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Staff Member Biography

Robert Young

Robert Youngposition: Senior Investigator Scientist

Contact Details

email:
phone: 0141 353 7569

Address

MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit,
University of Glasgow,
Top floor,
200, Renfield Street
Glasgow
G2 3QB

Biography and Interests

Robert joined the MRC SPHSU in 2000, when he returned to Glasgow to join the Youth and Health Programme. He continued onto the Children, Young People, Families and Health programme and is currently is a member of the new Social Relationships and Health Improvement programme. He was involved in analysis of 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, the psychiatric component of the ‘Peers and Levels of Stress' (PaLS) study. He is involved with several international collaborations with German and Swedish partners focusing on adolescent social relationships and their influence on victimisation, mental health, attempted suicide and self-injury.

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 psychometric assessment and research with gender dysphoric patients at the National Gender Identity Clinic. He retains a strong interest in gender related research and its influence on psychological health.

His work uses longitudinal methods, social network analysis and structural equation modelling to understand the impact of social relationships on young people’s mental health, be that parental, peer or online relationships. He is particularly interested in the relationship between mental health and peer-initiated sexual violence, harassment and victimisation, typically contrasting developmental and feminist perspectives. His work also contrasts the impact of traditional structural (class, poverty) vs. newer consumer and cultural influences on health. His ongoing research focuses on the prevalence of self-harm in young people and its relation to youth subculture, peer group and lifestyle, specifically ‘Alternative’ youth. His latest work explores the contagion of suicidal and self-injury among ‘real-life’ and ‘online’ social networks and the consequences for online policy and developing peer-led social interventions.

Publications

[in press]

Parkes A, Sweeting H, Young R, Wight D. Does parenting help to explain socio-economic inequalities in children’s body mass index trajectories? Longitudinal analysis using the Growing Up in Scotland Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health [in press]

2016

Dahlqvist HZ, Landstedt E, Young R, Gillander KG. Dimensions of peer sexual harassment victimization and depressive symptoms in adolescence: a longitudinal cross-lagged study in a Swedish sample. Journal of Youth & Adolescence 2016;45:858-73

open access  

2014

Young R, Sproeber N, Groschwitz RC, Preiss M, Plener PL. Why alternative teenagers self-harm: exploring the link between non-suicidal self-injury, attempted suicide and adolescent identity. BMC Psychiatry 2014;14:137

open access  

2013

Young R, Macdonald L, Ellaway A. Associations between proximity and density of local alcohol outlets and alcohol use among Scottish adolescents. Health & Place 2013;19:124-130

pubmed  open access  

Young R, van Benium R. An assertive outreach intervention does not reduce repeat suicide attempts compared with usual care. Evidence Based Mental Health 2013;16:20

2012

Karvonen S, Young R, West P, Rahkonen O. Value orientations among late modern youth: a cross-cultural study. Journal of Youth Studies 2012;15:33-52

Kelly T, McCafferty E, Metcalfe J, Petrie G, van Beinum M, Young R. Evaluating the Glasgow adolescent self-harm service: a seven-year retrospective investigation: Executive Summary. Scottish Executive Health Department, Chief Scientist's Office, Edinburgh, 2012

open access  

Markham W, Young R, Sweeting H, West P, Aveyard P. Does school ethos explain the relationship between value-added education and teenage substance use? A cohort study. Social Science & Medicine 2012;75:69-76

pubmed  open access  

Young R, Sweeting H, West P. Associations between DSM-IV diagnosis, psychiatric symptoms and morning cortisol levels in a community sample of adolescents. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2012;47:723-733

pubmed  open access  

Young R, van Beinum M. An assertive outreach intervention does not reduce repeat suicide attempts compared to usual care [commentary]. Evidence Based Mental Health 2012

Young R. Can Neds (or Chavs) be non-delinquent, educated or even middle class? Contrasting empirical findings with cultural stereotypes. Sociology 2012;46:1140-1160

open access  

2011

Hunt K, Sweeting H, Sargent J, Lewars H, Young R, West P. Is there an association between seeing incidents of alcohol or drug use in films and young Scottish adults' own alcohol or drug use? A cross sectional study. BMC Public Health 2011;11:259

pubmed  open access  

McArdle P, Young R, Quibell T, Moseley M, Johnson R, Le Couteur A. Early intervention for at risk children: three year follow up. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 2011;20:111-20

pubmed  open access  

Sweeting H, West P, Young R, Kelly S. Dimensions of adolescent subjective social status within the school community: description and correlates. Journal of Adolescence 2011;34:493-504

pubmed  open access  

Young R, Lennie S, Minnis H. Children’s perceptions of parental emotional neglect and psychopathology . Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2011;52:889-97

pubmed  open access  

Young R, McCafferty E, Metcalfe J, van Beinum MA. Evaluating the Glasgow adolescent self-harm service: a seven-year retrospective investigation: Final Report. Glasgow, 2011

Young R, McDonald-Smith L. Lisbeth Salander and the ‘Truth’ about Goths. In: Rosenberg R, editor The psychology of the girl with the dragon tattoo. Dallas: Benbella Books, 2011:9-29.

Young R, Riordan V, Stark C. Perinatal and psychosocial circumstances and risk of attempted suicide, non-suicidal self-injury and psychiatric services use: a longitudinal study of young people. BMC Public Health 2011;11:875

pubmed  open access  

Young R, Sweeting H, Ellaway A. Do schools differ in suicide risk? The influence of school and neighbourhood on attempted suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm among secondary school pupils. BMC Public Health 2011;11:874

pubmed  open access  

2010

Sweeting H, West P, Young R, Der G. Can we explain increases in young people's psychological distress over time?. Social Science & Medicine 2010;71:1819-30

pubmed  open access  

West P, Sweeting H, Young R, Kelly S. The relative importance of family socioeconomic status and school-based peer hierarchies for morning cortisol in youth: an exploratory study. Social Science & Medicine 2010;70:1246-53

pubmed  open access  

West P, Sweeting H, Young R. Transition matters: pupils' experiences of the primary-secondary school transition in the West of Scotland and consequences for well-being and attainment. Research Papers in Education 2010;25:21-50

open access  

Young R, West P. Do good values lead to good health-behaviours?: longitudinal associations between young people's values and later substance-use. BMC Public Health 2010;10:165

pubmed  open access  

Young R. Trauma, attempted suicide and morning cortisol in a community sample of adolescents. Journal of Traumatic Stress 2010;23:288–291

open access  

2009

Sweeting H, Young R, West P. GHQ increases among Scottish 15 year olds 1987-2006. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2009;44:579-86

pubmed  open access  

2008

Kelly S, Young R, Sweeting H, Fischer J, West P. Levels and confounders of morning cortisol collected from adolescents in a naturalistic (school) setting. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2008;33:1257-68

pubmed  open access  

Sweeting H, West P, Young R. Obesity among Scottish 15 year olds 1987-2006: prevalence and associations with socio-economic status, well-being and worries about weight. BMC Public Health 2008;8:404

pubmed  open access  

Sweeting H, Young R, West P. The Peers and Levels of Stress ('PaLS') study: basic frequencies and documentation. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Working Paper no. 17, Glasgow, 2008

Young R, Sweeting H, West P. A longitudinal study of alcohol use and antisocial behaviour in young people. Alcohol and Alcoholism 2008;43:204-14

pubmed  open access  

2007

West P, Sweeting H, Young R. Smoking in Scottish youths: personal income, parental social class and the cost of smoking. Tobacco Control 2007;16:329-335

pubmed  open access  

Young R, van Beinum M, Sweeting H, West P. Young people who self-harm. British Journal of Psychiatry 2007;191:44-49

pubmed  

Young R. author reply 458-9. Comment on: Kripalani M, Badanapuram R, Gash A, Morris S. Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;191:44-9., Factors in those who repeatedly self-harm. British Journal of Psychiatry 2007;191:458

Young R. Young people and self-harm 2007 [podcast]. Raj Persaud talks to series 2007

2006

Pearson M, Sweeting H, West P, Young R, Gordon J, Turner J. Adolescent substance use in different social and peer contexts: a social network analysis. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy 2006;13:519-536

Sweeting H, Young R, West P, Der G. Peer victimization and depression in early-mid adolescence: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology 2006;76:577-594

pubmed  

Turner K, West P, Young R, Gordon J, Sweeting H. Could the peer group explain school differences in pupil smoking rates?. Social Science & Medicine 2006;62:2513-2525

pubmed  

West P, Sweeting H, Young R, Robins M. A material paradox: socioeconomic status, young people's disposable income and consumer culture. Journal of Youth Studies 2006;9:437-462

Wilson P, Carr S, Young R, Fleming P, Spiers A, McConnachie A. The Scottish Transgender Survey: final report - NHS Inclusion Project, Beyond Barriers. Glasgow, 2006

Young R, Sweeting H, West P. Prevalence of deliberate self harm and attempted suicide within contemporary Goth youth subculture: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ 2006;332:1058-1061

pubmed  open access  

Young R, Sweeting H, West P. Self harm in Goth youth subculture: authors' reply. BMJ 2006;332:1335

pubmed  

2005

Sweeting H, Adam K, Young R, West P. The West of Scotland 16+ Study: basic frequencies and documentation. MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Working Paper no. 14, Glasgow, 2005

2004

Turner K, Gordon J, Young R. Cigarette access and pupil smoking rates: a circular relationship. Health Promotion International 2004;19:428-436

pubmed  open access  

Young R, Sweeting H. Adolescent bullying, relationships, psychological well-being, and gender-atypical behavior: a gender diagnosticity approach. Sex Roles 2004;50:525-537

open access  

2001

Karvonen S, West P, Sweeting H, Rahkonen O, Young R. Lifestyle, social class and health related behaviours: a cross cultural comparison of 15 year olds in Glasgow and Helsinki. Journal of Youth Studies 2001;4:393-413