- Senior Investigator Scientist (MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit)
- Honorary Research Fellow (Institute of Health and Wellbeing)
Starting as a mature student, Robert graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1996, then continuing with a further year of study to complete a post-graduate in Computer Studies. His first research post was at Charing Cross Medical School and Imperial College London in 1998, where he worked in an outpatient psychiatric clinic conducting research with transsexual patients at the National Gender Identity Clinic.
In 2000 he returned to Glasgow to join the MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, Youth and Health Programme, initially involved in analysis of final wave data from the ‘West of Scotland 11 to 16 study'. Since then, Robert has been involved in the design and data collection of several other studies, notably the continuation of 11 to 16 into the post-school period (16+ study), the ‘Teenage Health in School' (THiS) study and, most recently, the computerised psychiatric component of the ‘Peers and Levels of Stress' (PaLS) study.
He retains an interest in gender related research as applied to youth and psychological health. He has a particular interest in research involving longitudinal methods and using advanced or novel methodology such as sociometry and structural equation modelling. His research focus is on the social patterning of young people's mental health, typically contrasting traditional class vs. newer consumer and cultural influences. Recent and ongoing research has focused on the prevalence of self-harm in young people and its relation to youth subculture, peer group and lifestyle, with a particular interest in ‘Goths'.
July 2007 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry podcast on 'Young people who self-harm'
OU on the BBC 'Thinking Allowed - Weapon dogs and 'Neds''
BBC Radio 4 'Can 'Ned' be reclaimed as a title of pride?'