Interpersonal Relationships & Wellbeing Research Group

The Interpersonal Relationships and Wellbeing Research Group draws together internationally renowned academics from across Psychology, Business and Criminology, with partners in Industry, third sector organisations and local government.  Research activity is organised around four themes:

These themes map to the University’s Areas of Challenge: Human Health & Wellbeing; Sustainable Futures; Professional Education. This page provides an overview of who we are and what we do. For detailed information about each of our themes, please follow the theme links above.

About us


An image of someone's hands with lights inside them

Our research explores how individual, social and environmental factors influence relationships and wellbeing within different contexts, such as in workplaces, schools and online spaces. We are interested in understanding how interpersonal relationships contribute to mental health (construed as both trauma/mental ill-health, and as wellbeing) and how they shape individual and team behaviour in consumer and organizational settings. In doing so, we explore both the ‘dark’ and ‘light’ side of relationships and human behaviour more broadly.  

We study interpersonal relationships, wellbeing and their inter-connectivity from an inter-disciplinary perspective, to generate applied, solution-focussed research.

We produce applied, solution-focussed research that not only contributes to knowledge generation within the academic community, but also focusses on interventions and programme evaluation to inform policymaking and organisational practice.

If you are looking for research support for your organisation, we can offer bespoke consultancy services (see below).


Our research appears in several prestigious journals including: Personality and Individual Differences, Frontiers, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Personality Assessment, Studies in Higher Education, Human Resource Development International, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Journal of Positive Psychology, Current Psychology, Journal of Moral Education.  

We also write for academic and student audiences in edited volumes published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge and Wiley.  


Our research has been funded by:

  • Health Education England
  • All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fit and Healthy Childhood
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (Home Office)
  • Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner
  • West Mercia Women’s Aid
  • The Ambulance Staff Charity
  • West Mercia Police
  • Society for Educational Studies
  • Porticus Conference Fund
  • Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
  • British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies


We work in partnership with academics at several UK Universities including:  University of Manchester, University of Leicester, Nottingham Trent University, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Sheffield, Henley Business School, York St John University, Bangor University, University of Northampton, University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham, The Open University.

Internationally, we work with academics from: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia Madrid, University of Málaga, Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training,  University of Tasmania, Fachhoschschule des Mittelstands, Bielefeld, University of Melbourne, University of Miami, Université Lumière Lyon, Ecole de Psychologues Praticien Paris, La Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, New York State University at Oswego.


Our work

We are skilled academics with a track record of informing policy and practice through our high-quality research on mental health, wellbeing, trauma and violence prevention, and workplace consultancy.  Our research partnerships across public, private and third sector organisations include:

  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (Home Office)

  • Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

  • West Mercia Women’s Aid

  • The Ambulance Staff Charity

  • West Mercia Police

  • Warwickshire Police

Our recent projects include:

  • A national evaluation of Talent Management in the NHS to make recommendations to shape future practice

  • Regional training events for multi-agency professionals on stalking, coercive control, and domestic abuse in rural communities

  • Providing specialist domestic abuse training for child protection social workers across the Midlands

  • An evaluation of professional nursing advocacy (an approach to improving wellbeing of nurses through restorative supervision) with Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) and the University’s Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery.

  • Development of a stakeholder group to inform a programme of research focusing on how Independent Domestic/Sexual Violence Advocates use their personal strengths to enhance their professional quality of life.

Our values

We aim to have a transformative impact and make a difference for the people that we work with, both regionally, and nationally. We do this by using an evidence-based approach to develop solution-focussed research that adds value for public and voluntary sector organisations, businesses, and communities.

We work with integrity and to the highest ethical standards, embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We also prioritise sustainable working practices and our work is conducted in a supportive and collaborative research environment.

Our services

We provide applied research expertise and advice on all aspects of problem identification and solution. We can work with your organisation to provide a range of research services, including:

  • Intervention design

  • Service evaluation

  • Continuing professional development and training

  • Management support and organisational change

  • Expert advice on research practice and strategy

  • Policy analysis and development

Please contact the research group lead Dr Sarah Davis at for more information and a discussion of your organisational needs.


For more information please contact the research group lead Dr Sarah Davis at

Follow us on Twitter: @Irwb_research