School of Psychology

World-leading research and teaching

Dr Mike Forrester

Reader in Psychology
Curriculum Development Chair
MSc Programme Director for Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology Dissertation Co-ordinator

Dr Mike Forrester


Research interests

My primary research interests are in child development and language, and I also have secondary interests in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The conceptual framework which informs my work derives, for the most part, from pragmatics and in particular conversation analysis. However, I also have interests in discursive psychology, psychoanalysis and in the development of qualitative methods and would be happy to supervise graduate students in the following areas:

  • Children's conversational skills with particular emphasis on relevant concepts from ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. A corpus of conversation data (of my pre-school aged daughter Ella, learning to talk) is available access to these files can be obtained at the CHILDES child language data facility.  This work is also reported in a recently published book – ‘Early Social Interaction’ (Forrester, M.A.( 2015)).  Extracts reported in the various chapters of that book can be found in video-clips available here.
  • Psychoanalytic developmental psychology: In this area my interests focus on the early years (e.g., infancy) and are informed by psychoanalytic theorists including Lacan, Klein, Winnicott and Freud.
  • Psychology of music and the social psychology of music.  Current work includes the analysis of children’s skills surrounding the recognition and production of familiar and unfamiliar songs (  This is part of an ongoing cross-cultural project mapping out the development of singing and related abilities associated with singing.

Key publications

  • Forrester, M. A. (2015) Early Social Interaction:  A Case Comparison of Developmental Pragmatics and Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Forrester, M.A. (2013) Mutual adaptation in parent-child interaction. Interaction Studies, 14, 2 190-211 – DOI 10.1075/is.12.2.03
  • Forrester, M. A. (2010). Emerging musicality during the pre-school years: A case study of one child. Psychology of Music, 38 (2), 131-158.
  • Forrester, M.A. & Cherrington, S. (2009). The development of other-related conversational skills: A case study of conversational repair during the early years. First Language, 29, 166-192.
  • Forrester, M.A. (2008) The emergence of self-repair: A case study of one child during the preschool years. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 41, 97-126.



School of Psychology - Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

Contact us

Last Updated: 26/11/2018