Children and Families Research Group

The focus of the work of the Children and Families Research Group is around children, young people and family wellbeing.

Our research around children covers the prenatal period, up to age 18, and includes areas such as safeguarding, child protection, child health, and the role of the family unit, parenting, school and community influence on child wellbeing. Our family-focused research covers additional topics such as substance misuse, homelessness, elderly care, family community services and general practice.

Much of our work takes place in family homes, schools and with the wider community including health, social care and voluntary services. Regular meetings of the Children and Families Research Group bring together researchers, students, lecturers, practitioners and external speakers who have an interest in children, young people and family wellbeing and who wish to develop research and influence policy and practice in this area.

The Research Group is part of the Oxford Brookes Institute for Research on Child Development.

Children and Families group members

Staff in the Children and Families Research Group come from a variety of backgrounds, and undertake research in a number of different fields, such as health visitor assessments of mother-infant interactions, developmental epidemiology, understanding behaviour in context, as well as the use and misuse of substances and risky behaviours.

Current PhD Students

Suzanne Watts,  Fran Lloyd, Jon Hyslop, Briony Enser, Catherine Lowenhoff, Lauren Harding, Helen Bosley, Kimberley Harcourt

Recent Completed PhD Students

Dr Emma DaviesMark Mason

Recent Funded Work

Appleton J.V. (PI) & Powell C. (CI). Professional and organizational responses to children's missed health care appointments: a child protection concern? (2012-2014). NSPCC

Appleton J.V. (PI), Pike N. & Powell C. Child Exploitation: Staff Knowledge and Training Needs (Aug 2013-Apr 2014). Health Education Thames Valley

Selected Recent Publications

Appleton, J.V., Harris, M., Kelly, C. & Huppe, I. (2014). Think Baby – On-line learning for student health visitors, Community Practitioner, 87(6), 20-13.

Appleton J.V., Coombes, L. & Terletski, E. (2014). Implementing the Strengthening Families approach to Child Protection Conferences, British Journal of Social Work, Published online March 27.

Appleton, J.V., Harris, M., Oates, J. & Kelly, C. (2013). Evaluating health visitor assessments of mother-infant interactions: a mixed methods study, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(1), 5-15.

Foxcroft, D.R. (2014). Can prevention classification be improved by considering the function of prevention? Prevention Science, 15(6), 818-822

Foxcroft, D.R. (2014) "Form ever follows function. This is the law", A prevention taxonomy based on a functional typology. Adicciones, 26(1), 10-14

Midford, R., Mitchell, J., Lester, L., Cahill, H., Foxcroft, D., Ramsden, R., Venning, L. & Pose, M. (2014) Preventing alcohol harm: early results from a cluster randomised, controlled trial in Victoria, Australia of comprehensive harm minimisation school drug education, International Journal of Drug Policy, 25(1), 142-150.

Stevenson, C. & Neale, J. (2012). '"We did more rough sleeping just to be together": homeless drug users' romantic relationships in hostel accommodation', Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 19, 234-243.


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