Members of the Young People & Society Study Group

How to join the study group

The study group currently has 35 members from Durham University, including post-graduates and academic staff.  If you’d like to join us, please use these four headings to write a few lines about yourself: 1. Key research, policy & practice interests. 2. Methodological strengths & interests. 3. Principal research partners & clients. 4. Areas of benefit for young people.  Then send an email to tony.chapman@durham.ac.uk.

Cat Alexander, Geography

Key research, policy & practice interests Concerned with social justice, inclusion and well-being, and focuses on the ways in which fear polices the boundaries of citizenship; on the character and meaning of victimisation; and the long term effects it can have on the well-being of young people from income-poor areas. Most research focuses on the lived experiences of young people in Sweden on their feelings of belonging and safety and their ability to access the city and claim their social and democratic rights to citizenship.
Methodological strengths and interests My PhD thesis centred on the development of radical empirical approaches to youth, crime and the city, and employed a variety of Participatory Action Research methods including: focus group interviews, journaling, drawing, mental mapping, photo-diaries, photo-voice, participatory video and ethnographic observation.
Principal research partners and clients Local youth and community organisations in Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
Areas of benefit for young people The young people involved in my PhD fieldwork helped to design, evaluate and lead the research. The research aimed to have a range of positive outcomes for individuals and the wider community – listening to what local people wanted to change and help make this change possible.

Vikki Boliver, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Fair access to educational opportunities including access to more prestigious universities; social mobility and how young people’s social class origins influence their destinations.
Methodological strengths and interests Quantitative and qualitative research and mixed methods.
Principal research partners and clients ESRC, British Academy.
Areas of benefit for young people To enable more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain access to prestigious universities and experience upward social mobility.

Donna Marie Brown, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests: Youth justice (especially in relation to anti-social behavior and gangs); youth policy; young people’s everyday experiences of and resistance to marginalization; and, youth violence.
Methodological strengths and interests: Qualitative research; ethnography; policy evaluation research; and, participatory action research methods.
Principal research partners: YMCA Scotland; Association for Directors of Social Work Scotland; Police Scotland; Violence Reduction Unit; Scottish Institute for Police Research; North Tyneside Council; and, Northumberland Council.
Areas of benefit for young people: Enable young people to be partners in/lead research (through participatory action research methods), and for their voices to be heard

Tony Chapman, Policy & Practice, St Chad’s College

Key research, policy & practice interests Voluntary social action, impact measurement of interventions, wellbeing, corporate social responsibility programmes for young people, efficacy of youth charities’ interventions, employability/enterprise programmes for young people, policies surrounding social mobility, digitial making and entrepreneurship.
Methodological strengths and interests Mixed methods: including large scale quantitative studies, observation, interviews, visual methods.  Interested in critical issues surrounding problem formulation in social and economic impact measurement studies.
Principal research partners and clients Cabinet Office, Department for Education, DCLG, O2/Telefonica, UKYouth, CWDC, JPMorgan, National Youth Agency, Northern Rock Foundation, European Social Fund, ESRC, Institute for Local Governance, JRF, local authorities.
Areas of benefit for young people Challenging policy makers on their views about ‘aspirations’ and ‘social mobility’, researching and evaluating good practice in social policy interventions, improving policy makers’ perceptions of the needs of cared for young people.

Luna Centifanti, Psychology

Key research, policy & practice interests Youth violence intervention/prevention, special education emotional well-being strategies, troubled families.
Methodological strengths and interests Interviews with whole family, psychophysiology, observation, teacher reports, psychological testing.
Principal research partners and clients Troubled Families team at Stockon-on-Tees Borough Council. Stockton-on-Tees support unit for the Police.
Areas of benefit for young people Better prevention for youth violence and anti-social behaviour. Better parenting strategies for parents of disadvantaged children.

Stephen Gorard, Education

Key research, policy & practice interests Experiences of enjoyment, fairness and equality in schools, school effectiveness and pupil outcomes.
Methodological strengths and interests Quantitative methods, secondary data analysis, policy analysis.
Principal research partners and clients ESRC, EU Socrates, HEFCE, DfES, QCA, British Academy, EEF.
Areas of benefit for young people The achievement of fairness and equality in schools

Barbara Gribling, History

Key research, policy & practice interests Children and the consumption of the past, history and heritage, education and play from the nineteenth century to the interwar period and in contemporary culture.
Methodological strengths and interests Archival research, visual and material culture, oral history, participatory research.
Principal research partners and clients Interested in forming collaborations with museums and educators.
Areas of benefit for young people Developing programmes that empower children and collaborating with academics, educators, museums and children themselves to enhance the ways in which children engage with the past.

Kate Hampshire, Anthropology

Key research, policy & practice interests Sub-Saharan Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean; young people’s access to health services; use of (digital) technologies (esp. mobile phones) in relation to healthcare; medicines, trust and risk.
Methodological strengths and interests Ethnography and ‘deep’ research; combining qualitative and quantitative research; co-research with young people and other participatory / colleagiate research approaches.
Principal research partners and clients Universities in Africa, especially University of Cape Coast, Ghana and University of Malawi; ESRC, DFID, Leverhulme, Wellcome.
Areas of benefit for young people Addressing healthcare inequities and working with young people and practitioners to improve access to effective healthcare; challenging misconceptions that young people are simply passive recipients of care rather than actively engaged in care and care-seeking.

Peter Hart, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests. Youth work, particularly faith-based, as a researcher and practitioner. In particular I have researched ethical practices in youth work, young people’s ‘everyday politics’, and with a growing interest in character education.
Methodological strengths & interests. Primarily qualitative, with experience of interview based and ethnographic research, however I have also engaged in quantitative studies.
Principal research partners & clients. Youth workers and youth services, schools, and young people across the North East of England.
Areas of benefit for young people. Improved practices for those working with young people, developing young people’s voice in discourses around professional boundaries and ethics, and understanding more of their everyday politics.

Maxine Houston, Policy Research Group, St Chad’s College

Key research, policy & practice interests “Scarring effects” of youth unemployment – consistently and measurably lower earnings, health issues (particularly mental health), decreased happiness and wellbeing and greater risk of being unemployed in the future – plus impacts on their own children. Child poverty: impacts of unemployment, student debt & housing costs on young people’s aspirations.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative interviews, observation, whole family approaches, on-line surveys, secondary data.
Principal research partners and clients BIS, JCP, DWP, DfEE, DfES, Connexions partnerships, British Council, Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Durham County Council, Redcar & Cleveland Council.
Areas of benefit for young people Achieve equality of access to quality employment, training and education opportunities – including the confidence to plan.

Simon James, Department of English Studies

Key research, policy & practice interests Victorian fiction, including books for, and about, children.
Methodological strengths and interests. Literary criticism, especially literature and gender.
Principal research partners and clients Palace Green Library, New Writing North, Durham Book Festival, Empty Shop.
Areas of benefit of young people Reading! And I speak in schools to encourage this.

Kim Jamie, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Health and wellbeing; everyday life (challenges, opportunities, understanding, discourses).
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative methods, including focus groups and photo elicitation research.
Principal research partners and clients Cancer Research UK, young people charities and children’s centres in County Durham.
Areas of benefit for young people Focus on the health status and behaviours of young mothers (where research focus has tended to be on their children; while mothers are, very often, children themselves.

Alison Jobe, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Safeguarding and Child Protection of Young People; Young people applying for asylum in the UK.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative interviews with young people; participatory action research methods.
Principal research partners and clients NSPCC; Children’s Society; International Organisation for Migration; Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture; Big Lottery.
Areas of benefit for young people To develop young people friendly safeguarding systems/ practices.

Hannah King, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Youth justice and youth offending; comparative youth policy; young people’s experiences of marginalisation, exclusion (in particular education), violence and abuse.
Methodological strengths and interests Biographical, visual, qualitative longitudinal research, participatory action research methods.
Principal research partners and clients Local Authorities (NE and Wales), local and national voluntary sector organisations, Big Lottery, Children in Need, Communities First (Wales).
Areas of benefit for young people Support young people through difficult transitions; enable young people to be partners in/lead research (through PAR methods) and for their voices to be heard (particularly in policy).

Iain Lindsey, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Youth development through sport (in UK and in international development contexts): Governance, implementation and evaluation issues.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative research (and some research synthesis) with organisations working with young people and sport.
Principal research partners and clients UK Sport, Big Lottery Fund.
Areas of benefit for young people More sustainable, innovative and decentred provision for young people.

Anne Marron, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Interested in making things better for young females – overcoming barriers for young females to participate in sport as players and spectators, thus helping to enhance quality of life and health. In the future looking to undertake research on sport in the family and how sport may be used for ‘good parenting’.
Methodological strengths and interests Using creative ways of engaging young people in research using photography, drama, music, graffiti, creative writing, journals. Participatory action research, qualitative, photo journaling and storytelling approaches, interviews.
Principal research partners and clients Harringey Social Services, Community Service Volunteers, Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre, Newcastle Children’s Adventure Group, John Boste Youth Centre, North Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Women’s Bus, Streetwise, Allington House Community Centre, North Tyneside Girls and Young Women’s Network, ACORNS support for children and young people experiencing domestic violence, UCAN.
Areas of benefit for young people Sexual and domestic violence and its impact on children and young people; opportunities for young people to be heard, to influence decision making, policy development; affordable social spaces inside and outside for young people which encourage creativity, new opportunities, fun, friendship and association; peace, non-violence, anti-bullying education.

Sandy Marshall, Geography

Key research, policy & practice interests Examining issues related to youth citizenship, civic participation, and conflict resolution in divided societies. Previous research includes trauma relief, emergency education, safe spaces, and gender equality for children and youth in conflict areas and refugee situations. Interested in youth empowerment, cross-cultural communication, refugee/minority/immigrant youth, and faith-based and inter-faith youth engagement.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative, ethnographic, and creative visual methods including focus group interviews, journaling, drawing, mental mapping, photo-diaries, photo-tours, participatory video, drama, and participatory observation. Exploring digital mapping in qualitative methods.
Principal research partners and clients Local community organisations outside the UK. European Research Council.
Areas of benefit for young people Interested in hearing what young people themselves want to change – giving them a voice in academic and policy literature and helping to change negative perceptions about young people in the process.

José Luis Mateos, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Characteristics of internationally mobile students, stressing the relationship between student flows and welfare state policy-making.
Methodological strengths and interests Cluster analysis, methodological triangulation.
Principal research partners and clients ESRC (PhD funding), SIRIS Academic.
Areas of benefit for young people Widening participation in International Higher Education circuits, understanding the latter as a key issue in current social mobility patterns.

Lauren Mawn, School of Health

Key research, policy & practice interests Wellbeing and resilience, service delivery, youth mental health, youth involvement in research.
Methodological strengths and interests Experience of quantitative methods, intervention studies, questionnaire development, observations and qualitative methods. Large quantitative studies, observation, interviews.
Principal research partners and clients ChildLine, Youngminds, Regional Youth Work Unit, DfE, Change our Mind, NIHR Clinical Research Networks, Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust.
Areas of benefit for young people Improving young people’s mental health through early intervention and prevention).

Victoria Meaby, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Youth justice. In particular the impacts of loss and prejudice upon young people who offend. Social inclusion and welfare issues.
Methodological strengths and interests Biographical interviewing/ participatory research and arts based work.
Principal research partners and clients The Ustinov Foundation/ Darlington Youth Offending Service.
Areas of benefit of young people Improved services for young people. Policy development. Opportunity for young people to have a voice and share their own stories.

Joanna S. Murphy, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Doctoral research explores perceptions of risk from Child Protection Social Workers and Adult Drug Workers perspectives with regard to safeguarding children where their primary carer / parent has problematic substance misuse issues.
Methodological strengths and interests I believe mixed methods can complement each other, however I lean more towards qualitative methods. I have a keen interest in semi-structured interviews in which the participant is able to share their story.
Principal research partners and clients Blackpool Wyre & Fylde NHS, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Borough Council, Durham County Council.
Areas of benefit for young people Improving lives of young people and families through better community support services.

Sarah Metcalfe, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests: I am concerned with physical activity and sport development and identity for adolescents, primarily in the UK. I concentrate on how sport, identity and sexuality interrelate and how young people negotiate these issues.
Methodological strengths and interests: My PhD is using a facilitative mixed methods approach, combining quantitative questionnaires to facilitate the access and selection of individuals for in-depth qualitative interviews.
Principle research partners and clients: Local schools and community groups in North East England, and looking for future research with research councils or large sporting organisations within the UK.
Areas of benefit for young people: Promoting physical activity and sport to young people, exploring factors which may affect adolescent identity development, gender norms and behaviour; hopefully leading to healthier futures and prolonged participation in sport.

Emily Oliver, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Impact measurement of interventions, wellbeing, motivation for social engagement.
Methodological strengths and interests Primarily quantitative studies and systematic literature reviews.
Principal research partners and clients Welsh Government – Housing and Regeneration; Public Health Wales.
Areas of benefit for young people The impact of policy on young people’s health and wellbeing, in particular how interventions may serve disengaged or disadvantaged groups (e.g., individuals classified as NEET, those in rural or regenerating areas).

Andrew Orton, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Faith-based community and youth work initiatives, particularly those which bring people together to engage in dialogue across difference; similarly policy initiatives which engage with diversity and promote interaction across difference; how the faith/spirituality of practitioners relates to their practice with young people).
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative, participatory and dialogical methods.
Principal research partners and clients Methodist Church, Council of Europe, Department for Communities and Local Government, various charities.
Areas of benefit for young people Interested in developing improved community and youth work practice and policy to better support young people’s development.

Josie Phillips, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Safeguarding and child protection of young people, Young people and children with harmful sexual behaviour, child sexual abuse and exploitation, domestic violence impacts on families and children, therapeutic relationships in intervention for children who have been sexually abused, social work with families, young people and children.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative, narrative, interviews, some mixed methods.
Principal research partners and clients Local authorities, Durham University, NSPCC.
Areas of benefit for young people Improve safeguarding, children’s experiences of professional interventions, children’s rights, amplifying children’s voices.

Stacey Pope, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Sport and physical activity, health and wellbeing, gender and inequality, female sports fandom (and women’s access to leisure).
Methodological strengths and interests Largely qualitative – interviews, focus groups, observation, visual methods. Depending on the research questions I would also consider using quantitative research methods if this would be supported by other researchers.
Principal research partners and clients ESRC, Public Health England, National Football Museum, Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation.
Areas of benefit for young people Interested in making things better for young females – overcoming barriers for young females to participate in sport as players and spectators, thus helping to enhance quality of life and health. In the future looking to undertake research on sport in the family and how sport may be used for ‘good parenting’.

Gina Porter, Anthropology

Key research, policy & practice interests Mobile phones and youth in sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. education policy and practice use in schools etc.); young people’s physical mobility and access to services in sub-Saharan Africa (and links to transport policy and practice).
Methodological strengths and interests Mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative), including co-investigation with children and young people.
Principal research partners and clients Leverhulme Foundation, DFID and ESRC.
Areas of benefit for young people Safer, more effective use of mobile phone technology; happier, safer lives for young people living in poverty.

Rachel Shah, Anthropology

Key research, policy & practice interests Education and indigenous knowledge, the use of schools as international development tools, Melanesia, Indonesia.
Methodological strengths and interests Long-term ethnography, approaching one topic with multiple methods (quantitative and qualitative), participatory research methods.
Principal research partners and clients ESRC, a non-governmental school in Indonesia, indigenous people in the highlands of Papua.
Areas of benefit of young people Better understanding of the pressures faced by young people who are expected to bridge, through schooling, between diverse cultural worlds. Better education for indigenous children.

Nadia Siddiqui, School of Education

Key research, policy & practice interests: Exploring education in terms of wider outcomes, investigating effective interventions for academic attainment, examining the quality of existing evidence, exploring world- wide educational programmes that can break the cycle of poverty and its impact on young people’s lives.
Methodological strengths and interests: Randomised control trials, quantitative methods, secondary data analysis, systematic literature reviews, working with any large scale data sets.
Principal research partners and clients Nuffield Foundation, ESRC, EEF, Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE).
Areas of benefit for young people: Finding evidence on ‘what works’ and ‘what fails to work’ towards young people’s life chances, success, well- being and happiness.

Roger Smith, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Troubled Families, youth justice, restorative practice, diversion, children’s rights.
Methodological strengths and interests Participative methods, policy analysis, systemic analysis).
Principal research partners and clients DfE, CWDC, Big Lottery, DoH, HEA, Gulbenkian Foundation.
Areas of benefit for young people Rights based approach to youth justice, recognition of rights in other settings, ending child poverty.

James Todd, Geography

Key research, policy and practice interests: My research is concerned with the everyday experiences of trans youth in British society.  Informed by non-representational theories, and inspired by feminist and participatory epistemologies, it aims to explore the activities, emotions and embodied interactions of young trans people, and the lived and everyday realities of having a young gender variant body in differing spaces, places and times.
Methodological strengths and interests: Drawing on a variety of participatory methodologies, the research seeks to work ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ participants. In-depth qualitative and creative approaches are used to inspire in-depth ‘accounts’ of lived experiences to be shared.
Principal research partners and clients: The research engages with Gendered Intelligence, a community interest group supporting young trans people aged 8-25 through creative means.
Areas of benefit for young people: The research hopes to encourage an increase in the presence and voice of trans youth in social science research, whilst informing both Gendered Intelligence and governmental policies and practices seeking to improve the safety, wellbeing, visibility and representation of trans young people. A principal aim of the work is to draw public and academic attention to the everyday realities of being young and trans.

Gavin Turnbull, School of Applied Social Sciences

Key research, policy & practice interests Social construction of youth as risk and at risk in both policy and practice. Risk, amplification and attenuation within spheres of practice and the impact on young people and wider constructions of youth. The role of passion and good practice in a context of commissioned services and contract compliance. Evaluation of young people’s services, making the rhetoric of outcomes meaningful and the unintended consequences of prescriptive approaches to practice, outcome and output targets.
Methodological strengths and interests Qualitative approaches, particularly interviews, observation, biographies and longitudinal studies), participatory approaches, large-scale quantitative surveys.
Principal research partners and clients University of Cumbria, RCU Ltd, DfES / CSNU, Association of Colleges, Regional Health Authority / Teenage Pregnancy Unit, Barnardo’s North West, Local Authorities, Primary Care Trusts, youth charity consortia and several voluntary organisations.
Areas of benefit for young people Challenging actuarial approaches to identification of young people as being at risk. Increase / improve understanding of ‘lived lives’ of young people, rather than external constructions of ‘youth’. Increase critical understanding of issues within domains of professional practice. Communicate the experiences of children and young people as they navigate challenging structures and systems (for example in relation to young carers, homeless young people, young people in or leaving care).

Ourania Maria Ventista, School of Education

Key research, policy & practice interests: Philosophy for Children, school interventions, critical thinking, creativity, motor skills assessment, self-assessment.
Methodological strengths & interests: Experimental design and assessment validation.
Principal research partners & clients: Durham University, Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.
Areas of benefit for young people: Developing thinking skills, raising attainment and promoting independent learning.

Kate Wall, Education

Key research, policy & practice interests Interested in creative methodologies for facilitating young people’s voices, the ethics of this process (and its end result) and how the practices that we use support more authentic perspectives and allow for more democratic ways forward in teaching and learning.
Methodological strengths and interests Mixed method researcher: practitioner enquiry through action research (in partnership with teachers); visual methodology (and run the DTC advanced training in visual methods). Interested in how visual approaches can facilitate voice with young children.
Principal research partners and clients Campaign for Learning, Education Endowment Fund. schools, teachers and students from across the UK, Student Voice Conference.
Areas of benefit for young people Interested in generating knowledge of ethical practice for eliciting voice within a democratic community and to do this, particularly with young children, to look to more creative methods and practices for supporting the level of participation and ensuring authentic voice.