Department of Psychology

Dr Melissa Atkinson

Lecturer in Psychology with special interests in body image and eating disorders

LecturerBSc(Hons), PhD

10 West 2.12
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6197

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I was appointed at the University of Bath in 2017. I undertook my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Flinders University (Adelaide, South Australia), completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2014. The focus of my PhD research was developing and evaluating mindfulness-based approaches for reducing eating disorder risk factors. This won the Australian Psychological Society’s (APS) College of Clinical Psychologists Student Prize.

Since then, I relocated from Australia to take up a position as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England, Bristol. There I worked on a major collaboration with the Dove Self-Esteem Project, evaluating school and parent body image interventions that have now reached over 8 million young people globally.

I am currently working on a range of research projects that primarily concern the development, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for improving body image and other risk factors for eating disorders. I am also interested in research that aims to better understand the development of eating disorders, and mechanisms of change underlying our intervention approaches. I consistently seek to conduct research that is theoretically driven and evidence-based and that has the capacity to make a real impact on the lives of individuals and society.

I currently teach on the MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology, and am a trained clinical psychologist (non-practicing registration) with particular expertise in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of eating disorders.

Research interests

  • Eating disorders
  • Body image
  • Mindfulness and acceptance


Jump to: Articles


Jankowski, G., Diedrichs, P. C., Atkinson, M. J., Fawkner, H., Gough, B. and Halliwell, E., 2017. A pilot controlled trial of a cognitive dissonance-based body dissatisfaction intervention with young British men. Body Image, 23, pp. 93-102.

Diedrichs, P. C., Atkinson, M. J., Garbett, K. M., Williamson, H., Halliwell, E., Rumsey, N., Leckie, G., Sibley, C. G. and Barlow, F. K., 2016. Randomized controlled trial of an online mother-daughter body image and well-being intervention. Health Psychology, 35 (9), pp. 996-1006.

Atkinson, M. J. and Wade, T. D., 2016. Does mindfulness have potential in eating disorders prevention? A preliminary controlled trial with young adult women. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 10 (3), pp. 234-245.

Diedrichs, P. C., Atkinson, M. J., Steer, R. J., Garbett, K. M., Rumsey, N. and Halliwell, E., 2015. Effectiveness of a brief school-based body image intervention ‘Dove Confident Me: Single Session’ when delivered by teachers and researchers:Results from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 74, pp. 94-104.

Atkinson, M. J. and Wade, T. D., 2015. Mindfulness-based prevention for eating disorders:A school-based cluster randomized controlled study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48 (7), pp. 1024-1037.

Cooper, J. L., O'Shea, A. E., Atkinson, M. J. and Wade, T. D., 2014. Examination of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale and its relation to disordered eating in a young female sample. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47 (6), pp. 630-639.

Atkinson, M. J. and Wade, T. D., 2013. Enhancing dissemination in selective eating disorders prevention:An investigation of voluntary participation among female university students. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51 (12), pp. 806-816.

Atkinson, M. J. and Wade, T. D., 2012. Impact of metacognitive acceptance on body dissatisfaction and negative affect:Engagement and efficacy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80 (3), pp. 416-425.

Wade, T., George, W. M. and Atkinson, M., 2009. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Brief Interventions for Body Dissatisfaction. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77 (5), pp. 845-854.

This list was generated on Fri Oct 20 18:08:23 2017 IST.

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