Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Children, young people, and families

Our national and international research under this theme embraces the richness and complexity of contemporary childhood, youth, and family life, engaging with issues of governance, poverty, employment, and the fluidity and diversity of family relationships.

Research studies carried out by members of this thematic group have received national and international recognition and played a significant role in the university being awarded the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The award recognised - among other things - the contribution of our path-breaking studies of lone mothers and employment, children’s experiences of divorce, child protection in settings of political violence, and child poverty from children’s own perspectives.



Recent publications


Cooke, L. P., Erola, J., Evertsson, M., Gahler, M., Harkonen, J., Hewitt, B., Jalovaara, M., Kan, M.-Y., Lyngstad, T. H., Mencarini, L., Mignot, J.-F., Mortelmans, D., Poortman, A.-R., Schmitt, C. and Trappe, H., 2013. Labor and love: Wives' employment and divorce risk in its socio-political context. Social Politics, n/a, n/a.

Dickson, M. , 2013. The causal effect of education on wages revisited. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 75(4), pp. 477-498.

Kendall, T., Megnin-viggars, O., Gould, N., Taylor, C., Burt, L. R. and Baird, G., 2013. Management of autism in children and young people: summary of NICE and SCIE guidance. BMJ, 347 (7923), f4865.

Pilling, S., Gould, N., Whittington, C., Taylor, C. and Scott, S., 2013. Recognition, intervention, and management of antisocial behaviour and conduct disorders in children and young people: summary of NICE-SCIE guidance. BMJ , 346 (7902), f1298.

Bathmaker, A.-M., Ingram, N. and Waller, R., 2013.Higher education, social class and the mobilisation of capitals : recognising and playing the game. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (5-06), pp. 723-743.

Burke, C. T., Emmerich, N. and Ingram, N., 2013.Well-founded social fictions : a defence of the concepts of institutional and familial habitus. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (2), pp. 165-182.

Millar, J. and Ridge, T. M., 2013. Lone mothers and paid work : the ‘family-work project’. International Review of Sociology, n/a, n/a.

Skinner, T. , 2013. Women's perceptions of how their dyslexia impacts on their mothering. Disability and Society, 28 (1), pp. 81-95.

Betancourt, T. S., Shaahinfar, A., Kellner, S. E., Dhavan, N. and Williams, T. P., 2013. A qualitative case study of child protection issues in the Indian construction industry: investigating the security, health, and interrelated rights of migrant families. BMC Public Health , 13 (1), 858.

Buscha, F. and Dickson, M., 2012. The raising of the school leaving age: returns in later life. Economics Letters, 117 (2), pp. 389-393.

Gregg, P. , Macmillan, L. and Nasim, B., 2012. The impact of fathers' job loss during the recession of the 1980s on their children's educational attainment and labour market outcomes. Fiscal Studies , 33 (2), pp. 237-264.

Hart, J. , 2012. The spatialisation of child protection: notes from the occupied Palestinian territory. Development in Practice, 22 (4), pp. 473-485.

Devine, D., Savage, M. and Ingram, N., 2012. White middle class identities and urban schooling. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33 (2), pp. 303-314.

Maconachie, R. , Binns, T. and Tengbe, P., 2012. Urban farming associations, youth and food security in post-war Freetown, Sierra Leone. Cities, 29 (3), pp. 192-200.

Perwez, S. , Jeffery, R. and Jeffery, P., 2012.Declining child sex ratio and sex-selection in India: a demographic epiphany? Economic and Political Weekly, XLVII (33), pp. 73-77.

Lim, H.-J. and Skinner, T., 2012.Culture and motherhood : findings from a qualitative study of East Asian mothers living in Britain. Families, Relationships and Societies, 1 (3), pp. 327-343.

White, S. C. , 2012. Beyond the paradox: religion, family and modernity in contemporary Bangladesh. Modern Asian Studies, 46 (5), pp. 1429-1458.

Dickson, M. and Harmon, C., 2011.Economic returns to education: what we know, what we don’t know, and where we are going — some brief pointers. Economics of Education Review, 30 (6), pp. 1118-1122.

Dickson, M. and Smith, S., 2011. What determines the return to education: an extra year or a hurdle cleared? Economics of Education Review, 30 (6), pp. 1167-1176.

Ingram, N. , 2011.Within school and beyond the gate: the complexities of being educationally successful and working class. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association, 45 (2), pp. 287-302.

Millar, J. , 2011. Desperately seeking security: UK family policy, lone mothers and paid work. Family Matters, 87, pp. 27-36.

Ridge, T. and Millar, J., 2011.Following families: working lone-mother families and their children. Social Policy & Administration, 45 (1), pp. 85-97.

Ridge, T. , 2011. The everyday costs of poverty in childhood: a review of qualitative research exploring the lives and experiences of low-income children in the UK. Children & Society , 25 (1), pp. 73-84.

Templeton, L. , Novak, C. and Wall, S., 2011.Young people's views on services to help them deal with parental substance misuse. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 18 (3), pp. 172-178.


Butler, I. and Drakeford, M., 2011. Social Work on Trial : The Colwell Inquiry and the State of Welfare.Bristol, U. K.: Policy Press.

Butler, I. and Hickman, C., 2011. Social Work with Children and Families. 3rd ed. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Book Sections

Hart, J. , 2014. Forthcoming. Children and forced migration. In: Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Loescher, G., Long, K. and Sigona, N., eds. The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford University Press. (Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations)

Harkness, S. , 2013. Women, families and the 'great recession' in the UK. In: Ramia, G., Farnsworth, K. andIrving, Z., eds. Social Policy Review 25. Bristol: Policy Press. (Socail Policy Review)

Harkness, S. , 2012. The future for low-income families and social cohesion. In: The Future of Families to 2030. Paris, France: OECD, pp. 57-117.

Hart, J. , 2012. The ethics of research with children in situations of political violence. In: Fossheim, H., ed.Cross-Cultural Child Research: Ethical Challenges. Oslo: The Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and Humanities (NESH).

Bradley, H. and Ingram, N., 2012.Banking on the future: choices, aspirations and economic hardship in working-class student experience. In: Atkinson, W., Roberts, S. and Savage, M., eds. Class Inequality in Austerity Britain: Power, Difference and Suffering. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 51-69.

Maconachie, R. , 2012. Youth, associations and urban food security in post-war Sierra Leone. In: Ozerdam, A. and Roberts, R., eds. Challenging Post-Conflict Environments: Sustainable Agriculture. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 219-235.

Woodthorpe, K. , 2012. Baby gardens: A privilege or predicament? In: Earle, S., Komaromy, C. and Layne, L., eds. Understanding Reproductive Loss: Perspectives on Life, Death and Fertility. Farnham: Ashgate.


Gregg, P., Milburn, A., Shephard, G., Attwood, T., Carrie, A. M., Cleal, P., Johnston, D., Guy, C., Hamilton, D.and Williams, C., 2013. State of the Nation 2013: social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain. Other. Social Mobility & Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission.

Gregg, P. , Milburn, A., Shephard, G., Cleal, P., Attwood, T., Johnston, D., Hamilton, D., Carrie, A. M., Guy, C.and Williams, C., 2013. Higher Education: the Fair Access Challenge. Other. London: Social Mobility & Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission.

Gregg, P. , Milburn, A., Cleal, P., Shephard, G., Johnston, D., Attwood, T., Hamilton, D., Carrie, A. M., Guy, C.and Williams, C., 2013. Response to "Measuring Child Poverty: a consultation on better measures of child poverty". Other. London: Social Mobility & Child Poverty (SMCP) Commission.

Gregg, P., Macmillan, L. and Mitchell, S., 2011. The early bird ... preventing young people from becoming a NEET statistic. Other. Bristol: Department of Economics and CMPO, University of Bristol.