Phuong Nhung Doan

Office: MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, 99 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7HR



Research title: Strengthening social capital to promote MHWB of adolescents

Research Summary

I am a member of the Complexity in health programme within the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, joining the Unit since 2022 to pursue the PhD in Social and Public Health. I hold a Doctor of Preventive Medicine degree from Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam and a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh. I have worked as a Research Assistant in Social Science at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit before starting the PhD.

Research summary

Good mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) is critical for adolescents as it helps young people feel confident, manage emotions, avoid risk-taking behaviour and build resilience to handle adversities in life. However, adolescents living in deprivation usually have poorer MHWB and are at higher risk of mental illnesses than those from more affluent backgrounds. Social capital, which is defined in this study as social relationships in the community and resources from these social connections that influences the young people’s MHWB, is evident to mitigate the effects of deprivation and have potentials to help promote adolescent MHWB in disadvantaged areas.

My PhD aims to explore how to strengthen social capital within and across family, school and the wider neighbourhood to improve the MHWB of disadvantaged adolescents. The study aims to develop a programme theory of how to take advantage of, strengthen and sustain existing social relationships and connections as well as how to create new protective ones in a deprived area for the young people’s MHWB.