Fanfiction, identity and young people’s wellbeing

Creating alternative stories for characters in well-known fiction, in digital media, is a powerful mode of exploring and crafting identities. In this study we are exploring the views of young adults about the role of fanfiction in their identities and their wellbeing over time. With Dr Naomi Holford and Dr Sara Clayson of The Open University.


A new model for managing children's pain

Funded by WellChild – The National Charity for Sick Children.

This study builds on Joan Simons’ model of children’s pain management harnessing global best practice across the UK (Liverpool), Sweden (Gothenburg) and Australia (Sydney). With co-investigators Professor Bernie Carter of Edge Hill University and Dr Jennie Craske of Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust, Joan interviewed nurses and doctors about the key elements of effective pain management. The team interviewed specialist pain management teams (children’s nurses, clinical nurse specialists in pain and pain consultants) in children's units and children's hospitals across the UK and Ireland. The findings have been used to develop a framework for the effective management of children’s pain.  

The animation of the new framework is below:

The animation explains the four aspects of the framework to support the delivery of effective pain management for children:

  • Creating knowledgeable practitioners
  • Supporting staff with relevant practice guidelines
  • Adopting an individual approach to child and family
  • Empowering parents to be effectively involved in the management of their child’s pain.

The research team also worked with an advisory group which included parents, to help develop the framework. Other stakeholders that contributed to the development of the framework were Band 5 nurses, Band 6 nurses and pain management teams across the UK and Ireland. The Band 5 and Band 6 nurses were involved in the form of two focus groups. The pain teams contributed to the framework through one-to-one interviews with Clinical Nurse Specialists and Pain Consultants.

Alongside the animation, a free to download leaflet has been developed, to be used by parents to promote their involvement in the management of their child’s pain. This leaflet has been designed to help address the fourth aspect of the framework: ‘Empowering parents to be effectively involved in the management of their child’s pain.’ and is designed to be used by parents and focuses on how they can help their child if they are in pain after surgery. It provides an opportunity for parents/carers to document their child’s previous pain as well as their current pain and provides tips for parents/carers on how to communicate their child’s pain to doctors and nurses.  

A link to the leaflet is below:

A summary leaflet of the study has been developed in the form of a Six Minute Briefing, which explains the context of the study as well as the framework and leaflet for parents.

A link to the free to download leaflet is below:

The resources have a Creative Commons license so that they can be freely downloaded and used but not changed without permission.  The publication date is February 2021 and the review date for all aspects of the resource including the website is 1st February  2024.



Movement is a powerful modality through which to learn. Dancemotion is a pilot study exploring children's social-emotional learning in primary school through dance-based activities. With Alison Twiner and Dr Mathijs Lucasson of CCW and WELS, The Open Universtiy, as well as Dance Educates, The Anna Freud Centre, and Rhyl Primary School in Kentish Town, North London.


The Adwareness study: Food marketing in social media

funded by the Wellcome Trust

This study is examining views of experts, young people and parents about food marketing to children and young people, in digital media and the data and privacy and health implications. With Dr Emma Boyland and Dr Magdalena Muc da Encarnacao at the University of Liverpool. See @AdwarenessS on Twitter for more.


The Science of Persuasion

in collaboration with Unicef UK and Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools

With Unicef UK, we are co-creating materials with young people to examine the science of persuasive design in digital media and how the advertising ecosystem works to influence their behaviour. With Dr Emma Boyland at the University of Liverpool and Dan Parker of Living Loud.


Monitoring food marketing to children: creating protocols and identifying global best practice

One of the major challenges of food marketing research in the 21st century is identifying what marketing children and young people are exposed to in a diverse, behaviourally-targeted digital media environment. Working globally with the World Health Organization, Unicef and the European Commission, Mimi is engaged in multiple projects examining ethical, viable practice in this field. This work draws on reports, methodological and advocacy materials developed for the Irish Heart Foundation (2016), the World Health Organization (2016; 2019; 2020-forthcoming), the Nordic Council of Ministers (2018), Unicef (2019, forthcoming; 2019, forthcoming) and others.


What is good to eat? What does healthy mean? Children’s views of eating, food and health

Even though adults have plenty of views on what children should and shouldn’t eat, and what they should and shouldn’t do to be healthy, the views of children and young people about their experiences and perspectives about food, eating and health are less frequently aired. This study with children and young people in England is exploring contemporary food and health practices and perspectives.


Why do adults give food treats to children?

Funded by Safefood

This study explored food treat giving by adults on the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, UK), examining views of parents, grandparents, teachers, childcare givers and sports coaches to understand foods given as treats, reasons and contexts in which this is done. With colleagues in University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology and Ulster University. See our Publications.


Interventions promoting healthy eating in under-5s: Systematic review

A systematic review of international research on interventions that have focused on either preventing obesity or   promoting healthy eating in preschool children. This age group is our focus as studies have shown that before a child starts school they have already developed preferences for food which can have a long standing impact on their diet. Paper is currently under review.