School of Psychology
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Matt is a researcher working under the Violence and Aggression strand of the Criminal Justice Partnership at the University of Central Lancashire. He has research interests and publications in the areas of cumulative trauma, repeat victimisation, victim vulnerability and positive changes after a range of traumatic events, such as posttraumatic growth and resilience. For five years, Matt has worked in various research roles at the university on a variety of criminal justice projects.
After gaining a Distinction in his M.Sc. Forensic Psychology course, Matt joined the University of Central Lancashire as a research assistant on an EU-funded victimisation study from 2013 to 2015. This project was concerned with issues of repeat victimisation and service engagement among victims of violent crime in Preston, working alongside Lancashire Constabulary, Victim Support and Preston Domestic Violence Services.
Alongside his research position on the EU project, Matt became a senior demonstrator within the School of Psychology, assisting in the teaching and marking of undergraduate statistics and forensic psychology modules. During this time, Matt also interviewed a range of stakeholders and service users as part of an independent evaluation of a specialist sexual violence service.
In 2016, Matt gained a further research position under the Violence and Aggression strand of the Criminal Justice Partnership, which is a multidisciplinary academic collaboration across the university on a variety of criminal justice topics, alongside a range of external partners. Within this role, Matt has been involved in evaluations of initiatives around domestic violence, victim services, and psychological therapies for sexually abused males at risk of sexual offending. He has also co-authored reports on female sexual offenders and effective support for victims of sexual abuse, and was involved in a joint project with researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London concerning child sexual exploitation in seaside towns.
In 2018, Matt gained his Ph.D. in Psychology under the supervision of Professor Nicola Graham-Kevan and Dr. Sarita Robinson. His thesis focused on positive changes after traumatic events, known as posttraumatic growth. Both during and after his Ph.D., Matt has published – and continues to publish – papers on posttraumatic growth in international journals. Alongside this, Matt also has broad interests across clinical and forensic psychology topics, including: cumulative trauma, repeat victimisation, victim vulnerability, general offending behaviour, mental health, posttraumatic growth and resilience.
Aside from his academic role at the university, Matt has previous experience working therapeutically with young people in residential care who had engaged in harmful sexual behaviours, as well as psychoeducation with adults in the community. He is also trained in a number of psychological assessments and risk assessments.
Brooks, M., Graham-Kevan, N., Robinson, S., & Lowe, M. (2018). Trauma characteristics and posttraumatic growth: The mediating role of avoidance coping, intrusive thoughts and social support. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
Matt’s current research interests lie in the areas of cumulative trauma, repeat victimisation, victim vulnerability and positive changes after traumatic events, such as posttraumatic growth and resilience.
Matt is involved in various projects under the Violence and Aggression strand of the Criminal Justice Partnership.
Matt has experience teaching and marking on various undergraduate forensic psychology and statistics modules.
Brooks, M. (2018, December). Positive changes following cumulative traumatic events: The continuing resilience of posttraumatic growth. Presented at “Understanding and Responding to Trauma: Considering Complex Presentations and Challenging Settings”, Ashworth Research Centre, Liverpool.
Brooks, M. (2018, November). The other side of the coin: Positive changes after adverse events. Presented at “Understanding Resilience in the Face of Adversity”, University of Central Lancashire.
Brooks, M. (2018, June). Rumination, event centrality and perceived control as predictors of posttraumatic growth and distress: The Cognitive Growth and Stress model. Presented at the “9th European Conference on Positive Psychology”, Budapest, Hungary.
Brooks, M. & Graham-Kevan, N. (2018, June). The psychology of posttraumatic growth. Presented at “Challenges and controversies of working with trauma in the helping professions”, British Psychological Society Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Section Conference, London.
Brooks, M. (2017, November). Can young people experience positive changes after adverse events? Presented at “Moving forward – Working with young people: Research and innovation”, CCATS Conference, Manchester.
Brooks, M. (2017, March). Posttraumatic growth in people exposed to multiple adversity. Presented at “How can psychology inform disaster management?”, British Psychological Society Crisis, Disaster & Trauma Section Conference, London.