Dr Nichola Shackleton

PhD Quantitative Social Science (UCL Institute of Education, London), MRes Education and Social Research (Distinction) (UCL Institute of Education, London), BSc Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology (First Class Honours) (Bangor University, North Wales)


Nichola Completed her PhD on "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Childhood Excessive Weight in the UK" at the UCL Institute of Education in 2014. She worked with the Adolescent Health Research team at the UCL Institute of Child Health until 2015, where she worked on projects relating to the importance of treating adolescence as a unique stage of development, measuring and reducing inequalities in adolescent health and the potential influence schools can have on adolescent health and wellbeing. She joined the University of Auckland in September 2015 as a Research Fellow at COMPASS Research Centre.   

Research | Current

My substantive research interests include inequalities in child health, the interplay between the school environment and child health, and improving children's educational outcomes.  I use advanced quantitative methodology to analyze survey data, and now work regularly with 'big data' in the Integrated Data Infrastructure. 

I am currently working on the following projects:

A Better Start: National Science Challenge. (from Dec 2016 - ongoing) I am a member of the Big Data theme using data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure to learn more about childhood obesity, literacy, and mental health. 

Child Poverty: Health Consequences, Costs, and Policy Interventions (from Aug 2017 to July 2020). HRC Ref 17/250. This study aims to answer three research questions. 1) what is the effect of childhood poverty on health, and for which health outcomes? 2) which aspects of poverty dynamics have the greatest impact on health outcomes? 3) What factors most strongly mediate the association between child poverty and health, and what are the likely benefits of intervening on these factors?

The New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (Jan 2017 - Oct 2017). The IMD was created by Dr. Dan Exeter and colleagues. My role is to implement this measure to bring a greater understanding of the relationship between area-level deprivation and health. 



Teaching | Current



Honorary Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant (2015-2016)

ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods Stipend (2011-2014)

ESRC 1+3 Scholarship (2010-2014)

Award for finishing top of class in "the Psychology of Health Promotion" (2009)

Skipton Building Society Scholarship (2004-2007)



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Shackleton, N., Milne, B. J., Audas, R., Derraik, J. G. B., Zhu, T., Taylor, R. W., ... Taylor, B. (2017). Improving rates of overweight, obesity and extreme obesity in New Zealand 4-year-old children in 2010-2016. Pediatric obesity10.1111/ijpo.12260
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield, Barry Milne, José Derraik, Susan Morton, Tong Zhu
  • Bevilacqua, L., Shackleton, N., Hale, D., Allen, E., Bond, L., Christie, D., ... Jones, R. (2017). The role of family and school-level factors in bullying and cyberbullying: a cross-sectional study. BMC Pediatrics, 17 (1).10.1186/s12887-017-0907-8
  • Darlington-Pollock, F., Shackleton, N., Norman, P., Lee, A. C., & Exeter, D. (2017). Differences in the risk of cardiovascular disease for movers and stayers in New Zealand: a survival analysis. International journal of public health10.1007/s00038-017-1011-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Arier Lee, Daniel Exeter
  • Milne, B., Chang, K., Shackleton, N., Zhu, T., Liu, C., von Randow, M., ... Davis, P. (2017). Knowledge Lab: Knowledge Laboratory of the early life-course [Computer software].
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Barry Milne, Kevin Chang, Martin von Randow, Peter Davis
  • Shackleton, N., Hale, D., Bonell, C., & Viner, R. M. (2016). Intraclass correlation values for adolescent health outcomes in secondary schools in 21 European countries. SSM - Population Health, 2, 217-225. 10.1016/j.ssmph.2016.03.005
  • Ehren, M. C. M., & Shackleton, N. (2016). Risk-based school inspections: impact of targeted inspection approaches on Dutch secondary schools. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 28 (4), 299-321. 10.1007/s11092-016-9242-0
  • Shackleton, N., Fletcher, A., Jamal, F., Markham, W., Aveyard, P., Mathiot, A., ... Bonell, C. (2016). A new measure of unhealthy school environments and its implications for critical assessments of health promotion in schools. Critical Public Health, 1-15. 10.1080/09581596.2016.1191619
  • Shackleton, N., Jamal, F., Viner, R., Dickson, K., Hinds, K., Patton, G., & Chris, B. (2016). Systematic review of reviews of observational studies of school-level effects on sexual health, violence and substance use. Health & place, 39, 168-176. 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.04.002

Contact details

Primary location

Level B1, Room B105
New Zealand