CeDAR (Centre for Developmental Adversity and Resilience) Team

Many of the issues that affect us across the lifespan, even into adulthood, have their origin in childhood.

Children who suffer difficult early experiences, such as illness, neurodevelopmental problems, neglect or abuse can develop mental health problems that can burden them throughout their lives, holding them back in social development, family life, education, the work place, and even their physical health.  

Our research, clinical work and teaching aims to understand and address this. The team is closely allied to the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre

Professor Christopher Gillberg receives the 2024 Arvid Carlsson Prize

COVID-19 Scottish Model for Safe Education (SMS-Ed)

piccture - 2 virus       Scottish Model for Safe Education (SMS-Ed) 

                                              To find out more see Report (26.8.20)

                                              Report - How are families coping with self-isolation? (13.5.20)

The 'Social Distancing - how are families coping?' study highlighted the immense pressure some families were under during lockdown, trying to balance their children's care and education with work responsibilities.  We realised that, if lockdown was needed again in future, an alternative to single household self-isolation could help reduce family stress, improve education and development outcomes for children and allow parents to be economically active. 

To explore this, we developed a partnership with Scottish Borders Council and co-produced, through stakeholder focus groups with teachers and parents, an alternative model to school return, usable in the event of the need for lockdown. We called our new model the Scottish Model for Safe Education (SMS-Ed) because it includes Closed Childcare Clusters (CCC) and Local School Hubs (for more details SMS-Ed Report 26.8.20).   We recommended that, if used in other places, a locally safe and useful version should be developed through a similar process of co-production with teachers and parents as part of any local resilience plan in case lockdown were to be needed again in the future. 

Below, we have included some examples of the kinds of disease modelling examples we discussed with teachers and parents to think through what could work safely in the Scottish Borders.

Details of our Disease Modelling

Disease modelling is the mathematical modelling used by epidemiologists to describe the likely development of an infection within a population. 

For examples of how this works in practice, have a look at our videos (see links below). In the videos, children are represented as circles, adults as squares and grandparents as diamonds. the different colours represent risks of severe illness once infected by age. 

Picture - disease model Light-blue individuals are not infected or explosed but not yet infectious.  Other colours (green-children / yellow-adults / orange-grandparents) denote infected or recovered individuals.  If you are interested in the details of how the models were constructed by our colleague, Jess Enright, click here, but only if you like maths! 


See the following videos:

What might happen over 29 days if a single child is infected with COVID-19.... 

...during full Lockdown

...and lives in various CCC scenarios (1. with good adherence of the community to lockdown regulations, 2. children mixing in the community and 3. adults mixing in the community)

1. CCC - good adherence    2. CCC plus child mixing    3. CCC - plus adult mixing

...and lives in various scenarios where CCCs are informed with the support of grandparents rather than other families (1. with good adherence of the community to lockdown regulations, 2. children mixing in the community and 3. adults mixing in the community)

1. CCC - Grandparent good adherence    2. CCC - grandparent plus child mixing   3. CCC - grandparent plus adult mixing  


picture - stay safe, stay better informed






YOUNG SCIENTISTS WORKSHOPS - read more about this

This project aims to explore the process of consulting with children about the research approaches for undertaking a large-scale medical study to explore why abused and neglected children are at higher risk of later physical (e.g. heart disease) and mental health problems. By working in partnership with a group of Young Scientists the aim is  intended to gain a better understanding of how, for example, hair, blood and oxytocin secretion samples and MRI scans might be completed in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the young participants and their families.  The intent is to therefore achieve improved communication of intent, process and outcome and a greater ethical codification of the future study, for which these workshops were a catalyst.


Latest Diary of a Young Scientist - 15th January 2019


Professor Helen Minnis 

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 

Clarice Pears Building

School of Health and Wellbeing

University of Glasgow

90 Byres Road 

Glasgow, G12 8TB


Secretary: Irene O'Neill

Tel: +44 (0)141 201 9239