Karen L. Mansfield is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on the research programme on ‘Adolescent Well-Being in the Digital Age’ with Professor Andrew Przybylski, investigating how the internet, social media platforms, and video games influence the mental health and psychosocial functioning of young people. The project involves the collection, collation, and analysis of a range of data to gain evidence-based insights to inform health policy and technology regulation.
Karen’s research interests are in understanding interactions between social determinants of poor health and well-being in adolescents, including social, economic, environmental and digital inequalities, to inform the development of digital, educational and public health strategies to promote equity, agency, learning and healthy lifestyles in children and adolescents. Research integrity and meta-science are key priorities, such as considerations around ethics, privacy and security in digital research data, inclusivity and sample representativeness, data accuracy and validity, translational impact, co-production with young people and stakeholders, transparency and reporting bias, and accessibility of research to policymakers and the public.
Karen’s background is in experimental psychology, with experience ranging from experimental and survey design, development of ethical and study protocols, cross-sectional and longitudinal investigation, cognitive training, psychometrics, time-series analysis and neurophysiological correlates of cognitive control, effort, engagement and motivation. She led on the ethical, data protection, and study protocols for the OxWell student survey, which involved working closely with schools, an industry partner, policymakers and NHS clinical commissioning groups, and used input from young people, parents, and survey participants to inform the survey’s development. Karen also designed and developed tailored reports for schools and local authority partners, and gave invited presentations, summarising the survey aims and key findings on school students’ well-being during and following the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.
Karen received her master’s degree (Radboud University Nijmegen) and PhD (Tilburg University) in the Netherlands, and worked as a tutor on the psychology undergraduate programme at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, using the problem-based learning approach. Since moving to the University of Oxford, Karen has worked in the Department of Experimental Psychology on a large-scale cognitive training intervention, at the Department of Psychiatry on multiple projects in Digital Health and Adolescent Well-being, and started at the Oxford Internet Institute at the end of June 2023.
Adolescent well-being and learning, social inequalities, social/digital media, online data collection, digital phenotyping, open data, research integrity, meta-science, co-production, school policy, prevention and promotion, inclusion, engagement, motivation, agency, active travel, green space, health and educational equity.