Staff profile

Dr Alex Barker


Lecturer in Psychology


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care





I have worked in higher education since 2016 through research and teaching-based positions. I joined the University of Derby as a lecturer in 2022. 

Teaching responsibilities

I am the module leader for Individual Differences (Online) and Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (Qualitative Lead). I also lecture on Introduction to Social and Cognitive Psychology, Addictive Behaviours, Cyberpsychology and the MSc Behaviour Change

Professional interests

Public Health, Addictions, Social Psychology, Health Psychology

Research interests

My main research interest involves unhealthy commodity promotion and advertising, the behavioural and health effects of this, and youth exposure to this. I also have an interest in the psychosocial effects of health conditions and how social psychology can protect against this having studied this throughout my PhD in people with multiple sclerosis and through a post-doc exploring this in people with hearing loss.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a Chartered Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


In the media


July - I was the lead author on a study looking at junk food content in children's TV programmes, this was reported in the Daily Mail - 'Young children are being bombarded with junk food content in their favourite TV shows including Paw Patrol, Teletubbies and Fireman Sam, study finds'

June - I contributed to this report by Alcohol Focus Scotland looking at the effects of alcohol marketing exposure on the general population and those at risk of an alcohol problem. This received national media attention, such as this newspaper article in The Times - 'Ban alcohol adverts to boost health, Scottish government urged'

June - I contributed to this article on the portrayal of drinking on television - 'Alcohol Review, Alcohol understanding for all'

May - I was a co-author of this report on Cross-Border Alcohol Marketing from the World Health Organization - 'WHO highlights glaring gaps in regulation of alcohol marketing across borders'

May - I was the senior author on this paper looking at alcohol and junk food promotion in the 2018 World Cup - 'Alcohol Review, Alcohol understanding for all'

May - Press release for a paper I was the lead author on exploring the amount of alcohol, tobacco and junk food content in Reality TV programmes - 'Research reveals ‘millions’ of chances for young people to view alcohol, tobacco and junk food on reality TV shows'. This received widespread media attention including national newspapers (such as The Daily Mail), Radio, and TV appearances (The Jeremy Vine Show, GB News). I also wrote a guest blog for the Institute of Alcohol Studies - '‘Let’s get Mortal!’ Alcohol content in reality TV programmes over a 1-year period and youth exposure'

May - Press release for a paper I co-authored on smoking and vaping content in films and uptake in young people - 'Exposure to smoking and vaping in films increases uptake in young people – new study'

April - A guest blog for the Alcohol Health Alliance on Alcohol brands featuring in Soap Operas - 'NoLo product placement in soap operas: Alcohol health promotion or alibi branding?'

March - Discussing smoking portrayals on TV on BBC Radio 4 - 'The National Theatre's Rufus Norris, smoking on screen, Alison Brackenbury's poetry collection Thorpeness'

Recent publications

Murray, R.L., Leonardi Bee, J., Barker, A., Brown, O., Langley, T. (2022). The effect of alcohol marketing on people with, or at risk of, an alcohol problem: A rapid literature review. Alcohol Focus Scotland.

Barker, A.B., Parkin, M., Sinha, S., Wilson, E., Murray, R.L. (2022). A content analysis of 'junk food' content in children's TV programmes: A comparison of UK broadcast TV and Video-on-demand services. Journal of Public Health

Alfayad, K., Murray, R., Britton, J., Barker, A.B. (2022). Population Exposure to alcohol and junk food advertising during the 2018 FIFA World Cup: Implications for public health. BMC Public Health

World Health Organization (2022). Reducing the harm from alcohol – by regulating cross-border alcohol marketing, advertising and promotion: a technical report

Barker, A.B., Bal, J., Ruff, L., Murray, R.L. (2022). Exposure to tobacco, alcohol and ‘Junk food’ content in reality TV programmes broadcast in the UK between August 2019 – 2020. Journal of Public Health

Hassanein, Z., Barker, A., Murray, R., Britton, J., Agrawal, S., Leonardi-Bee, J. (2022). Impact of smoking and vaping in films on smoking and vaping uptake in adolescents: systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Education and Behavior

Tamire, M., Barker, A., Sefonias, G., Murray, R.L., Amedala, R., Britain, J., Deressa, W., Fogarty, A.W. (2022). The high frequency of alcohol advertising during televised English Premier League football games shown in Ethiopia. Harm Reduction, 19(11); 1-7

Barker, A.B., Bal, J., Murray, R.L. (2021). Content analysis and population exposure estimate of Guinness branded alcohol marketing during the 2019 Guinness Six Nations. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 1 – 4

Royal College of Physicians. (2021). Smoking and Health 2021 – a coming of age for tobacco control? Retrieved from: Smoking and health 2021_full report_0 (2).pdf

Alfayad, K., Murray, R.L., Britton, J., Barker, A.B. (2021) Content analysis of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video original films in the UK for alcohol, tobacco and junk food imagery. Journal of Public Health, doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdab022

Barker, A.B., Cranwell, J., Fitzpatrick, I., Whittamore, K., Alfayad, K., Haridy, A., Murray, R., Britton, J. (2020). Tobacco and tobacco branding in films most popular in the UK from 2009-2017. Thorax

Barker, A.B., Opazo-Breton, M., Thomson, E., Britton, J., Grant-Braham, B., Murray, R. (2020). Quantifying alcohol audio-visual content in UK broadcasts of the 2018 Formula 1 Championship: a content analysis and population exposure. BMJ Open

Barker, A.B., Britton, J., Thomson, E., Murray, R. (2020). Tobacco and alcohol content in soap operas broadcast on UK television: a content analysis and population exposure. Journal of Public Health

Barker, A.B., Smale, K., Hunt, N, Lincoln, N., das Nair, R. (2019). Experience of identity change in people who reported a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. International Journal of MS Care

Barker, A.B., Britton, J., Thomson, E., Opazo Breton, M., Murray, R.L. (2019). A content analysis of tobacco and alcohol audio-visual content in a sample of UK reality TV programmes. Journal of Public Health

Barker, A.B., Opazo Breton, M., Murray, R.L., Grant-Braham, B., Britton, J. (2019). Exposure to ‘smokescreen’ marketing during the 2018 Formula 1 Championship. Tobacco Control

Barker, A.B., Smith, J., Hunter, A., Britton, J., Murray, R.L. (2019). Quantifying tobacco and alcohol imagery in Netflix and Amazon Prime instant video original programming accessed from the UK: a content analysis. BMJ Open

Maidment, D., Barker, A.B., Xia, J., Ferguson, M. (2018). A systematic review and meta-analysis assessing the effectiveness of alternative listening devices to conventional hearing aids in adults with hearing loss. International Journal of Audiology

Barker, A.B., Britton, J, Grant-Braham, B., Murray, R.L. (2018). Alcohol audio-visual content in formula 1 television broadcasting. BMC Public Health

Barker, A.B., Whittamore, K., Britton, J., Murray, R.L., Cranwell, J. (2018). A content analysis of alcohol content in UK television. Journal of Public Health

Barker, A.B., Whittamore, K., Britton, J., Cranwell, J. (2018). A Content Analysis of Tobacco Content in UK Television. Tobacco Control

Barker, A.B., Lincoln, N.B., Hunt, N., das Nair, R. (2018). Social identity in people with MS: an examination of family identity and mood. International Journal of MS Care

Barker, A.B., Opazo Breton, M., Cranwell, J., Britton, J., Murray, R.L. (2018). Population exposure to smoking and tobacco branding in the UK reality show ‘Love Island’. Tobacco Control

Barker, A.B., Leighton, P., Ferguson, M.A. (2017). Coping together with hearing loss: a qualitative meta-synthesis of the psychosocial experiences of people with hearing loss and their communication partner. International Journal of Audiology