Health and Wellbeing

Situate - Our Research

To get a clearer understanding of the needs, vulnerabilities and potential protective factors of students at the transition from pre-university to university, and across key transitions whilst at university.

Professor Robin Banerjee, Dr Matthew Easterbrook and Dr Clio Berry from the School of Psychology at Sussex will lead this research.

To design appropriately targeted interventions, establish a baseline for evaluation, and ensure safe practice, we will engage with students who have experienced, or are experiencing, educational transitions to establish the factors influencing student mental health at educational transitions by:

(1) conducting online interviews with sixth-form students and UoS undergraduate students discussing factors affecting their mental health and wellbeing (including the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic) [If you'd like to take part in an interview, please contact situate@sussex.ac.uk thanks!]; and,

(2) conducting an online survey that assesses and maps the relationships that students possess and the groups they form with family, friends, and colleagues.

Both the focus groups and the online survey will take place before and after key transition points. For each focus group discussion, we will perform a rigorous thematic analysis. We will obtain a rich picture of the quantity and quality of students' relationships and groups before, during and after key transitions into and whilst at university.

We will contextualise our findings within other studies addressing the difficulties students face by:

(3) undertaking a systematic review of the current literature and practice pertaining to student mental health across educational transitions, drawing upon our specialist psychological expertise on the nature, antecedents, and consequences of mental health difficulties, as well as our extensive network of contacts from mental health services across the sector.

Together this will inform us of key pressure points in the everyday social support for students as they experience transitions, who is at risk, and which interventions may be most effective.