Kathryn Gardner

Dr. Kathryn Gardner

Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Programme Director/Course Leader, MSc Applied Clinical Psychology

School of Psychology

Darwin Building, DB206

+44 (0) 1772 89 4463

Subject Areas: Psychology

Kathryn’s research interests stem from her interest clinical psychology and mental health.

Areas of Research Specialisation:

  • Borderline personality disorder and emotional and social cognitive processes (e.g., emotion perception/identification, mentalisation)
  • Self-harm, particularly its functions
  • Personality

Kathryn is the Programme Director for the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology, working alongside a team of HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologists, expert academics in specialist fields, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and experts-by-experience.

Full Profile

Kathryn’s research focuses mainly on borderline personality disorder (BPD), with particular interest in emotional and social cognitive processes (e.g., emotion perception/identification, emotion dysregulation, mentalisation) as they relate to BPD, as well as associated behaviours such as self-harm. Kathryn’s interests in the social-cognitive aspects of BPD traits has resulted in collaborations with clinicians delivering Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT), a highly effective treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Another focus of Kathryn’s research is self-harm in non-personality disorder populations, particularly adolescents. Kathryn’s specific interests here are the reasons for (i.e., functions of) self-harm, especially the non-affective drivers such as self-harm as a means of eliciting care from others. Kathryn’s current work focuses also on theoretical models of self-harm (e.g., social learning theories), help-seeking for self-harm, and self-harm within the school environment.

Kathryn’s earlier work concentrated on emotional intelligence (EI), with some of this work lying at the forefront of debate around whether the construct can be measured validly.

Kathryn is primarily a quantitative researcher but utilises advanced statistical methods (e.g., structural equation modelling) alongside qualitative methods (e.g., thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis) to provide a mixed-methods perspective of the phenomena under study.

Given Kathryn’s research expertise and passion for mental health research, in 2015 Kathryn worked with colleagues and stakeholders (students, experts-by-experience and carers) to develop UCLan’s MSc Applied Clinical Psychology, which saw its first intake of students in September 2016. Kathryn continues to work as the Programme Director/Course Leader for this MSc, alongside a team of HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologists, expert academics in specialist fields, clinicians across a wide range of specialities, and experts-by-experience.


Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Dodsworth, Jo and Klonsky, E David (2016) Reasons for non-suicidal self-harm in adult male offenders with and without borderline personality traits. Archives of Suicide Research, 20 (4). pp. 614-634. ISSN 1381-1118 …

Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638, Dodsworth, Jo and Selby, Edward (2014) Borderline personality traits, rumination and self-injurious behavior: An empirical test of the emotional cascades model in adult male offenders. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 14 (5). pp. 398-417. ISSN 1522-8932

Selby, Edward and Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638 (2015) A Latent Profile Analysis of Suicidal and Self-Injurious Behavior, Other Dysregulated Behaviors, and Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 6 (4). pp. 356-368. ISSN 2043-8087

Porter, Carly, Ireland, Carol Ann ORCID: 0000-0001-7310-2903, Gardner, Kathryn Jane ORCID: 0000-0003-3904-1638 and Eslea, Mike J ORCID: 0000-0003-1273-0302 (2016) Exploration of emotion regulation experiences associated with borderline personality features in a non-clinical sample. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 3 (8).

More publications


British Psychological Society, British Psychological Society: Division of Clinical Psychology, Chartered Psychologist: British Psychological Society, Fellow: Higher Education Academy

External Affiliations and Roles

Grant reviewing

Kathryn has acted as a referee for grant applications for schemes such as NIHR Research for Patient Benefit.

Journal reviewing

Kathryn has also acted as referee for a broad range of scientific journals within the fields of clinical psychology, mental health, psychiatry, and individual differences. These include: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy; Journal of Personality Disorder; Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment; European Journal of Personality Assessment; Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment; Psychiatry Research, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice; Eating Behaviors; Personality and Individual Differences; Adolescent Psychiatry; Addiction Research and Theory; Mindfulness; British Journal of Psychology; Australian Journal of Psychology.

Teaching activities and responsibilities

Kathryn teaches research methods and statistics at Masters level and teaches across a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate modules. Kathryn has provided and continues to provide MSc and doctoral supervision for a broad range of mental health/clinical psychology topics utilising both quantitative and qualitative methods, and is the Programme Director/Course Leader for the MSc Applied Clinical Psychology.

Social Media

Kathryn's ResearchGate Profile

Kathryn's Twitter: @KathrynJGardner


Research Groups


Ongoing research projects

Understanding change in mentalisation based therapy for difficulties associated with personality disorder: service users' and therapists ' perspectives 
Collaborators: Professor Karen Wright, UCLan; Mersey Care NHS Trust 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

Differentiating Subgroups of Borderline Personality Traits using Linehan's Biosocial Theory: A Latent Profile Analysis
Collaborators: Professor. Eddie Selby, Rutgers University

The clinical significance of site of laceration in self-harm: a descriptive study using data from the Manchester Self-Harm Project.
Collaborators: Professor Nav Kapur (co-author of NICE guidelines for self-harm), Caroline Clements and Dr Pauline Turnbull (Manchester)

Research priorities for suicide and self-harm in the North-West: a Delphi study
Collaborators: Peter Taylor (Manchester); Pooja Saini (Liverpool); Isabelle Hunt, Caroline Clements, Sandra Flynn (Manchester); Jennifer Mclaughlin (Liverpool John-Moores).

A feasibility randomised-control trial for an integrated school-wide self-harm prevention programme
Collaborators: Pooja Saini (Liverpool), Mark Gabbay (Director of NIHR CLAHRC NWC, Liverpool); Peter Taylor, Pamela Qualter (Manchester); Katie Henderson (Education Liaison Officer, Liverpool Safeguarding Children Board LSCB)

Improving idenification of facial composites using EvoFit: The role of affect
Collaborators: Charlie Frowd and Georgia Chronaki

Doctoral supervision

Past doctoral students:

Carly Porter: Emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder: an exploration of the features of emotion regulation associated with borderline personality features

Current doctoral students:

Olga Theodoropoulou: Effects of nonphysical forms of childhood abuse on eating pathology, self-Esteem, emotion regulation and psychosocial quality of life in eating disorder patients

Hissah Al Zahrani: Mental health among young women in Saudi Arabia: a mixed methods approach