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Dr Nova Deighton-Smith


About Dr Nova Deighton-Smith

As LREC Chair, Nova is responsible for ensuring that both staff and student applications comply with the British Psychology Society Code of Ethics and University policies. She delivers ethics lectures across all Psychology courses, teaching students about BPS principles and the ethical implications surrounding their research.

Nova  is currently an Academic Adviser for Level 4 and 5 students and has previously worked as Admissions Tutor for the BSc (hons) Psychology course.

Current Teaching

Nova teaches across both BSc (hons) and MSc courses in Psychology and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students (MRes and PhD) in areas consistent with her research interests.

Current teaching:

Module tutor for Psychology of Appearance (level 5)
Person and the Social World (level 5)
Foundation and Intermediate Research Methods (level 4)
Health Psychology (level 6)

Research Interests

Since 2014, Nova has been working on a collaborative research programme with colleagues from York St. John University and Sussex University to increase awareness of body image issues and eating disorders across Universities and schools in the local area. This project has involved data collection across numerous sites, three consecutive years’ worth of activism, research seminars and more recently, BPS-funded public events and conference presentations. 

Nova's current research focuses on the role of social media. More specifically, she has conducted research examining influential appearance-related messages attached to social media hashtags and the implications they have for body image, self-perception, physical activity participation and health behaviours.

She is also currently working with colleagues at Leeds Beckett to understand how women with a breast cancer diagnosis manage appearance-related changes and cope with symptoms during treatment. 

Her doctoral research involved a composite analysis of body image, health behaviours and physical activity in first-time pregnant women; the aim of which was to build an understanding of factors that have an influence on body image, exercise behaviours and coping strategies in pregnant women. The findings from Nova's PhD studies have been presented at the prestigious international Appearance Matters Conference in Bristol.

Selected Publications

Conference contributions (3)

  • Bell BT; Deighton-Smith N; Jankowski G; Hurst M (2016) Body Image & Eating Disorders Awareness Week: A Case Study Nottingham 20160426. : .
  • Deighton-Smith N; Fawkner H; Marks G; Fylan F (2014) Positive body image and the role of self-esteem in pregnancy Wills Memorial Building, Bristol, UK 20140701. : .
  • Deighton-Smith N; Bell B (2014) Is the #fitspiration culture on social media inspirational, healthy, or harmful? A content analysis of Instagram images. Wills Memorial Building, Bristol, UK. 20140701. : .

Conference proceedings (peer reviewed) (2)

  • Deighton-Smith N; Fawkner FJ; Marks G; Fylan F (2012) Negotiating social comparison and appearance-related comments: Does pregnancy really offer women a period of respite?. In: 20120703. : , pp. .
  • DEIGHTON-SMITH N; FAWKNER H; MARKS G; FYLAN F (2010) Thematic analysis of pregnancy and postpartum messages regarding body image and exercise in popular UK newspapers and women's magazines. In: Appearance Matters 4 Centre for Appearance Research in Bristol . : , pp. .

Theses or dissertations (1)

  • Deighton-Smith N (2014), BODY IMAGE, HEALTH, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN PREGNANT WOMEN: A COMPOSITE ANALYSIS..
    View Repository Record
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