Dr Katie Finning

Research Topic Title: Understanding the relationship between mental health difficulties and educational outcomes in children and young people

In recent years, the UK government has proposed greater integration between mental health and education, with schools recognised as a key setting for the prevention, identification and treatment of common mental health problems like anxiety and depression. My research focuses on the interplay between mental health and education and, specifically, how mental health problems during childhood can impact on educational outcomes such as school attendance and academic attainment.

I use large datasets such as the British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys and the Millennium Cohort Study to explore these relationships, as well as conducting systematic reviews and qualitative research. More recently, I have gained an interest in school-based mental health interventions, having worked with the charity Place2Be to examine the effectiveness of their one-to-one counselling intervention delivered to children in primary schools.

I am based at the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health, where I am situated in the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Research Collaboration (ChYMe); http://medicine.exeter.ac.uk/research/healthresearch/childhealth/chyme/

Mentor: Dr Tamsin Newlove-Delgado and Prof Cathy Creswell


  • Finning, K., Ford, T., Moore, D. A., & Ukoumunne, O. (2020). Emotional disorder and absence from school: findings from the 2004 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29(2), 187-198. doi:10.1007/s00787-019-01342-4
  • Mathews, F., Newlove-Delgado, T., Finning, K., Boyle, C., Hayes, R., Johnston, P., & Ford, T. (2020). Teachers concerns about pupil’s mental health in a cross-sectional survey of a population sample of British school children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Early View. doi:10.1111/camh.12390
  • Ford, T., & Finning, K. (2020). Mental Health in Schools. In E. Taylor, F. C. Verhulst, J. Wong, K. Yoshida, & A. Nikapota (Eds.), Mental Health and Illness of Children and Adolescents. Mental Health and Illness Worldwide. (pp. 1-15). Singapore: Springer.
  • Finning, K., Waite, P., Harvey, K., Moore, D., Davis, B., & Ford, T. (2020). Secondary school practitioners’ beliefs about risk factors for school attendance problems: a qualitative study. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 25(1), 15-28. doi:10.1080/13632752.2019.1647684
  • Epstein, S., Roberts, E., Sedgewick, R., Polling, C., Finning, K., Ford, T., . . . Downs, J. (2020). Poor school attendance as a risk factor for self-harm and suicidal ideation in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29(9), 1175-94. doi:10.1007/s00787-019-01327-3
  • Goodwin, V. A., Hill, J. J., Fullam, J. A., Finning, K., Pentecost, C., & Richards, D. A. (2019). Intervention development and treatment success in UK health technology assessment funded trials of physical rehabilitation: a mixed methods analysis. BMJ Open, 9(8), e026289. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026289
  • Finning, K., Ukoumunne, O. C., Ford, T., Danielson-Waters, E., Shaw, L., Romero De Jager, I., . . . Moore, D. A. (2019). The association between child and adolescent depression and poor attendance at school: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 928-938. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.11.055
  • Finning, K., Ukoumunne, O. C., Ford, T., Danielson-Waters, E., Shaw, L., Romero De Jager, I., . . . Moore, D. A. (2019). Review: The association between anxiety and poor attendance at school – a systematic review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 24(3), 205-216. doi:doi:10.1111/camh.12322
  • Epstein, S., Roberts, E., Sedgwick, R., Finning, K., Ford, T., Dutta, R., & Downs, J. (2018). Poor school attendance and exclusion: a systematic review protocol on educational risk factors for self-harm and suicidal behaviours. BMJ Open, 8(12), e023953. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023953
  • Finning, K., Harvey, K., Moore, D., Ford, T., Davies, B., & Waite, P. (2017). Secondary school educational practitioners’ experiences of school attendance problems and interventions to address them: a qualitative study. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 23(2), 213-225. doi:10.1080/13632752.2017.1414442
  • Finning, K., Moore, D., Ukoumunne, O. C., Danielsson-Waters, E., & Ford, T. (2017). The association between child and adolescent emotional disorder and poor attendance at school: a systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 6(1), 121-125. doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0523-6
  • Finning, K., Richards, D. A., Moore, L., Ekers, D., McMillan, D., Farrand, P. A., . . . Wray, F. (2017). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behavioural therapy for depression (COBRA): a qualitative process evaluation. BMJ Open, 7(4). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014161
  • Richards, D. A., Finning, K., & Taylor, R. S. (2017). Behavioural activation training for depression: Authors’ reply. The Lancet, 389(10067), 367-368. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30160-5
  • Richards DA, R. S., Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Barrett B, Finning K, Ganguli P, Warren F, Farrand P,  Gilbody S, Kuyken W, O’Mahen H, Watkins E, Wright K, Reed N, Fletcher E, Hollon SD, Moore L, Backhouse A, Farrow C, Garry J, Kemp D, Plummer F, Warner F and Woodhouse R. (2017). Cost and Outcome of BehaviouRal Activation (COBRA): a randomised controlled trial of behavioural activation versus cognitive–behavioural therapy for depression.
  • Richards, D. A., Ekers, D., McMillan, D., Taylor, R. S., Byford, S., Warren, F. C., . . . Finning, K. (2016). Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. The Lancet, 388(10047), 871-880. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31140-0

E-mail: k.e.finning2@exeter.ac.uk

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-finning-828aaa1b0/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatieFinning