Dr Sarah Kuppen

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Psychology

Sarah is course leader for our MSc Clinical Child Psychology. She lectures on topics from typical early cognitive and social development as well as developmental psychopathologies. 

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarah_kuppen


Sarah is a chartered developmental psychologist specialising in early child development and language and literacy development and disability. She also provides expert parenting advice based on developmental science and has recently written Little Kids, Big Dilemmas:  Your parenting problems solved by science, which answers popular parenting dilemmas with science based solutions.

Sarah also blogs on parenting at www.littledilemmas.com, leads the Tune Time - Beat Bop early literacy project, which investigates the impact of spoken and rhythmic rhymes to raise early literacy skills. She also uses the developmental trajectories technique to investigate outcomes in children with reading disabilities.

Currently Sarah is undertaking research investigating the transition from pre-school to reception for summer born children.

Areas of research supervision

Sarah supervises research projects concerning topics in parenting, early child development and more specifically those concerned with investigating music in the classroom.


MSc Clinical Child Psychology


  • PhD Developmental Psychology, University of Cambridge, St John's College
  • MSc Research Methods in Psychology, University of Oxford 
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), Institute of Education, London

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Scientific Studies in Reading
  • British Psychological Society, chartered membership, Developmental Section

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange


  • Book Trust (2018)
  • Wall to Wall productions – Child Genius (2013-17)
  • Pearson Publishing – Ravens Matrices, Bayley Scales, WPPSI, WISC, Test of Everyday Attention for Children (2006-2010)

Research Grants

  • Harpur Trust – Tune Time early literacy project

Knowledge Exchange

  • Wellcome Trust – I’m a scientist
  • Wellcome Trust – Education and Neuroscience Initiative

Selected recent publications

Kuppen, S. (2018) Little kids, big dilemmas: your parenting problems solved by science. Published by Routledge.

Kuppen, S. & Bourke, E. (2017) Rhythmic rhymes for boosting phonological awareness in socially disadvantaged children.  Mind, Brain, and Education, 11(4), 181-189

Kuppen, S. E., & Goswami, U. (2016). Developmental trajectories for children with dyslexia and low IQ poor readers. Developmental Psychology, 52(5), 717-734.

Kuppen, S., Huss, M., & Goswami, U. (2014). A longitudinal study of basic auditory processing and phonological skills in children with low IQ. Applied Psycholinguistics, 35(6), 1109-1141.

Kuppen, S., Huss, M., Fosker, T., Fegan, N., & Goswami, U. (2011). Basic auditory processing skills and phonological awareness in low-IQ readers and typically developing controls. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(3), 211-243.

Recent presentations and conferences

Neuroscience and Education. Invited speaker at the Essex Secondary Science Festival, June 2018.

Making Sense of the Early Years. Cambridge Science Festival. March 2018.

BPS Developmental Section 2016 (Belfast). Oral Paper. Developmental trajectories for phonological and auditory processing in children with dyslexia and low IQ poor readers.

Festival of Ideas (2016). Opinions on parenting – how to sort the help from the hype.

Cambridge Festival of Ideas, 2015. Tantrum taming: how developmental science can help us to be effective parents.

Cambridge University Science Festival, 2015. Science based approaches to early education: the case of rhythm and literacy.

Centre for Educational Neuroscience University of London, 2014. Tune Time: spoken and sung rhymes for early literacy.

European Dyslexia Association, 2013. Tune Time: investigating the role of sung versus spoken rhymes in boosting early phonological awareness. Linnaeus University, Sweden.

BPS CogDev joint Section Conference, 2013. Tune Time: investigating the role of sung versus spoken rhymes in boosting early phonological awareness. Reading University, UK.

Media experience

Featured in
  • Cambridge Independent – 22nd August, 2018. Solving parenting dilemmas through scientific research
  • Guardian - 23rd August, 2018. Should I limit the amount of time my child spends with their mobile phone? 
  • Daily Mail Online - 14th May, 2018. Is breast really best and is crying bad for your baby
  • i paper  – 28th May, 2018. printed copy and online – There, there Science will make it better
  • Yahoo Style 24th April, 2018. Princess Charlotte stole the show during the royal birth, but how will she cope as the middle child?
Published in
  • Gurgle Magazine – October 31st, 2018 Snuggle up with a book Mama
  • Basildon Echo, Irish News – June 26th, 2018. My four year old daughter is always telling lies, how can I stop her?
  • Mum’s magazine - 9th April, 2018. Five ways to tame a tantrum
  • Motherhood:  The real deal – October 8th, 2018. Tantrums.
  • Kiddycharts - September 19th, 2018. 5 simple things you can do now to stop children bickering
  • The Conversation – August 3rd, 2018.  The five best parenting books grounded in science
  • Essential parent – November, 2017. How do I know if my child has dyslexia?