and Emotional Disorder Revisited'
Latest book written by members of CATS team explores the variety of events that can occur, their inherent characteristics and how they affect our lives and emotions, and in turn their impact on our mental health and wellbeing. It focuses on current social problems nationally and internationally, showing the reach of life events research including those linked to Covid-19. It also discusses trauma experiences and how they fit in the life events scheme. Find the book here. (Enter code FLR40 at
checkout for 20% discount).
Personal reflections from a psychologist on COVID-19
We are all in the same boat. Or at least in our own boats, but in perilous seas with the current COVID-19 crisis. For some it may seem like being in a dingy, for others a houseboat or an Ark but none of us get to sail anywhere. COVID-19 has us housebound – either socially distancing, or for the elderly and infirm – in relative social isolation or lockdown. So how are we faring at this relatively early stage of lockdown? How do we pace ourselves for a long voyage? Can a psychological approach provide any aid? Read more…
Why are life events troubling? - article in The Psychologist
Ruth Spence, Lisa Kagan and Antonia Bifulco find it’s not a straightforward question…
Life happens. In Kipling’s words, the twin impostors of ‘triumph and disaster’, the best and worst the world can throw at us. Not all ‘life events’ are life-changing. At face value, many appear benign (leaving school, getting a job, moving in with a partner); whilst others seem inherently damaging (the death of someone close, a life-threatening illness, relationship break-up). Yet the extent to which a life event is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is not necessarily intuitive, and it may surprise you to know that psychologists often continue to act as if it is.
Online child sexual abuse during COVID-19. What do the experts say?
In this article Dr Elena Martellozzo, CATS member and Associate Professor and Criminologist at MDX, presents some of the key issues that were raised during the UKCIS webinar by high-level experts from research, policy and practice. The risk to children of online sexual abuse, alongside other forms of online harm, is likely to have increased as a result of isolation measures, with children being educated and spending more time online. Read more…
How the pandemic has made young people more vulnerable to risky online sexual trade
Online pornography is increasingly identified as an influence on children’s and young people’s sexual lives. Dr Elena Martellozzo and Paula Bradbury of the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies at Middlesex University examine the impact that social media platform OnlyFans has had on vulnerable young people during the coronavirus pandemic and suggest measures to protect them from online harm. Read more…
Professor Bifulco presented at The Knot webinar
CATS director Prof Antonia Bifulco was one of the contributors at the launch event of the ‘Knot – Responding to Poverty, Trauma & Multiple Disadvantage. Her talk was titled ‘Child trauma as a source of lifetime inequality – the impacts on mental health and violent behaviour’. Prof Bifulco has also produced a chapter for Knot publication: Poverty trauma and multiple disadvantage (from Revolving Doors charity).
In November Toni Bifulco was asked to provide a key note lecture on the issues of intergenerational transmission of war trauma for the Joahnnesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, organised by the a group representing Polish enforced deportees to Siberia from WW2 who sought refuge in S Africa. CATS is using this event as the basis of a network of interested academics and survivor groups to apply for further conference funding and research into the topic of East European war survival and its intergenerational impacts on families and mental health. Conference recordings can be accessed on youtube (click on the picture for link).
6th South Africa Poland History Conference 2019
17 Nov Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre.
A remembrance for victims of the WWII organised by the ‘Syberacy’ organization – the descendants of children exported from Poland to Siberia in 1940 who found refuge in S Africa. Prof Bifulco’s keynote lecture ‘Trauma in the context of war: Reflections on Polish experience in WWII and its impacts across generations’ generated considerable interest and discussion.
Societa Italiana Di Psicologia Paediatrica conference 2019.
7-9 November, Palermo, Sicily
Toni Bifulco was invited to speak at this conference in paediatric psychology on: The consequences of child neglect in paediatric conditions. The conference had great international contributions to an important issue. With thanks to the organisers Prof Perricone, Prof Pelizzi and Dr Valentina Fortana.
CATS’ work with Poland: 'Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online' conference, Sept 2019
Dr Elena Martellozzo was invited to attend the conference and present the findings from research funded by the NSPCC and OCC on the impact online pornography may have on children and young people (Martellozzo et al, 2016). Elena was part of the session exploring the “harmful effect of Pornography and Sexting”. The event was attended by practitioners working with children and was funded but the Empowering Children Foundation, Warsaw. Elena and the CATS team will continue to engage with the foundation and explore possibilities to collaborate.
Attachment Style Interview training coming to Australia
CATS rolled out their ASI training in Australia with Secure Base Solutions throughout 2019. We are delighted with this new partnership and will be pleased to see the attachment interview used in child protection and related services in Australia.
CATS' Erasmus & a visit to University of Warsaw
CATS staff were awarded Erasmus+ staff mobility grants to underpin a bi-lateral agreement between Middlesex and University of Warsaw. Prof Bifulco, Drs Martellozzo, Oskis and Demarco travelled to Warsaw in April 2019 and attended a one-day seminar and discussions with IPSiR interdisciplinary policy and other departments with the aim of furthering our research and policy interests in harms to children and families in both countries. Read more.
Prof Julia Davidson contributes to government drive for internet safety
CATS co-director Julia Davidson, Prof Sonia Livingstone, LSE, and Dr Joanne Bryce, Uni of Central Lancashire have been commissioned by the government to produce a report detailing how young people use the internet, the dangers they face and the issues with safeguarding them. The report will be part of a new Internet Safety Strategy aimed at making Britain the safest country in the world for children and young people to be online.
New CATS project in the IoM: neglect and related issues in Safegurding
We undertook the ‘Assessing Care’ project in the Isle of Man throughout 2018. We are happy to report that this partnership between Isle of Man Safeguarding Board, St Christopher’s Fellowship and CATS sucessfully enhance assessment of neglect and related issues on the island.
CATS and Europol report sheds light on youth hacking - project report published
Led by CATS co-director Prof Julia Davidson, the focus of the research was on adolescent hackers and associated behaviour. Prof Davidson says the penalties for involvement in cybercrime are not always understood by young people. “Some very IT literate and bright young people are drawn into hacking without realising the consequences should they be caught…”
Prof Julia Davidson on Children’s Commissioner's special panel
Children’s Commissioner for has made eleven recommendations to help better protect children from intra-familial sexual abuse based on the findings of a panel that included CATS co-Director Prof Julia Davidson. Its research found that only one in eight children who are sexually abused are identified by professionals because the police and social services are geared towards children self-referring or reporting abuse.
CLEAR project in the media - QED podcast on resilience
CATS co-director Prof Toni Bifulco participated in a podcast series on resilience, discussing issues of risk and resilience to stress in everyday life and drawing on research into various factors, such as attachment styles, support and coping strategies. She also outlined her team’s latest ESRC project ‘Stress Online’ a computerised assessment of life events which provides a relatively objective assessment of recent stressful experience.