Dr Helen Sweeting
- Reader (MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit)
Helen graduated in 1982 with an MA in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh and went on to complete an MPhil (Clinical Psychology), also at Edinburgh. Between 1985 and 1989 she worked as a Clinical Psychologist and in 1990 completed a PhD on the reactions of those caring for a close relative with dementia. Helen started work at the Unit within the Youth and Health Programme in late 1990, and she has a longstanding interest in influences on young people's health and health behaviours. In 2010 she joined the Gender and Health Programme, contributing to studies on how social constructions of gender influence health and health behaviours. In 2015, when the Unit’s programmes were reorganised, Helen became part of a programme aiming to understand and improve health within settings and organisations. Settings and organisations (e.g. educational settings, workplaces, secure institutions) can influence social position, identity, behaviour and health and so can potentially also facilitate health improvement.
Most of Helen’s work has been based on analyses of quantitative data from SPHSU studies, including the ‘West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study: Health in the community’, ‘West of Scotland 11 to 16 Study: Teenage health / 16+ Study: Young people’s health’, ‘Peers and Levels of Stress’ and ‘Adolescent Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe’. This has included descriptions of the health and behaviours of children and young people and exploration of how they are patterned not only in respect of factors such as social class and gender, but also family life, school, the peer group, lifestyle, the media and consumerism. She has also investigated time trends in levels of obesity, psychological distress and health-risk behaviours among young people and reasons for changes in the gender patterning of self-report ill-health in early-mid adolescence. Recent analyses of associations between school-based social status and adolescent health and substance use reflect Helen’s growing interest in the influence of educational settings (particularly secondary and tertiary education) on health.
Helen is Chair of the Scottish Tobacco-free Alliance Research Group and a member of the ASH Scotland Policy and Development Sub-Committee, the Research and Evaluation Sub-Group of the Scottish Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control, and the Scientific Advisory Group for the age 17 survey of the Millennium Cohort Study, and a theme leader (health and well-being) for the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England/Next Steps age 24/25 survey.
PhD students supervised by Helen include:
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Systematic review of interventions to improve health, happiness and wellbeing in the transition from adolescence to adulthood - individual interventions
Royal Society of Edinburgh
2016 - 2016
- Quinquennial Core Funds
Medical Research Council
2015 - 2020
- A qualitative investigation of recalled adolescent experiences of obesity
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Endowment Funds Office
2015 - 2015
University of Glasgow,
200 Renfield Street