Dr Karin Spenser

Position: Lecturer in Criminal Psychology

College: College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Department: Law, Criminology and Social Sciences

Subject area: Criminology

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Lecturer in Criminal Psychology. I have both academic and professional experience in criminal psychology. From an academic perspective my focus is quantitative research methods, the paradigms of psychology, working with offenders, and mentally disordered offenders. Professionally, I was involved in the rehabilitation of sex offenders, working for the Safer Living Foundation, based in one of Europes largest sex offender treatment facilities.

Teaching responsibilities

  • Programme leader: MSc Forensic and Criminal Psychology
  • Module leader: 4 modules BSc (Hons) Criminal Psychology (levels 4 & 5)
  • Module leader: 2 modules BSc (Hons) Criminology (level 6)
  • Lecturer: Year Zero Study Skills.

Professional interests

I am an experienced magistrate, specialising in domestic voilence and family matters.

Research interests

My PhD considered deficits in prosociality as a contributory factor to offending behaviour. I am also interested in female offending, female offenders as victims, verterans inthe CJS, and cyberbullying.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Chartered Psychologist withteh British Psychology Society (CPsychol)
  • General membership of the BPS Forensic Divison


  • PhD

Recent publications

Spenser, K. A. & Betts, L. R. (2018). Defining and Conceptualizing Cyberbullying. In Encyclopaedia 
         of Information Science and Technology, 4th Edition. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch361

Betts, L.R. & Spenser, K.A. (2017). People think its a harmles joke: A young peoples understanding
         of the impact of technology, digital vulnerability, and cyberbullying in the United
         Kingdom. Journal of Children and Media, 11(1), 20-35.
         DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2016.1233893

Betts, L.R. & Spenser, K.A. (2017). Developing the cyber victimisation experiences and cyber
         bullying behaviours scales. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 178(2), 1 -18.
         DOI: 10.1080/00221325.2017.1295222 

Betts, L.R., Spenser, K.A. & Gardner, S.E. (2017). Adolescents' involvement in cyber bullying and
         perceptions of school: the importance of perceived peer acceptance for female adolescents.
         Sex Roles, 76 (7/8), 1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-017-0742-2.

Betts, L.R., Gkimtzoudis, T., Spenser, K.A. & Baguley, T. (2016). Examining the roles of young
           people fulfil in five types of cyberbullying. Journal of social and Personal Relationships
           DOI: 10.1177/0265407516668585 

Spenser, K. A., Betts, L. R., & Das Gupta, M. (2015).  Deficits in Prosocial Skills: A
          comparison between young-adult offenders and non-offenders. Psychology, Crime
          and Law,
21 (7), pp. 632-647. DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2015.1028542

Betts, L.R. & Spenser, K.A., (2015). A large can of worms: Tecahers perceptions of yopung people's
          technology use. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and
, 5 (2), pp. 15-25. DOI: 10.4018/ijcbpl.2015040102.

Recent conferences

Spenser, K. A. (May, 2014). “People think it’s a harmless joke when really it could be hurting
            someone”: Young people’s experiences of cyber bullying. Presented at the British
            Psychological Society Annual Conference. International Convention Centre

Spenser, K.A. (Sept, 2017).  Hit me baby one more time: Domestic violence, rape and desistance.                Presented at the 17th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology

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