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Institute of Criminology



María José holds an undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Universidad Espíritu Santo (Guayaquil, Ecuador - Cum Laude Award), an MSc. in Forensic Mental Health from King's College London and an MPhil in Criminological Research from the University of Cambridge (Distinction). She was awarded a 1+3 ESRC DTP studentship to complete her MPhil and PhD. Prior to starting her studies in Cambridge under the supervision of Prof. Manuel Eisner, María José worked in Guayaquil providing therapy to autistic children, survivors of sexual abuse, and children and teenagers who experienced domestic abuse.


María José's research interests are family violence, child development, morality, violence prevention, parenting interventions. She is part of the Violence Research Centre and Centre for Family Research.


Key publications: 

Nivette, A. E., Zahnow, R., Aguilar, R., Ahven, A., Amram, S., Ariel, B., ... & Eisner, M. P. (2021). A global analysis of the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions on crime. Nature Human Behaviour5(7), 868-877.

Contact Details


Newnham College