Maxine has an interest in human development, behaviour and the decisions that people make across a life span. In particular she is interested in the key influences on decisions that people make in relation to their personal and professional lives. She is currently working on a project that takes a life course approach to explore the economic impact of unpaid/family caring.
Maxine’s PhD research was a qualitative exploration of the dynamic nature of teachers’ professional identity and associations with professional commitment. A grounded theory approach empowered the voices of primary school teachers in understanding positive and negative influences on their professional identity across different life and career stages. Her work brought together current literature within Education and Social Psychology to develop a theoretical model of teacher career, considering the development of individual, relational and collective identities and associations with career decisions and commitment to the teaching profession. Maxine has also worked collaboratively on projects concerned with the development and maintenance of relationships in school communities, and the influence of those relationships on teacher resilience, wellbeing and subsequent career decisions.
With a growing curiosity about associations between life stages and decision making, Maxine also worked on a project funded by NIHR School for Social Care Research that sought to understand the choice options that concern self-funders and their relatives the most about finding and funding social care in later years. The project was a collaboration between University of York, University of Birmingham and University of Manchester with the aim of developing a decision support tool to help older self-funders and their families make informed decisions about organising and paying for social care.
- Decisions that people make across a life course in relation to personal and professional lives
- Finding and funding social care in later life
- Decisions related to providing unpaid/family care
- The economic cost of unpaid caring
Correia, D. J. & Watkins, M. (in progress) Understanding the social acculturation process for university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Culture & Psychology.
Spicksley, K., Kington, A. & Watkins, M. (2021) ‘We will appreciate each other more after this’: Teachers’ Construction of Collective and Personal Identities During Lockdown. Frontiers in Psychology, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.703404/full
Spicksley, K. & Watkins, M. (2020) Early-Career Teacher Relationships with Peers and Mentors: Exploring Policy and Practice. In A. Kington and K. Blackmore (Eds.) Social and Learning Relationships in Primary Schools (pp. 93-116). London: Bloomsbury.