Briefings, PhD theses and other reports

As well as journal papers and books, the PSE UK research has been used in a variety of other published work including briefings from major international bodies and reports from other organisations - full details below. In addition, the research has been used as the basis for a number of PhD dissertations. These theses can be downloaded below.

In addition to the written publications, a short play based on the combined findings of the quantitative and qualitative PSE findings was put on by Grace Kelly. This was performed at the QUB Child Care Research Forum in November 2014 and again at the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities at QUB in December 2015.


CROP Briefings

Poverty Brief 29, November 2015, Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), International Social Science Council, Bergen
The Consensual approach to child poverty measurements
Shailen Nandy, University of Bristol and Gill Main, University of Leeds
This brief argues that:
•  Conventional estimates of poverty relying on minimalist definitions and indicators underplay its extent and nature.
•  The consensual, or democratic, approach produces valid and reliable indicators with which to estimate poverty and reflect on its multidimensional nature.
•  The consensual approach has been successfully used to assess child poverty in both high and low income countries.
•  It offers a unique opportunity to go beyond the “what is” to the “what should be”.
Full briefing available at:

Reports from other organisations

Lankelly Chase Foundation, London

Hard Edges: Mapping severe and multiple disadvantage

Glen Bramley & Suzanne Fitzpatrick with Jenny Edwards, David Ford, Sarah Johnsen, Filip Sosenko & David Watkins

This study draws together previously separate datasets from homelessness, offending and substance misuse treatment systems. It also takes into account available data around mental health and poverty.  It delivers the latest and most comprehensive statistics on people facing severe and multiple disadvantage: where they live, what their lives are like, how effectively they are supported by services, and the economic implications of the disadvantages they face. The PSE UK research is used to examine the intersections between experiences of mental health problems, offending and homelessness.

Full report available from Lankelly Chase Foundation:…
See also: Structure rather than behaviour - on the causes of poverty, by Glen Bramley, LSE British Politics and Policy

PhD theses

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast

Subjective Well-being and the Measurement of Poverty

Grace Kelly,  November 2014 (awarded)
This thesis is concerned with the level of enthusiasm and speed at which alternative subjective measures of well being have being embraced and the consequences this poses for objective measures of poverty based on low income and material deprivation. The study concludes that the ‘enforced lack’ measure of deprivation is the most effective in identifying individuals at risk of material deprivation.  Meanwhile, levels of overall life satisfaction are argued to be particularly vulnerable to adaptation processes. This is because people rate their satisfaction relative to the quality of their personal relationships, rather than using a more reflective view of life overall.


Full thesis can be download here.


Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York

A Child-derived material deprivation index

Gill Main,  September, 2013 (awarded)

Whilst child poverty has come to the fore in academic and policy circles in recent decades, definitions and measureshave tended to draw on adult-derived understandings of poverty. The aims of this thesis are to test whether children’s own perceptions of poverty can be used to form a scientifically robust and practically useful measurement tool, and to demonstrate the use of such a tool. Analysis indicates that a child-derived index of mateiral deprivation, whilst open to development and improvement, is a useful tool in measuring child poverty and inunderstanding the relationship between child poverty and children’s subjective well-being. It can also be used tocompare children’s and adults’ conceptions and reports of poverty. Findings indicate that commonly used indicators of poverty such as income, receipt of free school meals and adults in paid work appear to make much more sense to adult conceptions of poverty than they do to children’s conceptions. These findings reinforce the view that children’s conceptions of their needs can be used to further our understandings of child poverty and its impacts.


Full thesis can be downloaded here.



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