Dr Alison Rodriguez

Dr Alison Rodriguez


I am an Associate Professor Child and Family Health, in the School of Healthcare. I am a Psychologist and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with extensive teaching, research and research supervision experience in Health Psychology.

My first degree is in Psychology, I have a Masters in Health Psychology, a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and a PhD in Health Psychology - Palliative Paediatric Care.

I have worked in academia since 2007, originally as a course leader and senior lecturer in Psychology, moving to the school of Healthcare in 2015.


Research interests

My research predominantly focuses on the health and well-being needs and experiences of children and young people with life-limiting or life threatening conditions and their carers/family members. There are three main streams to my research; each have the common aim of improving well-being, communication, support and the quality of care for both service users (and carers/families) and providers:

1. Meaning-making and generativity in life-limiting and life threatening conditions.

I am interested in developing Dignity Therapy Interventions for children and young people with life-limiting and life threatening conditions.

2. Spirituality and quality of life in individuals with long term conditions.

I am interested in how spiritual beliefs influence healthcare decisions and how spiritual support can enhance perceived health and well-being. In particular, I am interested in developing supportive spiritual interventions for people with degenerative conditions.

3. Well-being management and self-care

How do individuals with long term conditions maintain their wellbeing? What are their experiences and relationships with supportive services? What actions do they take themselves to promote their well-being, adjustment and transitions? I am interested in the resources and capabilities that exist across communities, groups and individuals and in developing self-care interventions.

I have used and supervised a range of research designs (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods). My methodological passion however, is phenomenology and I have drawn on both descriptive and interpretive approaches in my work.

I am a grant reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (RfPB, HTA and Fellowship programmes) and charitable organisations. I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Child Health Care and peer reviewer for several other Health and Psychology focused Journals.

I would be interested in supervising and examining PhD students with research interests in the following areas:

  1. Meaning making and generativity in life-limiting and life threatening conditions.
  2. Bereavement support for children, young people and families.
  3. Palliative care experiences across the lifespan.
  4. Experiences of spirituality and QOL in individuals with long term conditions.
  5. Well-being management and self care in long term conditions.


  • PhD Health Pschology
  • MSc Health Psychology
  • PCPD
  • BSc (hons) Psychology

Professional memberships

  • BPS
  • FHEA

Student education

I am a member of the Children’s nursing teaching team and the Psychology subject specialist for the undergraduate integrated nursing curriculum for all three pathways of nursing (Child, Mental Health and Adult).

My teaching highlights the relevance of psychology to nursing practice and predominantly focuses on the psychological health and well-being needs and experiences of individuals and their carers/family members.

My undergraduate teaching includes research methods training. I am a personal tutor and also provide research supervision to children's nursing undergraduates and healthcare postgraduates. I have, to date, also supervised 13 PhD students to completion and examined six PhD theses.

Research groups and institutes

  • Maternal, child and family health

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>