Skip to main content

University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Serena Sabatini

Dr Serena Sabatini

Postdoctoral Research Associate


 South Cloisters 


South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I did my bachelor’s degree in psychology of Personality and Interpersonal Relations and my master’s degree in clinical-Dynamic Psychology at the University of Padua (Italy). In this period, I obtained two Erasmus Scholarships which enabled me to study at the “Universidad Autonoma de Madrid” (Spain) and at the “University of St Andrews” (Scotland). I got qualified as a Psychologist in Italy in 2018. I joined the University of Exeter (England) in 2017 where I pursued my PhD in Psychology on the topic of awareness of age-related change (AARC). I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the REACH team at the University of Exeter where I work on the IDEAL study. This IDEAL study explores whether and how a wide range of psychological, social, medical, and environmental factors relates to the experiences of people with dementia and their carers. Google scholar profile Research Gate profile  LikedIn profile

Twitter: @SerenaSabatini

I am Associate Editor in Aging Psychiatry, Frontiers in Psychiatry.

I qualified as Associated Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.

I am member of several professional bodies including the British Psychological Society, the British Society of Gerontology, the Società Italiana di Psicologia dell’Invecchiamento, the Gerontological Society of America, the European Association of Social Psychology, the International Behavioral Trials Network, and the UK Society of Behavioral Medicine.


PhD in Psychology (2017-2021)

2-year Master Degree (Hons) (2014-2016)

BSc (Hons) (2011-2014), Psychology of Personality and Interpersonal Relations, School of Psychology, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy.

2019 Qualified as Associated Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

2018 Qualified as a Psychologist in Italy (state abilitation), Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-3618-6949

Research group links

Back to top


Research interests

I am a clinical psychologist with an interest in self-perceptions of ageing and in their relationships with social, psychological, medical, and environmental factors.

I have been involved in health research looking at well-being and quality of life among healthy older adults and people with dementia.  

Subjective ageing: I am interested in the way in which middle-aged and older people perceive their own ageing and how this relates to their cognitive, physical, and mental health. My research has focused on the concepts of awareness of age-related change, attitudes toward own ageing, subjective age, subjective cognitive decline, and subjective health. I made use of secondary data from the PROTECT study ( ), the CFAS Wales study (, the ILSE study (, and the IDEAL programme ( I continue to publish on this topic, and I am currently focusing on longitudinal predictors and developmental outcomes of awareness of positive and negative age-related changes.

Dementia: I am currently working on the IDEAL programme (  which investigates factors related to the quality of life and well-being of people with dementia and their carers. I am currently exploring at longitudinal level the social, cultural, and economic resources that people with dementia and their carers have; physical health and fitness in people with dementia and in their carers; changes in the psychological well-being and mood of people with dementia during COVID-19; neuropsychological symptoms of dementia; and how people with dementia perceive their own ageing.

Research projects

Improving the experience of dementia and enhancing active life: the IDEAL study

PhD research: Awareness of age-related change and its associations with cognitive, physical, and mental health and well-being in the second half of life

Back to top

External Engagement and Impact


2021 Premio Carlo Cristini 2021, XIV Convegno nazionale Società Italiana di Psicologia dell’Invecchiamento

2019 Best-poster award, XII Convegno nazionale Società Italiana di Psicologia dell’Invecchiamento

Back to top

Edit Profile