From February 2017, information about the work of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow is available and updated on the University of Glasgow website.

Youth Lifestyles, Youth Culture and Health

Note that these studies were conducted as part of the Youth and Health programme which formally ceased at the end of March 2010, although team members have continued to prepare publications in this research area.

Young people's lifestyles, and related youth cultures and sub-cultures, have constituted a major focus of attention in the sociology of youth from the 1960s to the present time. A key debate has been the extent to which lifestyles and youth cultures are class-related, as in the notion of class subculture, or independent of class, the best documented example of which is the 1990s phenomenon of ‘rave'. Research on this issue therefore goes to the heart of the broader debate about the extent to which our society remains structured according to broad divisions like social class or is comparatively free of such structural influences, as embodied in the concept of ‘postmodernity'. The question has particular resonance for young people and was core to the Youth and Health Programme.

This research theme addressed these issues with particular reference to health.



Lonie D. Musical identities and health over the youth-adult transition [PhD], MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow 2009.

open access  


Young R, Sweeting H, West P. Prevalence of deliberate self harm and attempted suicide within contemporary Goth youth subculture: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ 2006;332:1058-1061

pubmed  open access  


Sweeting H, West P. Young people's leisure and risk-taking behaviours: changes in gender patterning in the West of Scotland during the 1990s. Journal of Youth Studies 2003;6:391-412


Karvonen S, West P, Sweeting H, Rahkonen O, Young R. Lifestyle, social class and health related behaviours: a cross cultural comparison of 15 year olds in Glasgow and Helsinki. Journal of Youth Studies 2001;4:393-413