Elizabeth Burchell

Research Assistant

Research Interests

I am a researcher working at the CBCD with Professor Michael Thomas and Dr Hana D’Souza looking at individual differences in cognitive development in primary school children with Down Syndrome, as part of the LonDowns Consortium initiative.  In particular this looks at how early abilities at infancy might relate to later outcomes and how this can help understand key areas to target.

I am interested in factors that influence cognitive ability in children with special educational needs and understanding these individual differences and developmental trajectories.  My work has also included helping to understand what factors contribute to a good practice and impacts for mental health around transition from primary to secondary school for these children with William syndrome, Down syndrome and Autism. This has led to work investigating transitional changes in education for families during the COVID-19 pandemic and what can be learned from this to support them in the future.



PhD, MSc Developmental Neuropsychology, BSc in Psychology, CPsychol, AFBPsS



Ashworth, M., Palikara, O., Burchell, E., Purser, H., Nikolla, D., & Van Herwegen, J. (2021). Online and Face-to-Face Performance on Two Cognitive Tasks in Children With Williams Syndrome. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, ARTN 594465. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.594465

Burchell, E., Van Herwegen, J., Palikara, O., & Ashworth, M (December, 2019).  Self and proxy reports of mental health in children with Downs Syndrome, Williams Syndrome and Autism in the lead up to transition from primary to secondary school.  Paper presented at The Seattle Conference, University College London, London, UK.

Burchell, E., Ashworth, M., Van Herwegen, J., & Palikara, O. (June, 2019).  Anxiety and well-being in children with Downs Syndrome, Williams syndrome and Autism in the lead up to transition from primary to secondary school. Paper presented at Neurodevelopmental Disorder Annual Conference, University of Surrey, Surrey, U.K.

Burchell, E., Van Herwegen, J., Ashworth, M., & Palikara, O (2019).  Anxiety and well-being in children with Down syndrome and Williams syndrome.  Paper presented at The Down syndrome research Forum, London, UK, University College London.

Frederickson, N., Petrides, K. V. & Simmonds, E. (2012).  Trait Emotional Intelligence as a Predictor of Socioemotional Outcomes in Early Adolescence.  Personality and Individual Differences, 52 (2) 323-328.

Viding, E., Simmonds, E., Petrides, K.V., & Frederickson, N. (2009).  The contribution of callous-unemotional traits and conduct problems to bullying in early adolescence.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, (4), 4 71-481.

Frederickson, N., & Simmonds, E. (2008).  Special Needs, Relationship Type and Distributive Justice Norms in Early and Later Years of Middle Childhood.  Social Development, 17, (4), 1056-1073.

Frederickson, N., Simmonds, E., Evans, L., & Soulsby, C. (2007).  Assessing Social and Affective   Outcomes of Inclusion.  British Journal of Special Education, 34, (2), 105-115.