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The Centre for Children and Young People’s Wellbeing at The Open University

Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018
Find out more about The Centre for Children and Young People's Wellbeing and what the research focuses on. 

Large group of happy children exercising, jumping and having fun.

The Centre for Children and Young People’s Wellbeing at The Open University addresses wellbeing in terms of body, mind and media. We carry out research to build better understandings of children and young people’s physical and mental wellbeing in their on- and offline lives. Building on our research we also advocate for how the world can best support children and young people to thrive.

The Centre puts children and young people’s insights at the core of our research as their expertise is vital to understand their health and wellbeing. To do so, we collaborate closely with our sister Open University centre, the Children’s Research Centre (CRC). With the CRC we are building a children and young people’s stakeholder group (aged 5 to 18 years) across the UK. It consists of children and young people who wish to contribute insights about their health and wellbeing and other topics they consider worthy of research and advocacy. Members of the group are invited to contribute to discussions face to face and online, to identify and contribute to pertinent issues that researchers should explore.

At the Centre for Children and Young People’s Wellbeing our work also includes adult-focused projects that seek to build wellbeing among children and young people – so we work with children, young people, their families, and those who seek to support them, such as health advocates or policy makers.

Addressing children and young people’s wellbeing in body, mind and media, the Centre currently builds research and advocacy on:

  • Food, food practices, food marketing and healthy weight
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Digital media: Practices, pitfalls and potentials

The Centre is interdisciplinary and our members bring expertise from the social sciences, psychology, medical sciences, and the humanities. We are based at the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University.

Our current research projects are funded by The Wellcome Trust and Safefood (the all-Ireland food safety authority). Current research and advocacy partners are at the University of Liverpool, University College Dublin, University of Oslo, Flinders University Australia, and the World Health Organization among others. 


Centre for Children’s Wellbeing


Joan Simons, Associate Dean

School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care

Joan’s background is in nursing and her research expertise spans children’s pain, child health, childhood obesity and parenting



Mimi Tatlow-Golden, Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Childhood

School of Education, Childhood Youth and Sport

Mimi works at the intersection of psychology and Childhood Studies and has research expertise in children and food, food marketing, children’s rights, school experiences, media and mental health


Research Associate 2017-2019

Alison Twiner PhD

Alison’s research expertise addresses sociocultural understandings of real life practices, interactions and dilemmas, in contexts of education, eating, health, and social care.


Research Associate 2017-2019

Katia Narzisi PhD

Katia’s research expertise addresses experiences of children and young people from 5 years of age regarding family relations, adoption, disability, human rights and well-being.


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