Dr Lorna Hamilton

Subject Director for Psychology

School of Psychological & Social Sciences

E: l.hamilton1@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 01904 876427

Lorna Hamilton

I am a developmental psychologist, with interests in the typical and atypical development of language and literacy, school readiness and educational attainment. I joined the Psychology team at York St John University as a lecturer in 2012, becoming a senior lecturer in 2015. Previously I worked at the University of York as a Project Co-ordinator on the Wellcome Language and Reading Project, a longitudinal family-risk study investigating the overlap between developmental dyslexia and developmental language disorder. My PhD, supervised by Professor Maggie Snowling and Dr Emma Hayiou-Thomas, formed part of this study (Thesis title: The role of the home literacy environment in the early literacy development of children at family-risk of dyslexia).  Before starting my career in psychology, I taught English as a Foreign Language and music to children and adults.

Qualifications

PhD Psychology, University of York

PGDip Psychology, Open University

MPhil Philology, University of Cambridge

BA(Hons) Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge

Further Information

Teaching

My area of expertise is cognitive development, specifically the development of language, literacy and numeracy abilities in children. I supervise dissertations on the BSc and MSc Psychology programme, and teach on the following modules:

BSc

2PY401 Infant & Child Development (module leader)

3PY340 Dissertation

MSc

MPY102 Child Development (module leader)

 

Research

My research interests concern the development of language, literacy and associated skills in typically developing and clinical populations. I am interested in how contextual factors (e.g. home environments, socio-economic deprivation) affect cognitive development and educational attainment.

Current research projects: 

  • The role of socio-economic status and language experience in complex language skills (in collaboration with Jelena Mirkovic). These studies investigate the mechanism by which socio-economic status influences how quickly and efficiently we process complex language. With Jess Brown (PhD student) we are exploring how socio-economic status influences the type and the amount of complex language we are exposed to, and then how that exposure influences how easily we understand complex sentences, as well as the type of sentences we are likely to produce.
  • Young Mind Readers (in collaboration with Nicola Cutting). This study examines the associations between reading experience and the development of (a) understanding of the social world (cognitive and emotional theory of mind) and (b) reading comprehension in 9- to 12-year-old children.
  • Transition between school years for children with autism in mainstream settings (in collaboration with Sue Mesa). Commissioned by the Specialist Autism Teaching team at City of York Council, this longitudinal study aims to explore the children’s experiences of transition from primary to secondary school, and through the first three years of secondary school.
  • Welcome Language and Reading Project – Lorna continues to collaborate with members of the Centre for Reading and Language on this longitudinal study of dyslexia and developmental language disorder.

I am interested in supervising PhD and MRes students in areas relating to my research interests. 

Current students: 

Jessica Brown (co-supervisor)

Elaine Kruse (main supervisor)

Professional Activities

I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Professional roles and activities include: 

  • External examiner for the MSc Developmental Psychology programme, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Committee member (previously Honorary Secretary) of the British Psychological Society North-east of England Branch (NEEB)
  • Member of the Centre for Reading and Language.
  • Member of Language and Reading Researchers in Yorkshire (LARRY)
  • Invited speaker, e.g. North of England Speech & Language Therapists special interest group in SLI (2013, 2015); University of Leeds, Faculty of Education research seminar series (2015)
  • Facilitator (with Sue Mesa) of the York Autism Community of Practice
  • Provision of CPD for education, health and social care professionals on ‘Autism Awareness’ and ‘Working with children with reading difficulties’
  • Ad-hoc reviewer for journals including Developmental Psychology, Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, Scientific Studies of Reading, Journal of Research in Reading, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Infant & Child Development, Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
  • Ad-hoc article editor for Sage Open.

Publications

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Puglisi, M., Hulme, C., Hamilton, L.G., & Snowling, M.J. (in press).  The home literacy environment is a correlate, but perhaps not a cause, of variations in children’s language and literacy development. Scientific Studies of Reading.

Hamilton, L.G., Mesa, S., Hayward, E., Price, R., & Bright, G. (2017). "There's a lot of places I'd like to go and things I'd like to do": The daily living experience of adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities during a time of personalised welfare reform in the UK. Disability & Society,32(3), doi: 10.1080/09687599.2017.1294049

 https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2026/8/Hamilton%20et%20al.%202017%20accepted.pdf

Dilnot, J., Hamilton, L.G., Maughan, B., & Snowling, M.J. (2017). Child and environmental risk factors predicting readiness for learning in children at high risk of dyslexia. Development & Psychopathology, 29(1). doi: 10.1017/S0954579416000134

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1113/7/Dilnot%20Hamilton%20Maughan%20%20Snowling%20(2016).pdf

Hamilton, L.G., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Hulme, C.,& Snowling, M.J. (2016). The home literacy environment as a predictor of the early literacy development of children at family-risk of dyslexia. Scientific Studies of Reading, 20(5), 401-419. doi: 10.1080/10888438.2016.1213266

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1640/1/HLE%20paper%20accepted.pdf

Gibson, S. & Hamilton, L. (2013).  Knowledge, autonomy and maturity: Developmental and educational concerns as rhetorical resources in adolescents’ discussions regarding the age of electoral majority in England.  Journal of Youth Studies, 16, 34-53. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2012.693589

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/446/1/Gibson%20&%20Hamilton%202013.pdf

Gibson, S. & Hamilton, L. (2011).  The rhetorical construction of polity membership: Identity, culture and citizenship in young people’s discussions of immigration in northern England.  Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 21(3), 228-242. doi: 10.1002/casp.1087

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/447/1/Gibson%20&%20Hamilton%202011.pdf

Book contributions, invited articles and research reports

Hamilton, L.G. (in press). Dyslexia. In J. Hopkins, E. Geangu,& S. Linkenauger (Eds.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development (2nd edn.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hamilton, L.G. (in press). How people with learning disabilities are experiencing personalised social care. Community Living Magazine.

Hamilton, L.G. & Mesa, S. (2016). “There’s a lot of places I’d like to go and things I’d like to do”: Personalised social care, austerity, and adults with learning disabilities in York. A report on the ‘LD Voices, York’ project.

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1650/1/LD%20Voices%20York_Report.pdf

Hamilton, L.G. & Mesa, S. (2016). Does personalised social care meet the needs of adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities? BPS North-East Branch Bulletin, 3, 12-17.

Hamilton, L.G. (2014). Early exposure to storybooks in the home: Validation of title/author checklist measures in a sample of children at elevated risk of reading difficulty. Assessment & Development Matters, 6(1), 31-34.

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/955/1/Hamilton%20(2014).pdf

Hamilton, L.G. (2013). The role of the home literacy environment in the early literacy development of children at family-risk of dyslexia. Doctoral thesis, University of York.

https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/956/1/index.html

Recent Conference Presentations and Invited Talks

Hamilton, L.G. (2016). Becoming numerate: The early development of children’s arithmetic ability. Research Reflections conference, York St John University.

Hamilton, L.G. (2015). Preparing children for school success: A focus on language.  Research Reflections conference, York St John University.

Hamilton, L.G. (2015). The daily living experiences of adults with learning disabilities under ‘personalised’ welfare reform.  Oral paper, annual conference of the BPS North-east of England Branch, York St John University.

Smith, N. & Hamilton, L.G. (2015). The home literacy environment of children with English as an additional language: Links to language and literacy skills. Poster presentation, annual conference of the BPS North-east of England Branch, York St John University.

Hamilton, L.G. (2015). The home literacy environment and readiness for learning in children at family-risk of dyslexia. Invited talk, School of Education, University of Leeds.

Hamilton, L.G. (2015).  Update from the Wellcome Language Reading Project: Language and literacy in children with SLI. Invited talk, North-east Speech & Language Therapists special interest group in SLI, Tadcaster.

Hamilton, L.G., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M.J. (2014).  The home literacy environment of children at family-risk of dyslexia. Symposium paper, annual meeting of the Society for Scientific Studies of Reading, Santa Fe.

Hamilton, L.G., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., Hulme, C., & Snowling, M.J. (2014). The home literacy environment of children at family-risk of dyslexia. Symposium paper, British Dyslexia Association international conference, Guildford.

Hamilton, L.G., Hare, J., Hare, J., Hayiou-Thomas, M.E., & Snowling, M.J. (2013). Talk around storybook reading between mother-child pairs at family-risk of dyslexia. Poster presentation, BPS annual conference, Harrogate. 

 

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