Family and Social Demography
Our department is recognised for its use of quantitative and qualitative methods to study social processes and family change.
Our group of family demographers investigates changes in the life course in the UK and in international comparison. In the UK, we study partnership formation, childbearing, and relationship quality. This work provides a better understanding of how factors such as housing, welfare receipt, and education influence leaving home, partnership and childbearing decisions. Understanding how society can support families is particularly important in the context of economic uncertainty, the housing crisis and the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
Our group is responsible for carrying out the UK Gender and Generations Survey as part of an international comparative programme. These data will provide more evidence to support Government social policies.
We also have a strong interest in studying family change around the world. Our work examines the emergence of cohabitation throughout Europe, the US, and Australia. We look at the association between different types of partnership and outcomes such as well-being, health, and sleep. We are examining fertility decline in Ukraine in the context of conflict and population displacement. We also have a strength in studying African family health and demography in the context of high levels of HIV and poverty.
An additional area of research is on the voluntary sector. Our work considers the impact of austerity on voluntary organisations and the services they provide. We study geographical differences in the number of voluntary organisations and how they complement social welfare and wellbeing.
Our group is part of the Fertility and Family strand of the Centre for Population Change and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, European Research Council, Wellcome Trust, NIHR and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We are in partnership with organizations such as the Department of Work and Pensions, Office of National Statistics, Population Europe, and the Resolution Foundation.
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My research examines how increased economic precarity, high housing costs and the Covid-19 pandemic have shaped patterns of leaving the parental home and household formation among young adults.
I study changes in the family in comparative perspective. I have recently highlighted population decline in Ukraine and studied forced displacement as a result of the war in Ukraine.
My expertise is in the demography and health of families, with a particular focus on the impacts of parental mortality, migration and care arrangements on child health and wellbeing in South Africa.