Race, ethnicity and child development

 Funded by University of Sheffield Economics Department 

 What are the aims of this project?

This research aims to explore the effects of racism, experienced directly or indirectly, on child development and childhood outcomes.

 Why is this important?

From an early age, children interact with other children and adults within and outside of the family environment, and the outcomes of these interactions may shape child development and wellbeing. In addition, the interactions of parents with wider society may also play a role in shaping child outcomes if children witness these interactions or if these interactions influence the parenting received by the child. To date, there is very little evidence on the extent to which child and parental interactions with wider society matter for child development and wellbeing. We will address this issue by looking specifically at the effect of racism, which children may experience directly or vicariously through the experiences of parents, on children’s outcomes.

How will the research be carried out?

We will undertake a literature review to examine measures of racism and ways of exploring the relationships between racism and child outcomes. We will analyse secondary survey and cohort data to examine relationships between experience of racism and racist incidents and indicators of child development.

Timeframe:

February 2015 – March  2016

Who is undertaking the research?

Dr Ana Nuevo-Chiqeuro (Economics), Dr Anita Ratcliffe (Economics), Dr Gurleen Popli (Economics), Professor Sarah Salway (ScHARR)

How are stakeholders being engaged?

The project will engage with stakeholders including members of the public and policy and practice communities via a one day conference to be held in January 2016.

What will be the outputs from the study?

Findings will be used to inform the development of a more detailed, follow on research study. Findings will also be shared through presentations and academic papers.


Enhancing community genetic literacy

Funded by Genetic Disorders UK and CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber

 What are the aims of this project?

This project aims to develop materials and approaches for enhancing genetic literacy at community level with a focus on the genetic risk associated with customary consanguineous marriage.

 Why is this important?

Populations that practice customary consanguineous marriage have higher rates of infant mortality and lifelong disability due to a heightened risk of autosomal recessive genetic conditions. WHO recommends: training health professionals, raising genetic literacy at population level, and focused services for families at risk. However, UK service responses are in their infancy and most people at risk have little or no understanding on which to make informed decisions. The need to increase understanding and develop appropriate services has been identified in Sheffield at both community and professional levels.

This project links to our wider programme of work on developing an appropriate service response to genetic risk associated with customary consanguineous marriage.

 How will the research be carried out?

A participatory, action research project has been adopted with the goal of developing, delivering and evaluating a community-based genetic literacy and support model. Working closely with community researchers, we undertook an iterative process of generating insight, developing materials and testing our approach.  Follow on work is now underway to evaluate more rigorously an informational video that has been developed.

Timeframe:

March 2013 – March 2016

Who is undertaking the research?

Professor Sarah Salway, Dr Parveen Ali, Saima Ahmed (Pakistan Advice & Community Association), Dr Liz Such

 How are stakeholders being engaged?

The project involves close collaboration between university researchers, public health practitioners and community based organisations. The participatory approach involved community researchers who were trained and supported to gather and analyse data in their communities. An advisory group was convened to provide critical commentary on the initial research, involving lay and professional members. The project now reports regularly to the Sheffield Community Genetics Working Group. Findings and progress are shared regularly across the region with stakeholders.

What will be the outputs from the study?

A video has been developed and is available on request s.salway@sheffield.ac.uk

A presentation on the project was delivered by Sarah Salway at the Lancet/UCL Public Health Science conference in Glasgow in November, 2014.Towards enhanced community genetic literacy among a minority ethnic community: a participatory action research project


Young mothers’ negotiations of infant feeding. A qualitative study with ethnographic methods.

Funded by NIHR CLAHRC for South Yorkshire (Inequalities Theme)

What are the aims of this project?

This small study aims to enhance understanding of young mothers’ experiences of infant feeding. The objective is to examine why mothers under 20 have the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the UK. The study also aims to suggest changes to practice that may help support young mothers to breastfeed.

Why is this important?

Breastfeeding is known to have significant health benefits for mothers and babies and may help to ameliorate some health inequalities in deprived or marginalised groups such as young mothers.

How will the research be carried out?

Ten young mothers were followed on their journeys from pregnancy to weaning, by interviewing and observing them.

Timeframe:

The data collection took place from January 2013 to November 2013. Analysis and write up will be completed by January 2016.

Who is undertaking the research?

Phoebe Pallotti for her doctoral research. Supervisors: Sarah Salway, Liddy Goyder.

How are stakeholders being engaged?

Young mothers and Teen Link midwives were consulted at each stage of the research.

What will be the outputs from the study?

A PhD Thesis.

A presentation was given at the UCLAN Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit (MAINN) 2015 conference.


Cascading genetic information within families

Funded by Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity 

 What are the aims of this project?

This research aims to understand in detail patients’ and providers’ perspectives on the issue of cascading genetic information and services within families.

 Why is this important?

The inherited nature of genetic health conditions makes them a family concern. When one person is diagnosed with a genetic condition, this raises questions about the risk of illness for related individuals, including children yet to be born. However, sharing information among family members may not be straightforward, raising a host of personal, ethical and practical issues. This is particularly so for conditions where individuals can be healthy carriers, living life unaware of the genetic risk that they carry. As genetic technologies develop and testing for even very rare conditions expands, there is a growing need to develop effective and appropriate approaches to offering genetic services to wider family members. Furthermore, increasing ethnic and religious diversity of the population makes it important that such approaches are adequately responsive to diverse patient needs. Indeed, advances in genetic services must be made as accessible to all groups of people as possible. Currently we know little about the factors that encourage or discourage genetics service users – particularly those from minority ethnic groups – from sharing information with other family members (we call this ‘cascading’). This gap in understanding makes it difficult for service providers to know how to approach this issue effectively.

This project links to our wider programme of work on developing an appropriate service response to genetic risk associated with customary consanguineous marriage.

 How will the research be carried out?

We will carry out detailed interviews with service users from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds, and also with genetic counsellors working within the Regional Genetics Service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Initial findings will be shared in a participatory workshop with stakeholders to explore possible modifications to current practice.

Timeframe:

March 2014 – December 2016

Who is undertaking the research?

Professor Sarah Salway, Dr Oliver Quarrell (Sheffield Children’s Hospital), Dr Parveen Ali.

 How are stakeholders being engaged?

The project involves close collaboration between university researchers, clinicians and healthcare professionals and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. An advisory group has been convened to provide critical commentary on the research, involving lay and professional members.

What will be the outputs from the study?

Findings will be used to inform the development of improved approaches to cascading with the aim of testing in a follow on study.

Presentations and papers will be prepared for both professional and lay audiences.