Relationships and health

Back shot of a group of four friends looking at a low sun

Our Relationships and health programme studies the dynamic, interactive processes through which our relationships influence health and wellbeing.

Our social relationships – family, close friends, intimate and sexual partners, as well as broader friendships, social networks and communities - are fundamental to shaping health at various levels. They are both a source of risk and a protective factor, and understanding this is crucial to informing intervention development.

Interventions targeting relationships and social networks also have the potential to influence other people, and help people to maintain behaviour change – which is the ‘holy grail’ of behaviour change research.

Our programme has two inter-related workstreams: Peers, Communities and Social Networks and Families, Intimate and Sexual Relationships.

Technology is rapidly changing social networks and relationships. We are exploring how technology influences health and how social media and smartphone apps can be used to mobilise social networks and to improve health.



Discover more

Researchers talk about their work in the area of young people’s sexual health and relationships

Why men say they’ve had more lifetime sexual partners than women?

How do people in their 40s and 50s navigate STI risk after the end of a long-term relationship?

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