The Tizard Centre
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Dr Ciara Padden

Lecturer in Learning Disability


Ciara Padden (nee Foody) has a BA Hons in Psychology from the University College, Dublin and a PhD in Applied Behaviour Analysis from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Ciara is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working with people with developemental disabilities since 2008.

Ciara's Phd, "An investigation of selected psychological parameters of stress in parents of children with Autism Spectrum disorders", investigated the relationship between stress and health among parents of children with ASD. Her doctoral research has been published in the journals Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally. Ciara is a member of a number of professional organisations including the UK Society for the Advancement of Behaviour Analysis, the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science and the Psychological Society for Ireland.


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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Padden, C., Concialdi-McGlynn, C. and Lydon, S. (2018). Psychophysiological measures of stress in caregivers of individuals with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review. Developmental Neurorehabilitation [Online]:1-15. Available at:
Padden, C. and James, J. (2017). Stress among parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder: a comparison involving physiological indicators and parent self-reports. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities [Online] 29:567-586. Available at:
Foody, C., James, J. and Leader, G. (2015). Parenting stress, salivary biomarkers and ambulatory blood pressure: a comparison between mothers and fathers with Autism Spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Online] 45:1084-1095. Available at:
Lydon, S. et al. (2015). A quantitative examination of punishment research. Research in Developmental Disabilities [Online] 36:470-484. Available at:
Foody, C., James, J. and Leader, G. (2014). Parenting stress, salivary biomarkers and ambulatory blood pressure in mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders [Online] 8:99-110. Available at:
Mulligan, S. et al. (2014). An analysis of treatment efficacy for stereotyped and repetitive behaviors in autism. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders [Online] 1:143-164. Available at:
Brady, L., Padden, C. and McGill, P. (2019). Improving procedural fidelity of behavioural interventions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A systematic review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities [Online]. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 7 [See all in KAR]
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Ciara's research interests include the following: understanding the links between stress, health and well-being among carers of individuals with developmental disabilities; stress- reduction interventions; parent and staff training in behavioural interventions; and the application of behaviour analytic principles to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.

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In her role as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Ciara has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities across home and school based settings. This work has involved designing behavioural intervention programmes to teach communication, academic, social, self-help and vocational skills as well as conducting functional behaviour assessments and developing positive behaviour support plans. Ciara has also conducted parent and staff training and has supervised students pursuing BCBA certification.

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Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7LR

Telephone: +44(0)1227 827373 or contact us

Last Updated: 24/06/2015