Previous Positions: 

Lecturer at Faculty of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI Open Campus, School of Education,  University of the West Indies, Barbados

Research Interests: 

Dr. Kirton’s research has primarily investigated the influence of several prevalent socio-cultural factors on behavior. In her cross-cultural research, she had studied the impact of selected socio-cultural factors and concluded that socioeconomic influence, school environment, and health perception are the most significant predictors of adolescents’ HIV risk behaviors in Barbados & Hungary. Her current research interest revolves around topics such as diminished attention in class, whether intact semantic memory can replace impaired episodic memory, the socio-cultural determinants of aggressive behaviors, socio-cultural influence on suicide, unidentified special needs students, and unconditional positive regard.

Publications (selected):

Kirton, R. (2014). HIV Risk Behaviors in a Sample of Barbadian and Hungarian (Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County) Adolescents: A cross-cultural study. Cave Hill: University of the West Indies.

Rita Kirton Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences

Career Profile

Dr. Kirton is a psychologist, trained in both psychology and education. Dr. Kirton has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, B.A. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. She is also the recipient of UWI’s Graduate Award and the recipient of The Ministry of Education’s Sponsorship from the Government of Barbados. She has a wide range of face-to-face and online teaching experience; has taught Human Development & Behavior, Health Care Concepts, Behavioral Neuroscience, Personality Disorders & Psychotherapy, Biological Psychology & Neuroscience, Personality Theory & Assessment, Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Young Lives in the Caribbean & International. She has several years of research experience, and her primary focus involves the investigation of the influence of prevalent socio-cultural factors on behavior.

Dr. Kirton embraces values that are key to successful teaching and learning such as academic rigor, residential & experiential learning, and global engagement. In addition, she is a firm believer in and advocates for the development of critical thinking skills in students. Hence, she is prepared to reinforce the deep processing of the information provided, rather than rote, surface learning through a diverse teaching style that caters to all types of learners.


  • Ph.D. Educational Psychology The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
  • A. Psychology with First Class Honors,  The University of the West Indies  Cave Hill Campus, Barbados