Early Life and Adolescence

Early life and adolescence is a new research programme within Fuse which includes research on pregnancy, infancy, preschool and school years, adolescence and the transition to independence.  We will explore how to provide a ‘healthy start’ through the critical period of pregnancy, onwards. Research will focus on families and parents, as well as children and young people. For example we are conducting research on helping parents to recognise when their child is overweight, providing fun exercise in schools through dance, and exploring the effects of changes in the guidelines for school dinners. This research programme goes through to teenage years and focuses on trying to reduce the risks of alcohol and  drug misuse, and poor sexual health.

The programme objectives are to conduct, develop, evaluate and translate research to:

  • Promote a healthy start in life by focusing on determinants affecting a healthy pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence
  • Promote healthy emotional and mental wellbeing among children, adolescents and young people
  • Reduce risk taking behaviour among young people that adversely affect their wellbeing
  • Inform and influence policy and practice on the linkages between child health and social/ structural inequalities through acting on social determinants of child health
  • Promote the inclusion of children’s and families’ voice in the planning, implementation and evaluation of related national and local policies

To achieve this we seek to build effective and lasting partnerships with policy and practice partners for collaborative co-production of public health research in this critical life stage. The programme will link with work within the Behaviour Change and Health Inequalities research programmes.

Programme Investigators

  • Professor Carolyn Summerbell - Programme Leader, Durham University
  • Dr Nicola Heslehurst - Deputy Programme Leader, Newcastle University
  • Professor Ashley Adamson - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Vera Araujo-Soares - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Liane Azevedo - Principal Investigator, Teesside University
  • Professor Alan Batterham - Principal Investigator, Teesside University
  • Dr Ruth Bell - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Professor Susan Carr - Principal Investigator, Northumbria University
  • Mrs Christina Cooper - Programme PhD student, Northumbria University
  • Dr Louisa Ells - Principal Investigator, Teesside University
  • Professor Eileen Kaner - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Amelia Lake - Principal Investigator, Teesside University
  • Dr Monique Lhussier - Principal Investigator, Northumbria University
  • Dr Jonathan Ling - Principal Investigator, University Of Sunderland
  • Dr Dorothy Newbury-Birch - Principal Investigator, Teesside University
  • Professor Judith Rankin - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Stephanie Scott - Programme Research Associate, Teesside University
  • Professor Falko Sniehotta - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Wendy Wrieden - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University
  • Dr Ruth McGovern - Principal Investigator, Newcastle University