Research Project 1: Engineering the supportive and empowering systems for adolescent health and wellbeing

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This project will address the key actions needed in three rapidly changing but central supportive systems for health and development during the adolescent years.

Leads: Professor Russell Viner, Professor Chris Bonell
Sub-leads: Professor Rima Afifi, Professor Vikram Patel, Professor Nick Allen
Team: Monika Arora, Dr Bidyut K. Sarkar, Dr Kiran Saluja, Nichola Shackleton, Farah Jamal, Kelly Dickson, Kate Hinds, Dr Soumyadeep Bhaumik 

Project 1A: Education and the labour market transition

Staying longer in school is one of the clearest protective factors for health during adolescence. This is closely connected to the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and to the design of health actions that include meeting changing needs for effective contraception. This is particularly true for adolescent girls. On the other hand, schools can also be a place of risk for both sexual and mental health. This project will synthesise a piecemeal literature on the potential scope for health action within secondary schools.

Project 1B: Families and family transition

Rapid changes are taking place in many parts of the world as a result of extending education, delaying marriage and economic independence. Many of these changes are beneficial for adolescent health, however they can also lead to new economic and social stressors for families that may pose risks on adolescent health. This project involves the development of a systematic review of the evidence around family level risk factors for sexual health, violence and mental health, family level interventions with a focus on sexual health, violence and mental health and health benefits and risks of different patterns of family formation.

Project 1C: Changing youth cultures including the growth of private sector influence

Changes are also taking place within youth cultures and the peer context of development through adolescence. These rapid changes, including the rise of social networking and digital media, have implications for all aspects of health and wellbeing during adolescence. This project involves the development of reviews on:

  • The effects of advertising/marketing of products (notably: alcohol, foods, and tobacco) on health compromising behaviours and outcomes in adolescents
  • The impact of exposure to sexual or violent imagery on sexual health risks including the risks for intimate partner violence
  • The effects of using new social media on health compromising behaviours in adolescents with a particular focus on sexual health risks
  • The effectiveness of strategies adopted by various stakeholders (from countries through to parents) to mitigate adverse influences

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