Friends and Social Participation

Relationships with friends and social participation are vital for children to thrive. This is true from early interactions with others to various types of friendships and social situations across childhood and youth. All of these impact on children’s happiness, mental and physical health, and life-long relationships.

Our research investigates the nature and importance of friendships, social participation, and relationships across childhood and youth. We also develop ways to foster and support positive social interactions so that all children can benefit from close, healthy relationships.

Current projects:

Commissioning early intervention parent-infant services to increase access, improve outcomes and decrease inequalities: co-development of a commissioning support tool, funded by NIHR ARC NENC (Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria).

MapMe2: Can embedding the MapMe intervention, a tool to improve parental acknowledgement and understanding of childhood overweight and obesity, in the National Child Measurement Programme lead to improved child weight outcomes at one year? Funded by NIHR Public Health Research. View the abstract.

Completed projects:

Social participation and neurodisability (SPaN), funded by the British Academy of Childhood Disability and Castang Foundation. Manuscript under review.

EMPoWER Early mobility and powered wheelchair evidence review and economic modelling, funded by NIHR Health Technology Assessment Reviews. The protocol is here and the final peer-reviewed, open-access publication here.

Improving health in children with disabilities: an intervention-development study to support participation in leisure in 8-12-year-olds with communication and mobility limitations, funded by NIHR ICA Fellowships. Manuscripts under preparation. Reflections on the PPI can be viewed Chapter 3 here.