Marion Henderson

Prof, Professor of Child and Youth Wellbeing

  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Marion is Professor of Child and Youth Wellbeing and Postgraduate Research Director for the School of Social Work and Social Policy (SWSP), having joined the University of Strathclyde (UoS) in August 2020. Previously, she was Senior Investigator Scientist at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit from 1996 until joining UoS.

At University of Strathclyde, Marion is helping to strengthen interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research collaboration and capacity through research funding and as part of the Inspiring Children’s Futures Doctoral Training Programme. Marion is also collaborating with the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care, the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice and the Centre for Sustainable Development.

Currently, Marion is Chief Investigator of two NIHR funded Phase III trials both with rigorous outcome, process and cost-effectiveness evaluations: THRIVE and SEED. In addition, Marion is an investigator on two other NIHR Phase III trials, BeSTand RIGHT. These grants relate to child and youth wellbeing and most are intended for populations facing multiple disadvantage and challenges. The research is conducted in a range of settings encompassing: schools, NHS, social work services, families and in the community. Marion is a co-investigator on an ESRC funded project that uses administrative data to compare the health of care experienced young people with those in the general population (CHICS).

In 1996 Marion joined the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit originally working on the SHARE randomised controlled trial to evaluate teacher-delivered sex education. She then became a grant holder on two linked grants funded by the Scottish Executive and Chief Scientist's Office. These grants involved the external evaluation of the second phase of a national sexual health demonstration project, Healthy Respect, in collaboration with colleagues from the Centre for Integrated Health Research, the Scottish Centre for Social Research and the Universities of Napier and Dundee. Healthy Respect was designed by NHS Lothian and aims to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of young people in Lothian in the long-term, with a particular focus on Midlothian and North West Edinburgh.

Prior to joining MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Marion was a researcher in the Psychology Department at the University of Strathclyde (between 1985 and 1996). She worked on a range of projects which explored the effects of organisations (schools, workplaces and prisons) on the health behaviours of people in these organisations. During that time she held grants from the World Health Organisation, the European Commission, the Scottish Office Education Department, the Economic and Social Research Council and various Health Boards (Community Health Care NHS Trusts).

Marion's Ph.D. in Social and Public Health Sciences, University of Glasgow, was undertaken part-time while working as a researcher and used mixed methods to explore ‘school effects’ on a range of adolescents’ health behaviours (alcohol consumption, smoking, drug-use and physical activity). The thesis moved on to explore the association between the ‘school effects’ and within-school practices.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, School effects on adolescent pupils' health behaviours and school processes associated with these effects (undertaken part-time throughout), University of Glasgow

Award Date: 29 Jun 2006

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University Of Strathclyde

Oct 1981Jun 1985

Award Date: 3 Jul 1985

External positions

Honorary Senior Research Fellow (Institute of Health & Wellbeing), University of Glasgow

1 Sept 2020 → …


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