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Dr Mai Stafford

Dr Mai Stafford joined the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL in December 2010. She graduated in maths and moved into social epidemiology, obtaining a PhD on neighbourhood social capital and health from UCL in 2004.

Mai’s research programme centres on a life course approach to social and psychological wellbeing and is investigating:

  • how wellbeing relates to musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and mental ageing
  • whether childhood and adult contexts and experiences act together to influence wellbeing in later life


Mai currently teaches two graduate level courses on multilevel modelling ( and longitudinal data analysis (

Current students

Ula Tymozcyck “Social relationships and the development of obesity”
Natasha Wood “Comparative analysis of marital histories and physical function”

Prospective students are welcome to contact Mai and further details on possible PhD topics at LHA are available here.

Selected recent publications

Stafford M, Gardner M, Kumari M, Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y. Social isolation and diurnal cortisol patterns in an ageing cohort. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2013;38(11):2737-45.

Hurst L, Stafford M, Cooper R, Hardy R, Richards M, Kuh D. Lifetime Socioeconomic Inequalities in Physical and Cognitive Aging. Am J Public Health 2013;103(9):1641-8.

Maughan B, Stafford M, Shah I, Kuh D. Adolescent conduct problems and premature mortality: follow-up to age 65 in a national birth cohort. Psychological Medicine in press.

Stafford M, Soljak M, Pledge V, Mindell J. Health related quality of life and long-term conditions: findings from a national survey in England. Eur J Public Health; forthcoming

Kouvonen A, Stafford M, De Vogli R, Shipley MJ, Marmot MG, Cox T, Vahtera J, Väänänen A, Heponiemi T, Singh-Manoux A, Kivimäki M. Negative aspects of close relationships as a predictor of increased body mass index and waist circumference: the Whitehall II study. Am J Public Health. 2011;101:1474-80.

Stafford M, McMunn A, Zaninotto P, Nazroo J. Positive and negative exchanges in social relationships as predictors of depression: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Aging Health 2011;23:607-28.

Stafford M, Brunner EJ, Head J, Ross NA. Deprivation and the development of obesity a multilevel, longitudinal study in England. Am J Prev Med 2010;39:130-9.

Stafford M, Becares L, Nazroo J. Objective and perceived ethnic density and health: findings from a United Kingdom general population survey. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;170(4):484-93.

Stafford M, Gimeno D, Marmot MG. Neighbourhood characteristics and trajectories of health functioning: a multilevel prospective analysis. Eur J Public Health. 2008;18(6):604-10.

Stafford M, De Silva M, Stansfeld S & Marmot M. Neighbourhood social capital and mental health. Health Place 2008;14(3):394-405.

Stafford M, Cummins S, Ellaway A, Sacker A, Wiggins RD, Macintyre S. Pathways to obesity: identifying local, modifiable determinants of physical activity and diet. Soc Sci Med 2007;65(9):1882-97.

Stafford M, Chandola T, Marmot M. Fear of crime is associated with poor mental health and limited physical functioning. Am J Public Health 2007;97(11):2076-81.