Health, Young People and Family Lives

The Health, Young People and Family Lives Research Unit is a multi-disciplinary team of researchers with research interests broadly addressing aspects of family lives, health and well-being across the life-course.

We lead and collaborate on research projects addressing understandings of young people’s physical and mental well-being; caring for children with complex needs and, at the other end of the life-course, older people’s care needs and end of life care.

A key aspect of our work is research exploring the impact of intersectionality particularly relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Newly developing areas of work including researching the family lives of children and young people living in or with difficult circumstances (such as parental separation/parental or sibling serious illness; living with a long term chronic illness). This includes questions of what resources, support and interventions children, young people and their families may draw upon in such circumstances.

Young people’s mental and physical health

Family lives

LGBT older people, care in older age and at the end of life care

Caring for children with complex needs/conditions

Food and Eating Across the Life Course

Our research focuses on the social, historical and temporal factors informing feeding practices and transitions (for example, the move to ‘clean eating’, meals in residential or institutional contexts, and food and conviviality).

Weight Management and Physical Activity

We are interested in the socio-political factors that shape obesity discourses and the way such discourses, in turn, shape our bodies. Our research examines the range of weight loss practices, health messaging about weight, and their effects on the lived experience of weight management and engagement with physical activity

Weight and Obesity Research Group

We host the Weight and Obesity Research Group (WORG), the Hertfordshire Network for Inclusion Health (HNfIH); both multidisciplinary, strategic groupings drawing on a wide range of expertise across the University and Foodnet a network for stakeholders in research, policy and practice in Hertfordshire and the East of England

ACCESSCare Research - The Last Outing

The Last Outing: exploring end of life experiences and care needs in the lives of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.  For LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans +) people facing serious illness, advanced illness and bereavement and those close to them

Unit staff

To find out more about our research, please contact Professor Kathryn Almack.