skip to content

Institute of Criminology



I hold an MPhil in Criminological Research and PhD in Developmental Psychology, with both degrees awarded by the University of Cambridge. I am currently an Affiliated Lecturer at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. I am also linked to the Institute’s Centre for Analytic Criminology, as an Affiliated Researcher.

My research lies at the intersection of affective and cognitive science, with a focus on arousal-modulated cognitions in adverse environments. To support my work, I developed “the method of cascades” (, which integrates existing data collection and analysis methodologies into a single paradigm designed to investigate: (1) the momentary causality that arises from ordered events within the flow of experience; (2) how cognitions (including self-ascribed feelings), physiological arousal, brain patterns and behaviour act in synergy to create experiential cascades; and (3) how repeated experiential flows can give rise to enduring patterns through integrative mental processes.

My work also relies on quantitative longitudinal methodologies, in particular longitudinal structural equation modelling, an area where I have been teaching courses to academics and researchers since 2013 (e.g.;;


I deliver lectures, marking and supervisions for the Institute’s MSt in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management. I occasionally provide support to the other programmes.


VR-EthOS (“Virtual reality exposure therapy for officer support”)

VR-EThOS is a randomised control trial aimed at leveraging virtual reality to support recovery and emotional resilience in police officers exposed to incidents of assault. Co-Investigators (alphabetical):  Barak Ariel, Matt Bland, Emmanuel Sowatey and Justice Takebe.


VR-TACTIC (“virtual reality for thoughtful arousal and cognition training for interactions with citizens”)

VR-TACTIC is a two-stage project focused on promoting adaptive policing. The first phase is a naturalistic observation reliant on the ‘method of cascades’ ( The second is a randomised control trial employed to investigate examine whether arousal and cognition training, delivered with the aid of immersive virtual reality, shows benefits in terms of tactical decision-making, conflict de-escalation (without de-policing effects), officer wellbeing, and positive action outcomes. Co-Investigators (alphabetical): Barak Ariel and Justice Tankebe.


Affiliative reward and callous-unemotional traits

This project is seated within developmental psychology and investigates the pathways through which adolescents internalise parenting actions in order to derive emotional rewards, and how this then sets the stage for the emergence of callous-unemotional traits and resultant antisocial behaviours (i.e. aggression and rule-breaking). Co-Investigators: Anca Dobrean and Stelian Florean.



Key publications: 
  • Wikstrom. P.-O.H., Treiber, K., & Roman, G.D. (2023). Character, Circumstance and Criminal Careers: Towards a dynamic developmental and life-course Criminology. The Clarendon Studies in Criminology: Oxford University Press.
  • Roman, G.D., Dobrean, A., & Florean, S. (2023). The role of low social affiliation in the ‘maltreatment-callousness-aggression’ axis. Under review at Development and Psychopathology.
  • Roman, G.D. (2022). The Method of Cascades.
  • Florean, I.S., Dobrean, A., & Roman, G.D. (2021). Parenting practices and children’s mental health problems: A network approach. Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Ruggeri, K., Roman, G.D., Walczak, A., Norton, S., Cipresso, P., Del Pino, R., Egumenovska, K., eds. (2020). Advancing Psychological Methods Across Borders. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA.
  • Perry, G., Wikstrom, P.-O.H., & Roman, G.D. (2018). Differentiating right-wing extremism from potential violent extremism: The role of criminogenic exposure. International Journal of Developmental Science.
  • Golombok, S., Blake, L., Slutsky, J., Raffanello, E., Roman, G.D., & Ehrhardt A. (2018). Parenting and the adjustment of children born to gay fathers through surrogacy. Child Development.
  • Richter, L.M., Orkin, F.M., Roman, G.D., Dahly, D.L., Horta, B.L., Bhargava, S.K., Norris, S.A., & Stein, A.D. (2018). Comparative models of biological and social pathways to predict child growth through age 2 years from birth cohorts in Brazil, India, the Philippines, and South Africa. Journal of Nutrition.
  • Balan, R., Dobrean, A., Roman, G.D., & Balazsi, R. (2017). Indirect effects of parenting practices on internalizing problems among adolescents: The role of expressive suppression. Journal of Child and Family Studies.
  • Golombok, S., Ilioi, E., Blake, L., Roman, G.D., & Jadva, V. (2017). A longitudinal study of families formed through reproductive donation: Parent-adolescent relationships and adolescent adjustment at age 14. Developmental Psychology.
  • Ilioi, E., Blake, L., Jadva, V., Roman, G.D., & Golombok, S. (2017). The role of age of disclosure of biological origins in the psychological wellbeing of adolescents conceived by reproductive donation: a longitudinal study from age 1 to age 14. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • Roman, G.D., Ensor, R., & Hughes, C. (2016). Does child EF at age 3 mediate the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms at age 2 and child adjustment at age 6? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
  • Roman, G.D., Poulter, D., Barker, E., McKenna, F., & Rowe, R. (2015) Developmental trajectories of risky driving behaviour across the first three years of licensure. Accident Analysis and Prevention.
  • Hughes, C., Roman, G.D., & Ensor, R. (2014). Parenting and Executive.  Function: Positive and Negative Influences. In S. Landry and C. Cooper (Eds.), Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Golombok, S., Blake, L., Casey, P., Roman, G.D., & Jadva, V. (2013). Children born through reproductive donation: A longitudinal study of child adjustment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • Hughes, C., Roman, G.D., Hart, J. M., & Ensor, R. (2013). Does maternal depression predict young children’s executive function? A 4 year longitudinal study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  • Ensor, R., Roman, G.D., Hart, M., & Hughes, C. (2012). Mothers’ depressive symptoms and low mother-toddler mutuality both predict children’s maladjustment. Infant and Child Development.
Affiliated Lecturer
Dr Gabriela Roman