Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Childhood and Youth Research Group

We are a large inter-disciplinary group encompassing several fields of study in the School of Social Sciences (education, social work, criminology, sociology, psychology and cultural studies) and across departments within the university.

We are a large inter-disciplinary group encompassing several fields of study in the School of Social Sciences (education, social work, criminology, sociology, psychology and cultural studies) and across departments within the university. 

Our current membership has undertaken research in Wales, across the UK and internationally on topics such as child sexual exploitation and sexualisation to religious identities and safeguarding children in local communities.

The group was established in September 2003. Membership includes research associates/fellows, masters/doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and academic staff.


Our key aim is to maintain, support and develop the diversity and quality of childhood research and contribute to innovations in theoretical, methodological and policy development in the field of childhood studies. 

We wish to develop and strengthen research links with other research groups and departments in the field of childhood studies.

Taking the UNCRC's definition of 'childhood' (0-18) the group encompasses research with children from 'infancy' through to 'adulthood'. The group has much empirical experience of research with children, using a range of methodological approaches. We have core expertise in participatory research and creative multi-media research methods are key interests of many of the group members.

Research and writing by group members is theoretically eclectic drawing upon a range of perspectives including: phenomenology, poststructuralism, posthumanism, feminism, queer theory, critical social psychology, psychoanalysis and social constructionism.

Group activities include some of the following:

  • Theoretical reading group
  • Develop and support research proposals for staff and doctoral students
  • Disseminate draft chapters/papers for discussion
  • 'Data analysis' workshops
  • Seminar programme  (presentation of research findings, work in progress, ideas for future research)
  • Themed day conference (academics, professionals and practitioners).

Policy relevant research

As a group we have a strong record of policy relevant research, particularly, but not exclusively, in the fields of child welfare and education.

Recent and current examples of policy relevant research include:

  • a study of advocacy services for children across Wales
  • research with black children in the Valleys
  • children's roles in Family Group Conferences
  • research on assessment in children's welfare
  • a number of projects relating to 'looked after' children, gender-based and sexual bullying in schools.

Substantive topics

The following topics represent some of the substantive areas of research by members of the group in a range of different contexts (e.g. institutional, familial, public) paying close attention to the dynamics of intra-generational (between children) and inter-generational (between children & adults) relations. 

We are very interested in hearing from potential doctoral students interested in exploring any of the substantive topics listed below.

  • Child welfare and well-being
  • Youth justice
  • Children's rights, citizenship and advocacy
  • Children's subjectivities/identities, cultures and intimacy
  • Children's transitions, temporality and development
  • Children and religion
  • Children's use of public space
  • Child poverty
  • Young people and sexual learning in an era of 'sexualisation'
  • Child sexual exploitation in South East Wales: problems and solutions from the perspectives of young people and professionals
  • 'Youth On Religion'
  • Gender, conflict and power in young children's relationship cultures
  • Love hurts? Gendered power, control and regulation in middle-class teenagers' relationship cultures
  • Safeguarding children and young people in local communities: a neighbourhood study
  • 'An Evaluation of the "Option 2" Intensive Family Preservation Service'
  • A feasibility study for a randomised controlled trial of a training intervention to improve the engagement of fathers in the child protection system
  • 'Polish migrant children's negotiations of their identity and belonging in Wales'
  • The DECIDE study
  • The EPIC study
  • Mothers and daughters on the margins: gender, generation and education
  • Pedal Power - Does participation in adapted dynamic cycling affect lower limb muscle function, activity levels, and quality of life of children with Cerebral Palsy?
  • What value does the MPOC-SP have for physiotherapists working with children?
  • Gender, power and Conflict and Young Children's Relationship Cultures
  • Learning from experience: informing preventative policies and practice by analyzing critical moments in care leavers' life histories
  • Fathers, social interventions and children's well-being
  • Religious nurture in Muslim families

Lead researcher

Staff academaidd

Dr Dawn Mannay

Dr Dawn Mannay

Lecturer in Social Sciences (Psychology)

+44(0) 29 2087 4774
Dr Phil Smith

Dr Phil Smith

Research Associate, CASCADE

+44 29208 79865

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