Dr Cristina Costantini

MSc Psychology Course Leader

Professional Biography

Cristina is a lecturer, researcher, and child psychologist. She completed her PhD on infant feeding and the mother-infant relationship at the University of Portsmouth under the supervision of Prof Vasu Reddy. 

Prior to moving to the UK, Cristina graduated with summa cum laude from La Sapienza University, where she was trained as a clinical psychologist, specialising in the assessment and intervention of developmental disorders. 

Before joining Regent’s University London, Cristina worked as an associate lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and as a teaching fellow and lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. 

In the last decade, Cristina has gained wide experience working with children, adolescents and young adults with and without disabilities in multiple settings and from different backgrounds as she has worked in South Africa, Lesotho, Ireland, Poland, Italy and the UK.

Her research interests concern infant feeding and eating behaviours in typical and atypical developing children. She has presented research findings at international and national conferences, invited seminars, and public engagement talks. 

Cristina is a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society as well as the Italian Council of Psychologists.

Qualifications 

  • BSc Degree in Psychology, La Sapienza, Italy
  • MSc Degree in Clinical Psychology, La Sapienza, Italy
  • Clinical Psychology Training, La Sapienza, Italy
  • MSt Degree in Counselling and Sexology, AISC, Italy
  • PhD in Developmental Psychology, University of Portsmouth, UK

Relevant Past Employment

  • 2019-to date: Lecturer, Regent’s University London
  • 2016-2019: Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University
  • 2015-2016: Teaching fellow, Oxford Brookes University
  • 2012-2015: Associate lecturer, University of Portsmouth
  • 2010-2011: Research assistant, University of Portsmouth
  • 2007-2010: Clinical psychologist, Department of Child Neuropsychiatry, Italy

Publications

  • Costantini, C., Akehurst, L., Reddy, V., & Fasulo, A. (2018). Synchrony, Co-Eating and Communication During Complementary Feeding in Early Infancy. Infancy, 23, 288-304. DOI: 10.1111/infa.12220
  • Costantini, C., Harris, G., Reddy, V., Akehurst, L., & Fasulo, A. (2018). Introducing complementary foods to infants: Does age really matter? A look at feeding practices in two European communities: British and Italian. Child Care in Practice, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/13575279.2017.1414033
  • Watson, S., Costantini, C., Clegg, M. (2018). The role of complementary feeding methods on early eating behaviours and food neophobia in toddlers. Child Care in Practice. DOI: 10.1080/13575279.2018.1516625
  • Reddy, V., Williams, E., Costantini, C., Lang, B. (2010). Engaging with the self: mirror behaviour in Autism, Down Syndrome and Typical Development. Autism, 14, 531-546. DOI: 10.1177/1362361310370397

Conference Papers Given

  • Costantini, C. (2017). Mother-infant synchrony, infant responses, and maternal behaviours during complementary feeding. Oral presentation, BPS Developmental Conference, Stratford upon Avon, UK.   
  • Costantini, C. (2017). Maternal behaviours and mother-infant interactions during complementary feeding. Oral presentation, Nutrition and Nurture in Infancy and Childhood Conference, Grange Over Sands, Cumbria, UK.  
  • Costantini, C. (2017). Mother-infant synchrony during complementary feeding. Invited talk, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK.  
  • Costantini, C. (2016). Introducing complementary food to infants: When, What, and How? Oral presentation. Oxford Brookes University, Department of Psychology, Oxford, UK.   
  • Costantini, C. (2014). Synchrony, co-eating, and communication during solid feeding. Oral presentation, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.  
  • Costantini, C. (2013). Infant weaning: choices and effects on the experience of feeding. Oral presentation, XVI European Conference on Developmental Psychology, Lausanne, Switzerland.  
  • Costantini, C. (2012). Mother-infant interaction and maternal strategies during infant feeding in two different communities, British and Italian. Poster presentation, 30th International Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, South Africa.  
  • Costantini, C. (2012). Should different infant feeding practices be permitted? Oral presentation, Congress World Nutrition Rio 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  
  • Costantini, C. (2012). Age of weaning: Choices and effects on the experiences of feeding. Poster presentation, Graduate School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.  
  • Costantini, C. (2011). Infant feeding variability in the UK and Italy. Invited talk, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.  
  • Costantini, C. (2011). Infant feeding practice in two European communities. Oral presentation, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.

Public Engagement and consultancy projects

  • Costantini, C. (2019). Caregiver-infant synchrony during feeding. Infant Feeding Network, Oxford, UK. 
  • Costantini, C. (2019). Infant feeding: A look at cultural practices and individual differences. Oxford Brookes Nursery, UK. 
  • Costantini, C. (2017). Infant Complementary Feeding: New Directions in Research. BPS Psychology in the Pub (PiP). Oral presentation. Oxford, UK.   
  • Costantini, C. (2017). Introducing solid food to babies: A dyadic interaction. Oral presentation. Infant Feeding Network, Oxford, UK.

Research Supervision

I supervise research projects of BSc and MSc students. I further supervise PhD students on their doctoral research. 

Research Interests

Cristina’s research interests concern child development in typically and atypically developing children, caregiver-child interactions, attachment in childhood and adulthood, infant feeding and eating patterns in childhood, mentalisation and resilience.

Grants Awarded

  • 2020 Short Course Grant, Regent’s University London, UK
  • 2020 Conference Grant, Regent’s University London, UK
  • 2019 Research Grant, Regent’s University London, UK
  • 2018 Jump Start Public Engagement Award, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  • 2017 Jump Start Public Engagement Award, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  • 2017 Staff Development, Oxford Brookes, UK
  • 2016 Staff Development, Oxford Brookes, UK
  • 2012 Post graduate research student bursary, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • 2012 Small Grants, Experimental Psychology Society, UK
  • 2012 Best research report, World Nutrition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  
  • 2011 PhD studentship, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • 2010 Borsa di perfezionamento all’estero, La Sapienza, Italy

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society 
    • Division of Clinical Psychology 
    • Developmental Psychology Section
  • Chartered Member of the Italian Council of Psychologists 
  • Member of the European Society for Psychology Learning and Teaching 

Teaching

  • Psychopathology & Abnormal Psychology (Module leader)
  • Developmental Psychology & Lifespan (Module leader) 
  • Positive Psychology & Health Psychology (Module leader)
  • Academic advisor & Personal tutor  
  • BSc, MSc, and PhD research projects supervision