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 Mengya Zhao

Mengya Zhao

Postdoctoral Researcher


 Washington Singer WSL 306


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


I am interested in child mental health and relevant cultural difference. My research focuses on how psychosocial factors (e.g., parenting, self-compassion, self-esteem, friendships, peer difficulties) contribute to youth depression and how it can be influenced by cultural differences. I would like to propose conceptual models with a developmental and culturally-informed perspective to guide assessment and intervention in youth mental health.  



PhD Clinical Psychology, University of Exeter, UK (Sep 2017- Aug 2021)

MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Exeter, UK (Sep 2016 - Sep 2017)

BSc Applied Psychology, Shandong Normal University, China (Sep 2012 - Jul 2016)


Research interests

Mental health

Psychosocial factors

Child development

Culture differences

Psychophysiological mechanisms 




Research projects


• Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Self-Compassion Scale and using focus group discussion to explore how Chinese young adults understand the construct of self-compassion
• Examining the association between self-compassion and adolescent depression from an interpersonal perspective in both the UK and China
• Investigating the associations between parenting, self-evaluation peer relations and depression from 3 years old to 17 years old: evidence from ALSPAC
• Exploring the associations between early family experience, social abilities, peer relations, self-esteem and depression from infancy to adolescence: evidence from MCS
• Investigating the facilitating effect of self-compassion exercise in a lab on prosocial behaviour in university students and its potential psychophysiological mechanism


• Exploring the associations between empathy, self-compassion and prosocial behaviour


• Examining the associations between negative body image, self-esteem, school adaptation and depression in middle school 
• Exploring the association between family factors and pubertal timing in early adolescence 
• Development of Education Decision Test for High School Students
• Compiling educational resources for Primary school pupils and exploring cognitive development in pupils 


Supervision / Group

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