Interpersonal relationships and wellbeing

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.


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, University of Roehampton, York St John University, University of Northampton, University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham.

Internationally, we work with academics from: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia Madrid, University of Neuchâtel, University of Tasmania, Fachhoschschule des Mittelstands, Bielefeld, University of Melbourne, University of Miami.


We regularly work with public service providers at national and local levels. Recent examples include undertaking a national evaluation of Talent Management in the NHS to make recommendations to shape future practice, running training events for multi-agency professionals in Shropshire on stalking, coercive control and domestic abuse in rural communities, and providing specialist domestic abuse training for child protection social workers across the Midlands. We have also designed and delivered the NHS Research Fellows Programme to equip senior NHS Leaders to undertake organizational research and improve regional and national practice. 


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

Follow us on Twitter: @Irwb_research