Learning to live with floods

Maggie Mort 150.jpgMaggie Mort is Professor of the sociology of science, technology and medicine at Lancaster University. She is coordinator of the EU H2020 project Cultures of Disaster Resilience Among Children and Young People (CUIDAR), which followed directly from the ESRC Urgency project Children, Young People and Flooding carried out on Humberside and in Thames Valley.

Marion Walker 150.jpgMarion Walker is a human geographer and Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University. Using innovative methodologies, she has extensive experience in working with flood-affected families in the UK and led the research on the Hull Children’s Flood Project following the severe floods of 2007.

Here they reflect on the most recent serious floods in England – within a mile of their workplace.

‘Flood warning no longer in force’, read the status for the River Conder, at Galgate Area A, within days of the flood on 22 November. But while floodwaters have retreated, what it means to be flooded is only just starting to unfold for those caught up in it. The residents who were affected and evacuated now must enter a long and uncertain period of recovery. And just like the flood-affected children we worked with in South Ferriby on Humberside after the 2013-14 tidal surge, many of these families face a Christmas in temporary accommodation or in hotels. Continue reading

How maternal depression affects mothers and children

bhalotra 150Sonia Bhalotra is Professor of Economics at the University of Essex. She is co-director of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC) at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, and co-investigator on the ESRC-funded project on Human Rights, Big Data and Technology. Her research focuses upon health, gender and child development.

About 12-20% of women in richer countries and 20-35% in poorer countries suffer maternal depression, and 10-35% of children are exposed to this in their first year of life, according to estimate (PDF) . Maternal depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated, and in many cases is incorrectly perceived as a temporary condition. Continue reading

Tax credit cuts: the impact on families

Agnes Norris Keller 150.jpgAgnes Norris Keiller is a research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and works in the Income, Work and Welfare sector. She currently works on projects related to the income distribution and the labour market.

Here she examines the changes to the tax credits system which are being introduced this month, and what the changes might mean for those receiving them in the future

The first week of April saw the introduction of significant cuts to the working-age benefits system.

The allocation of tax credits (and universal credit, which is replacing tax credits and three other working-age means-tested benefits) currently depends on the number of children in a family. Continue reading

Mental health: is it associated with our genes or our early years surroundings – or both?

In the second in a series of blogs about biosocial research Professor Gordon Harold, University of Sussex, writes about the new research on parenting.

A member of the ESRC Capability Committee, Professor Harold has specific expertise in the area of child and adolescent mental health.

Gordon Harold

On the sleeve of an album by the band Snow Patrol, the following words appear “mums and dads of the world, be patient with your children”.

As an early career researcher at the time (2004 – a long time ago now!), studying the role of the inter-parental relationship on children’s mental health and development, I thought “that’s it, that’s the bottom line message from millions of pounds worth of international research aimed at promoting positive links between family relationship experiences and children’s mental health – ‘parents, be patient with your children’”.

So, why do we continue with research on this topic? Continue reading