Young people, health and wellbeing

 dancing characters

Our research examines young people’s attitudes and vulnerabilities with regards to specific health issues, as well as understanding their awareness of the associated risks and behaviours.

Ongoing Research

Comparative study of sunbed use

This research aimed to understand whether the ban on underage sunbed use has been effective in the different constituent nations of the UK. The research also aims to understand what impact the reforms have had on attitudes and awareness of the legislation and the dangers of sunbed use.

Self-harm and social media: An online ethnography

The study explored the differences between self-harm content found on forums, support, and information-based websites and user-generated content shared on social media sites. An online ethnography of self-harm content on a specific social media platform aimed to identify:

·  Prevalent themes in shared content

·  The functions of the communicative features associated with the platform (e.g. re-blogging, ‘liking’, and responding to shared content)

·  The role of features such as a customisable profile, appearance and layout

Contact: Dr Yvette Morey

Adolescent self-harm in the community: an update on prevalence using a self-report survey of adolescents aged 13 to 18 in England 

A cross-sectional study was undertaken to establish an estimate of prevalence in a nationally representative sample of community adolescents. An anonymous self-report questionnaire, administered online by a market research panel, was completed by 2000 adolescents aged 13–18 across England. Secondary objectives included an examination of the associations between a lifetime history of self-harm and:

·  Risk factors (behaviours such as smoking, alcohol use, taking medicine other than specified and the use of recreational drugs).

·  Wellbeing (using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale).

·  Social contagion by exposure to social contact and type of self-harm behavior

Contact: Dr Yvette Morey

A re-conceptualisation of children as vulnerable consumers  

Understandings of consumer vulnerability remain contentious and despite recent developments, models remain unsuitable when applied to children. Taxonomic models, and those favouring a ‘state’ or ‘class’ based approach have been replaced by those attempting to tackle both individual and structural antecedents. However, these are still overly individualistic and fail to progress from an artificial view that these dimensions work separately and independently. In contrast, the new sociology of childhood literature conceptualises childhood as a hybridized, fluid combination of structure and agency. This desk-based project and resulting paper – a collaboration with Professor Agnes Nairn of EMLyon Business School - introduces this approach, new to the consumer vulnerability field, and proposes that it has considerable implications for the way that children’s consumer vulnerability is theorised and researched, and for the formulation of policy.

Contact: Dr Fiona Spotswood

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