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Dr Oliver Robinson - University Alliance. Greenwich, England, GB

Dr Oliver Robinson

Associate Professor in Psychology | University of Greenwich

Greenwich, England, UNITED KINGDOM

His research focuses on the relation between life transitions, crises and changes in personality and mental health.

Areas of Expertise (5)



Mid Life Crisis

Life Change

Later-life Crisis


Dr Oliver Robinson is a specialist in adult development psychology, based in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich. His research focuses on the relation between life transitions, crises and changes in personality and mental health. He has especially explored early-life crisis, mid-life crisis, later-life crisis and how people cope with transitioning at major periods of life changes. This includes those entering retirement and graduates entering employment for the first time.

Oliver’s other work includes the causes and extent of wellbeing, flourishing and authenticity in different adult age groups and cultures; and the developmental challenges of the first decade of adult life, often referred to as emerging adulthood. He is President of the European Society for Research and Adult Development. He is the author of Development through Adulthood, a textbook that is used across the UK, Europe and the USA.

Media Mentions (5)

In search of the quarter-life crisis

BBC World Service  online


We’ll speak to experts about the evidence for whether it actually exists, including a pscyhologist who calls the quarter-life crisis a ‘global phenomenon’. Is this true, or are millennials just moaning and trying to find a new label for problems every generation has faced? We’ll dig in to the reasons people are feeling in crisis, and hear words of wisdom from those who have overcome it.

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More than half of millennials going through 'quarter-life crisis', research finds

Independent  online


The study, carried out by First Direct bank and psychologist Dr Oliver Robinson, aimed to look at how people can use a crisis as a spark for change, but in the process discovered a huge number of 25 to 35-year-olds are struggling to cope amid financial, career and personal pressures.

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More than half of millennials aged 25 to 35 claim to be suffering from a 'quarter-life crisis' over job and money woes

Daily Mail  online


The study was carried out by first direct bank, which teamed up with psychologist, Dr Oliver Robinson to look at how people can use a crisis as a spark for change. Dr Robinson, who focuses on how identity, well-being and mental health are affected by major life transitions, crises and ageing processes during adulthood, said: 'There's two sides to a quarter-life crisis.

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Six in ten young adults are suffering from a 'quarter-life crisis' as they struggle to make ends meet

Mirror  online


But psychologist Dr Oliver Robinson said: “There’s two sides to a quarter-life crisis. “They’re often feared as periods of difficulty and distress – but they can also be times of curiosity and growth. “This can act as a spur to explore new ideas and new ways of overcoming life’s challenges.”

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Why a mid-life crisis may be good for you

New Zealand Herald  online


A team led by Dr Oliver Robinson of the University of Greenwich interviewed more than 900 people aged 20 and over. They found that 24 per cent of those aged 40 to 59 were "definitely" having some kind of crisis with a further 36 per cent who were "maybe" having one. A crisis was defined as being emotionally unstable, making major changes and feeling overwhelmed for at least a year.

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Multimedia Appearances





Science and Spirituality - Dr Oliver Robinson, PhD Turning Quarter Life Crisis into Opportunity - Dr Oliver Robinson, PhD



Accomplishments (6)

BPS undergraduate research assistantship award winner

2018 Awarded by the British Psychological Society

Inspirational Teacher of the Year. Winner. Student Led Teaching Awards

2017 Voted for by Students. Awarded by the Students Union, University of Greenwich

Supervisor of the Year Shortlist. Student Led Teaching Awards

2016 Awarded by the Students Union, University of Greenwich

Research Communicator of the Year Award

2012 Awarded by University of Greenwich

Early Career Research Award

2010 School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich (prize of £3000 invested in research trip to University of Texas and University of Houston)

Teaching innovation award for ‘Controversies in Mental Health and Mental Testing’

2009 Award of £1000 for investment in course to develop field trips

Education (3)

Birkbeck College, University of London: Ph.D., Psychology 2008

University of Nottingham: M.Sc., Organisational Psychology 2001

University of Edinburgh: M.A., Psychology 2000

Articles (5)

Wellbeing, developmental crisis and residential status in the year after graduating from higher education: a 12-month longitudinal study

Journal of Adult Development

2020 Graduating from higher education is characterized by a complex set of changes, including the transition into employment as well as residential changes and identity shifts. We explored how wellbeing and depressive symptoms are associated with retrospective appraisals of developmental crisis in the year after leaving university, and the impact of living with parents following graduation.

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Rethinking adult development: Introduction to the special issue

American Psychologist

2020 This is the introduction for the special issue of American Psychologist titled “Rethinking Adult Development: New Ideas for New Times.” It highlights the main themes of the special issue and discusses the implications of current trends for future directions. Entry to adult family and work roles now comes later than ever before.

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Personality change goals and plans as predictors of longitudinal trait change in young adults: A replication with an Iranian sample

Journal of Research in Personality

2020 Goals and plans for changing one’s personality traits have been found to be commonly held, particularly in young adults. Evidence for whether such goals and plans can predict actual trait change is mixed.

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Examining the phenomenon of quarter-life crisis through artificial intelligence and the language of Twitter

Frontiers in Psychology

2020 Quarter-life crisis (QLC) is a popular term for developmental crisis episodes that occur during early adulthood (18-30). Our aim was to explore what linguistic themes are associated with this phenomenon as discussed on social media. We analyzed 1.5 million tweets written by over 1,400 users that referred to QLC, comparing their posts to those used by a control set of users who were matched by age, gender and period of activity.

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A dialectical approach to understanding the relationship between science and spirituality: The MODI model

Journal for the Study of Spirituality

2020 The MODI model is a dialectical way of comprehending the complementary relationship between science and spirituality. The model is founded on the notion that science and spirituality are domains of enquiry that both exemplify the values of modernity: open and embodied enquiry; the questioning of authority; and empowerment of the individual.

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