Dr Emma Alleyne

Reader in Forensic Psychology
+44 (0)1227 824237
Dr Emma Alleyne


Dr Emma Alleyne completed her BSc (Honours) in Psychology at McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), followed by her MSc and PhD in Forensic Psychology at the University of Kent. She began her lectureship at Kent in 2011 and is now currently a Reader in Forensic Psychology, as well as a Forensic Psychology Trainee at Kent Forensic Psychiatry Services (Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust).

Research interests

Emma's theoretical and empirical work examines the social, psychological, and behavioural factors that explain various types of aggressive behaviour. For example, her current research explores why adults engage in animal cruelty, with the aim of identifying the key treatment needs for prevention and intervention purposes. 

She is particularly interested in how human-human versus human-animal empathy relate to animal abuse specifically and interpersonal violence more broadly. Emma pursues research lines that investigate how other types of regulatory processes (e.g., emotion regulation, moral disengagement) facilitate offending behaviour. Other research interests include the psychological factors that distinguish gang youth from non-gang youth (especially when coming from similar social/environmental backgrounds) and the treatment needs of female firesetters.

Key publications

  • Alleyne, E., Sienauskaite, O., & Ford, J. (in press). To report, or not to report: The role of perceived self-efficacy in veterinarians’ decision-making. Veterinary Record. DOI: 10.1136/vetrec-2018-105077
  • Alleyne, E., Gannon, T.A., Mozova, K., Page, T., & Ó Ciardha, C. (2016). Female firesetters: Gender associated psychological and psychopathological features. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 79, 364-378. doi:10.1080/00332747.2016.1185892
  • Alleyne, E., & Parfitt, C. (2019). Adult-perpetrated animal abuse: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 20, 344-357. DOI: 10.1177/1524838017708785
  • Alleyne, E., & Parfitt, C. (2018). Factors that distinguish aggression towards animals from other antisocial behaviors: Evidence from a community sample. Aggressive Behavior, 44, 481-490. DOI: 10.002/ab.21768


Dr Emma Alleyne welcomes prospective doctoral students to get in touch if they are interested in my research areas or other related topics in forensic psychology.

PhD supervision


  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society
  • Steering Committee Member of the Eurogang Research Network
  • Member of the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology
  • BPS Forensic Psychology Trainee for Kent Forensic Psychiatry Services
  • Research Member of Sharklab

Grants and Awards

2019Leverhulme Trust: International Academic Fellowship
Understanding why adults abuse animals: Theory and evidence-based practice
2017Petplan Charitable Trust
Understanding why adults abuse animals
2017-2019Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria
Evaluating polygraph use for managing sexual offenders and suspects in five police areas
Co-I with J Wood (PI), T Gannon (Co-I) and C O Ciardha (Co-I)
2014Faculty Research Committee
Adulthood animal abuse: What do we know and where do we go from there?
2014School of Psychology Seed Fund
The psychological impact of cyber-crime
2012Faculty Research Committee
Vulnerable women and girls in a local community: Psychological, social and behavioural characteristics
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