Peter J.R Macaulay

Job Title and Responsibilities

 Department of Psychology – Lecturer in Social Psychology and Individual Differences 

About me

I am a social developmental psychologist interested in the social development across childhood to adulthood. I previously completed my BSc in Psychology at the University of Chester (2012 – 2015), followed by an MSc in Family and Child Psychology at the University of Chester (2015 – 2016). In 2016 I was awarded a PhD scholarship at Nottingham Trent University (2016 – 2019) where my PhD explores the perceptions and responses of teachers and young people when responding to cyberbullying. I am now in the final stages of writing my PhD, due to be submitted early 2020. I joined the Department of Psychology here at Staffordshire University as a Lecturer in Social Psychology and Individual Differences in September 2019.



PhD in Social/Developmental Psychology (to be completed), Nottingham Trent University, 2016-2020
Title: ‘An Understanding of Teacher and Adolescent perceptions and responses towards cyberbullying’
MSc Family and Child Psychology (Distinction), University of Chester, 2016
BSc (Hons) Psychology (First Class), University of Chester, 2015


Professional Memberships and Activities

Professional development

Essential Teaching Toolkit in Higher Education / Nottingham Trent University / 2018
Awarded Associate Fellow by Advance Higher Education / 2018
Graduate Membership with the British Psychological Society and associated sections (Developmental / Social / Psychology of Education / Cyberpsychology)

Press experience

I have press experience involving the British Psychological Society, Bullying UK, Family Lives, and have provided guidance to the Welsh Government for anti-bullying policies.


Social Psychology / Developmental Psychology / Bullying / Cyberbullying / Online safety and risks / Bystanders in the offline and online domain

Research Interests

My main research interests lie within the area of social developmental psychology, with focus on the perceptions, responses and management of cyberbullying across teacher, parent and adolescent populations. I utilise a mixed method approach to research, providing a qualitative and quantitative exploration which offers an original insight into new perspectives on cyberbullying. The implications of my research aim to guide and direct future anti-cyberbullying initiatives within the school environment and wider setting.

I also have research interests in the areas of online safety/risks when young people use the internet, and interventions to help children feel safer when they use the internet. Further, I am engaged in research exploring bystander responses in the offline and online domain, considering how the severity of bullying and prior victimisation and perpetration can influence bystanders’ behavioural intentions.

Selected Publications

Journal articles:

MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L.R., Stiller, J., Kellezi, B., (Under review). ‘The more public it is, the more severe it is’: Teachers’ perspectives on the roles of publicity and severity in cyberbullying. Research Papers in Education

MACAULAY, P. J.R., Boulton, M.J., Betts, L.R., Boulton, L., Camerone, E., Huges, J., Kirkbride, C., Kirkham, R (Under review). Subjective versus objective knowledge of online safety/dangers as predictors of children's perceived online safety and attitudes towards e-safety education. Journal of Children and Media

MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L.R., Stiller, J., Kellezi, B., (2019). “It’s so fluid, it’s developing all the time”: Pre-service teachers’ perceptions and understanding of cyberbullying in the school environment. Educational Studies. 1-17

MACAULAY, P. J.R., Boulton, M. J., & Betts, L. R. (2019). Comparing early adolescents’ positive bystander responses to cyberbullying and traditional bullying: the impact of severity and gender. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 4(3), 253-261.

MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L. R., Stiller, J., & Kellezi, B. (2018). Perceptions and responses towards cyberbullying: a systematic review of teachers in the education system. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 43, 1-12.

Boulton, M. J., Boulton, L., Camerone, E., Hughes, J., Kirkbride, C., MACAULAY, P.J.R., & Sanders, J. (2016). Enhancing primary school children's knowledge of online safety and risks with the CATZ Cooperative Cross-Age Teaching Intervention: results from a pilot study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(10), 609-614. IF: 2.689

Book Chapters:

Oonagh, S.L., MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L.R., (In Press). Understanding Child and Adolescent Cyberbullying. In Wright, M., Schiamberg. L., eds., Child and Adolescent Exposure to Online Risks

MACAULAY, P.J.R., Oonagh, S.L., Betts, L.R., (In Press). Factors leading to cyber victimisation. In Benson, V., McAlaney, J., eds., Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities. 1st ed. Elsevier.

Buglass, S., Harkin, L., MACAULAY, P.J.R., Vinter, L.P, Daly, R., (2019). How psychology became a science. In: Banyard, P., Dillon, G., Norman, C., Winder, B., eds., Essential psychology. 3rd ed.


Current Teaching

I contribute to the following undergraduate modules:
Psychology of Social Perception and Communication (Module Leader)
Understanding the Social World
Contemporary Issues in Psychology
People Behaving Badly
Foundations of Psychology
Perspectives in Psychology


Peter J.R Macaulay
Lecturer in Social Psychology and Individual Differences

Department of Psychology
School of Life Sciences and Education
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
Stoke on Trent
t: +44 (0)1782 294000
twitter: @PJRMacaulay