Dr Alison Owen


School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

After carrying out my undergraduate psychology degree here at Staffordshire University, I completed the MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire in 2010. I carried out my PhD alongside part time teaching at the university, as well as working on other research projects such as a body image dance intervention and a smoking intervention. I finished my PhD in June 2013, and took up a post as a lecturer in Health Psychology. I am passionate about research, and carry out research in a number of different areas, my main areas being health promotion and body image. I really enjoy working alongside students, helping them to develop a passion for research, as well as gaining an expertise and increasing their skills in all aspects of the research process.

I have appeared on different media outlets discussing my research, including the BBC television program, Inside Out, as well as various BBC radio shows, including BBC Radio Stoke, discussing body image with regards to the television program Love Island, and BBC Radio Ulster, discussing the impact that lockdown may be having on peoples’ body image.

Professional memberships and activities

Graduate Member: British Psychological Society (BPS)
BPS Division of Health Psychology

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Psychology, “An appearance-based intervention examining the effect of electronically aged photographs of the face on sun exposure attitudes and sun protection intentions”, Staffordshire University, 2013
  • MSc Health Psychology (Merit), Staffordshire University, 2010
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology (2:1), Staffordshire University, 2008


My expertise is in health psychology and body image related research. I have expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Research interests

  • Body Image
  • Health promotion
  • Interventions to improve health, e.g. sunbeds, alcohol consumption
  • Appearance focussed interventions
  • Breastfeeding



Teaching and Supervision



Teaching and Supervision


Briggs, E. & Owen, A. (2022). Funny, right? How do trainee and qualified therapists experience laughter in their practice with clients? Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. DOI: 10.1002/capr.12525

Lomax, E., Owen, A. & Taylor, J. (in press). Everyday experiences of using fitness devices: A thematic analysis. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies.

Burton, A.E., Taylor, J., Owen, A.L., Renshaw, J.E., Williams, L.R. & Dean, S.E. (2021). A photo-elicitation exploration of UK mothers' experiences of extended breastfeeding. Appetite, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105814

Owen, A. & Taylor, J. (2021). The body image experiences of women working within the aesthetics sector: a thematic analysis of online survey and interview responses. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 10(8), 358-363. DOI: 10.12968/joan.2021.10.8.358

Owen, A. & Bould, K. (2021). Reduced physical activity and increased sedentary behaviour: the damage on young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. British Journal of Child Health, 2(2), 64-68. DOI: 10.12968/chhe.2021.2.2.64

Allan, T. and Owen, A. (2019) ‘For athletes, there are many pressures to be strong and fit, but also have that feminine look’: a study of female athletes’ body image. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies, 13(1), 85-96.

Morley-Hewitt, A.G. and Owen, A.L. (2019). A systematic review examining the association between female body image and the intention, initiation, and duration of post-partum infant feeding methods (breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding). Journal of Health Psychology, 1-20. DOI: 10.1177/1359105319833744

Bhogal, M. S., & Owen, A. L. (2019, August 25). A brief report on the role of self perceived mate value in attitudes towards sunbed use. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/r4x8f

Owen, A., Scholtens, K., Grogan, S. & Burgess, I. (2019). Students' experiences of a facial morphing intervention designed to encourage safer drinking. Psychology & Health, 34(8), 999-1010. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2019.1584674

Ormsby, H., Owen, A.L., Bhogal, M. (2018). A brief report on the associations among social media use, gender, and body esteem in a UK student sample. Current Psychology, 38 (2), 303–330. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-018-0089-z

Owen, A.L., Grogan, S., Clark-Carter, S. & Buckley, E. (2018). The impact of an appearance-focused facial-ageing intervention on adolescents’ attitudes towards sun protection. British Journal of School Nursing, 13(9), 436-444. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjsn.2018.13.9.436

Owen, A.L. & Griffiths, E. (2018). Body image: an exploration of a group of Girlguides' thoughts and feelings about their appearance. British Journal of School Nursing, 13(6), 282-287.  DOI: 10.12968/bjsn.2018.13.6.282

Persson, S., Benn, Y., Dhingra, K., Clark-Carter, D., Owen, A.L. & Grogan, S. (2017). Appearance-based interventions to reduce UV exposure: A systematic review. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 182-217. DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12291.

Owen, A. L., Grogan, S., Clark-Carter, D., & Buckley, E. (2016). Effects of an Appearance-Focussed Versus a Health-Focussed Intervention on Men’s Attitudes Towards UV Exposure. International Journal of Men’s Health, 15(1), 34-51. DOI: 10.3149/jmh.1501.34

Blashill, A. J., Williams, A., Grogan, S., & Clark-Carter, D. (2015). Negative appearance evaluation is associated with skin cancer risk behaviors among American men and women. Health Psychology, 34, 93-96. DOI: 10.1037/hea0000100

Grogan, S., Williams, A., Kilgariff, S., Bunce, J., Heyland, J.S., Padilla, T., Woodhouse, C., Cowap, L. & Davies, W. (2014). Dance and Body Image: Young People’s Experiences of a Dance Movement Therapy Session. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6, 261-277. DOI: 10.1080/2159676X.2013.79649

Williams, A.L. (2014). The psychology of sun protection: a variety of methods to change health behaviours. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 3, 238-239. DOI: 10.12968/joan.2014.3.6.292

Bunce, J., Heyland, S., Grogan, S., Padilla, T., Williams, A., Kilgariff, S. (2013). The rationale behind a Dance Movement Psychotherapy intervention used in a small research pilot in a further education context to develop awareness about young people's body image. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 9(1), 4-15.

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Buckley, E. & Clark-Carter, D. (2013). Men’s experiences of an appearance-focussed facial-ageing sun protection intervention: A qualitative study. Body Image, 10, 263-266. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.01.003.

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Clark-Carter, D. & Buckley, E. (2013). Appearance-based interventions to reduce ultraviolet exposure and/or increase sun protection intentions and behaviours: A systematic review and meta-analyses. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 182-217. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8287.2012.02089.x

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Clark-Carter, D. & Buckley, E. (2013). Impact of a facial-ageing intervention versus a health literature intervention on women's sun protection attitudes and behavioural intentions. Psychology and Health, 28, 993-1008. DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2013.777965

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Buckley, E. & Clark-Carter, D. (2013). British adolescents’ experiences of an appearance-focussed facial-ageing sun protection intervention: a qualitative study. Education and Health, 31, 97-101.

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Clark-Carter, D. & Buckley, E. (2013). British adolescents’ sun protection and UV exposure awareness. British Journal of School Nursing, 8, 2-7.

Williams, A.L., Grogan, S., Buckley, E. & Clark-Carter, D. (2012). A qualitative study examining women’s experiences of an appearance-focussed facial-ageing sun protection intervention. Body Image, 9, 417-420. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.04.008.

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021