Kamena Henshaw

Kamena Henshaw


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Personal profile


Dr Kamena Henshaw is a lecturer in psychology.  She joined the UEA in September 2007 as an associate tutor for the BSc in psychology programme and won a UEA teaching studentship in October 2009 to carry out her PhD research.  She was appointed as a lecturer in September 2012 and was awarded her PhD in February 2014.   Dr Henshaw became a chartered member (CPsychol) of the BPS in April 2014 and is also a member of the BPS Division for Teachers and Researchers in Psychology.  In September 2017, she achieved the status of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

“I really enjoy teaching at the University of East Anglia and love the atmosphere on campus.  I feel lucky to be part of an excellent teaching team, which places great emphasis on the student experience, alongside the importance of research and community engagement.  I believe psychology is an amazing subject to study and I strive to ensure my teaching is always interactive and engaging by constantly evaluating my methods and approach.  With my research, I am very interested in applying psychological knowledge to real life settings, both in relation to everyday family life and in relation to the student experience.  I am currently exploring the role of social media in everyday life and the ways in which it can help and hinder our psychological health and wellbeing.”

Key Research Interests

I am very interested in applying psychological knowledge to real life settings, both in relation to everyday family life and in relation to the student experience. 

For my PhD I explored the role of food and eating in family life, and undertook a mixed methods study, which aimed to explore the underlying family processes within the family meal interactions.  The first phase of the research involved a large-scale questionnaire distributed to year 10 students in three high schools.  The questionnaire aimed to collect data on family meal patterns (where people ate, who they ate with, presence of the television etc.).  It also provided the opportunity to recruit families for the second phase of the research – the interviews.  In total 37 home-based, interviews were conducted with 12 family groups, interviewing separately mothers, fathers and young people.  Participant-generated photo elicitation was used as a method to enrich the quality of the interviews, and another visual element, sketched floor plans, were used to represent the use of space within the family home.  The interviews explored a number of areas including; attitudes and feelings about food and meals; attitudes and feeling about food provisioning and cooking; perceptions of the mealtime environment; childhood memories of meals; and environmental influences on mealtime routines. 

Alongside mealtime routines, I am also interested in the role of social media on family life, with a particular focus on family communication.  Currently I have 3rd year project students exploring this area. 

A third research area I am interested in is the transition of young people into university life.  I am currently involved in a project to develop a mobile app to promote emotional resilience during this transitional period.  And linking my research interests together, I am also interested in how family and social media can support/hinder this transitional period.  Again I currently have 3rd year project students exploring this area.  

Key Responsibilities

Teaching and Learning Experience Coordinator  

                Co-ordinate associate tutors

                Mentor new staff on teaching related issues

                Run regular teaching focused training workshops

                School lead on online marking

Student Partnership Officer

                Co-chair Staff Student Liaison Committee

                Oversee Leminar programme

Teaching Interests

Level 4 (1st years)

Module coordinator for Psychology of the Individual module

Level 6 (3rd years)

Module coordinator for Psychosocial Perspectives on Relationships and Family Life

Final year project supervision