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.

Family Life 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.

A great deal of research has been conducted on the relationship between family life and the development, well-being and behaviour of children, teenagers and young adults.  From a policy perspective, families and parents are seen as key to child well-being and behaviour, and debates both in the media and more generally in the public domain continue over the relative importance of family structure (e.g. birth parent(s), reconstituted families) and family processes such as disciplinary styles.  



Sweeting H, Seaman P. Family within and beyond the household boundary: children's constructions of who they live with. In: McKie L, Cunningham-Burley S, editors Families in society: boundaries and relationships. Bristol: Policy Press, 2005:95-110.


Seaman P, Sweeting H. Assisting young people's access to social capital in contemporary families: a qualitative study. Journal of Youth Studies 2004;7:173-90


Seaman P. Connecting experiences: people's family life as a unifying entity [PhD], MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit 2003.


Sweeting H. Our family, whose perspective?. Journal of Adolescence 2001;24:229-50



Ely M, West P, Sweeting H, Richards M. Teenage family life, life chances, lifestyles, and health: a comparison of two contemporary cohorts. International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family 2000;14:1-30


Sweeting H, West P, Richards M. Teenage family life, lifestyles, and life chances: associations with family structure, conflict with parents and joint family activity. International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family 1998;12:15-46


Sweeting H, West P. Family life and health in adolescence: a role for culture in the health inequalities debate?. Social Science & Medicine 1995;40:163-175