The Good Measure Project

Questions on gender identity, sex and sexuality are often overlooked in research on young people’s mental health despite the importance of these topics to young people. Sometimes mental health researchers are unsure what to ask, worry about causing offence or don’t see this as a priority.

The Good Measure project aims to advance understanding of the links between adolescent sexual development, gender identity and mental health. We want to use this understanding to build new resources to help mental health researchers feel confident talking to young people about these topics.   

What does the project aim to do?

  1. Understand priorities and challenges in measuring dimensions of gender and sexuality that may impact on adolescents’ mental health.
  2. Generate demand, build capacity, and increase confidence to research the links between adolescent sexual development, gender identity and mental health.
  3. Strengthen collaboration between researchers working in the fields of adolescent mental health and sexual health and wellbeing.

How will we do this? 

Over two years (Nov 2022 – Nov 2024), the Good Measure project will:

  • Hold agenda-setting workshops with key stakeholders (young people, parents, mental health researchers, practitioners, and policymakers).
  • Review evidence on the links between adolescent sexual development, gender identity and mental health and collate measures of gender and sexuality relevant to the work of mental health researchers and practitioners.
  • Design a new measure of sexual wellbeing for use with people in mid/late adolescence (aged 14-19).
  • Develop a set of curated research tools, resources, and guidance for the mental health research community, and offer training.

The research team is advised by a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) and Professional Advisory Group (PAG).

The project is a collaboration between researchers at University of Glasgow, LSHTM, Birmingham University, City University, Indiana University (USA) and University of New Brunswick (Canada). The project is funded by a UK Research and Innovation grant to advance research methods in adolescent mental health.


Professor Chris Bonell, LSHTM

Professor Elizabeth McDermott, University of Birmingham

Professor J. Dennis Fortenberry, Indiana University​

Professor Lucia O'Sullivan, University of New Brunswick

Sally McManus, City University of London​

Relationships team logo.


QES protocol

Good Measure report - Adolescent sexuality development and mental health and wellbeing: Research priorities for mental health surveys

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit logo 800 wide