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Dr Scott Yates

Job: Senior Research Fellow & Head of Research for Youth, Community & Education

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8703




Personal profile

Scott's research interests span psychology, disability, health and illness, youth studies and social policy. His recent research has covered topics such as discourse analysis and studies of subjectivity; young people’s identities, aspirations and transitions to adulthood; social policy and youth services; disability and social policy; and the challenges faced by children and young people in hospitals.

Scott has published a range of book chapters, journal articles and official reports on these topics.

Having a broad experience of applied research, and having worked on projects funded by central and local government, health services, national and regional charities, and been engaged as an external consultant. Scott has used (and taught the use of) a variety of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative.

Research group affiliations

  • Young People Research Group
  • Psychology Research Group 
  • Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Research Unit.

Publications and outputs 

  • Stigma in relation to families living with parental mental illness: An integrative review
    Stigma in relation to families living with parental mental illness: An integrative review Yates, Scott Stigma is a pervasive social mechanism with negative ramifications for people who experience mental illness. Less is known about the stigma experiences of families where a parent has a mental illness. This review aims to identify and synthesize evidence on the concept of stigma and stigma-related experiences and outcomes reported by parents and children living with parental mental illness. An integrative review method was employed, with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses) guidelines to search and select literature and extract and analyse data. This approach allows for inclusion of theoretical and empirical literature and for concept definition. Fifty-eight papers, mostly from the USA, Australia, and the UK, met the inclusion criteria. Stigma was primarily conceptualized in families as a marked difference that was negatively appraised, and which could be internalized. Some articles examined how underpinning assumptions could shape the behaviour of individuals and groups and be embedded within social institutions and structures. For parents, mental illness stigma was interconnected with stigma relating to perceived violations of social and cultural norms related to parenting. Children’s experience of stigma resulted in bullying, embarrassment, guilt and social isolation, and efforts to conceal their parent’s mental illness. One outcome was that stigma prevented children and parents from seeking much needed supports. Public health policies and campaigns that focus exclusively on promoting open disclosure of mental illness to foster community education outcomes are unlikely to be effective without additional strategies aimed at preventing and redressing the structural impacts of stigma for all family members. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Sickle Cell and Wellbeing in NHS Services
    Sickle Cell and Wellbeing in NHS Services Dyson, Simon M.; Yates, Scott; Kemp, Rachel; Horne, Francesca; Graham, Sadeh; Berghs, Maria This guide is based on research examining the shielding experiences of people with sickle cell disorders (SCD) and parents of children with the condition during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim was to improve NHS services for this population group. Services have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure equity and tackle health inequalities. Since SCD disproportionately affects Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, there are also duties not to engage in direct or indirect racist discrimination, nor in harassment or victimization. It is important that anti-racist and anti-bias training is offered in all NHS services and cultural competency encouraged amongst all staff. Additionally, that conditions affecting the BAME population, like SCD, become a mandatory part of all nursing and medical educational and NHS training programmes.
  • Undertaking family-focused interventions when a parent has a mental illness - possibilities and challenges
    Undertaking family-focused interventions when a parent has a mental illness - possibilities and challenges Yates, Scott; Gatsou, Lina Parental mental illness (PMI) is a public health issue associated with risks of negative outcomes for children and families. Effective whole family interventions with families with PMI are still not well implemented across mental health, social work and multi-agency workforces. This paper presents research with professionals trained in a new programme, the Think Family-Whole Family Programme, to strengthen family-focused work around PMI. It examines professionals’ practice and understanding of PMI and identifies enablers of effective practice. Findings indicate that participants identify having appropriate knowledge of how PMI can affect families and the confidence to address it as important factors enabling effective work with them. They also had concerns around how to discuss mental health due to issues of stigma and management support of whole-family work. Results indicate potential for training to achieve positive outcomes in improving professionals’ knowledge and confidence and encouraging whole-family work around PMI. Possibilities and challenges for future work with families with PMI are discussed. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • A history of problematizations for dementia education: A Foucauldian approach to understanding the framing of dementia
    A history of problematizations for dementia education: A Foucauldian approach to understanding the framing of dementia Knifton, Chris; Yates, Scott Debates relevant to both undergraduate and postgraduate nurse education regarding the conceptualisation and disciplinary ownership of dementia, include its framing as a neuro-psychiatric condition, terminal illness or a consequence of aging are important in supporting an understanding of the lived experience of dementia for individuals and their family carers and how, as a condition, it has come to be problematized in Western society. The work of Michel Foucault is useful in setting this debate within a critical historical context. Aims: Using Foucault’s “history of problematizations” we present such debates around dementia’s conceptualisation in Western society and consider how a Foucauldian critical historical project influences nursing education by re-examining the problematization of dementia within society, what it is to be a person with dementia, and how alternative conceptualisations shape how we see the condition – aswell as how we provide learning opportunities for dementia care professionals. Results: Six differing ways of conceptualising or problematizing dementia were found (as a natural consequence of aging, a mental disorder, a bio-medical disease, a neuro-cognitive disorder, a disability and a terminal illness) each offering alternative ways we might present it in an educational context. Conclusion: We argue for both undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses to engage in learning that locates what it is to be a person with dementia within particular conceptual frameworks would allow understanding of how these ideas or constructs are reliant on historically-contingent assumptions. Here, taken-for-granted assumptions are unsettled and a more critically reflective position is adopted. This will have impact on the type of nurse to emerge from educational institutions thus also affecting service delivery and the dementia care provided, aswell as the knock-on effects for dementia education in other medical, health and social care courses and for institutions whose role it is to approve professional practice curricula content. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Enhancing Family Communication in Families Where a Parent has a Mental Illness
    Enhancing Family Communication in Families Where a Parent has a Mental Illness Yates, Scott; Gatsou, Lina In this brief we will discuss the Think Family-Whole Family Programme, which differs from other interventions by putting a central focus on fostering effective communication within families. This can enhance families’ understanding of parental mental illness (PMI) and how it affects behavior and relationships, help families jointly set goals for recovery, and enable more supportive interactions among family members. Open access journal
  • Living with Sickle Cell Disease and Depression in Lagos, Nigeria: A Mixed Methods Study
    Living with Sickle Cell Disease and Depression in Lagos, Nigeria: A Mixed Methods Study Ola, Bola; Yates, Scott; Dyson, Simon Sickle cell disorders (SCD) and depression are both chronic illnesses of global significance. Past research on SCD and depression struggles to make sense of statistical associations, essentializes depression within the person with SCD, and treats stigma as an automatic correlate of chronic illness. A mixed methods study (March 2012 - April 2014) was undertaken with people living with SCD and depression in Lagos, Nigeria, examining depression-as disease (questionnaires); depression-as-illness-experience (individual depth interviews), and depression-as-societal-sickness (focus groups). 103 people with SCD attending an outpatients clinic were administered the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and 82 self-identified with some level of depression. Fifteen were subsequently interviewed about their illness experience. Their lives were characterized by being extensively subjected to vicious discriminatory remarks, including from significant others, negative experiences they felt contributed to their depression and even to suicidal thoughts and actions. Contrary to misconceptions of the relational nature of stigma, respondents recognized that stigma resulted not from their SCD but from assumed broken social norms and expectations, norms to do with educability, employability and parenthood. They recounted either that they successfully met such expectations in their own lives, or that they could conceivably do so with reasonable societal adjustments. Ten respondents with SCD and depression further took part in two series of three focus groups with five people in each series of groups. In groups people living with SCD were able to challenge negative assumptions about themselves; to begin to recognize collective social interests as a group, and to rehearse backstage, in discussions between themselves, social actions that they might engage in frontstage, out in wider society, to challenge discriminatory societal arrangements they held to contribute to their depression. To the extent that depression in SCD has social origins, then social interventions, such as anti-discrimination laws and policies, are key resources in improving mental health.
  • Parental mental illness: incidence, assessment and practice
    Parental mental illness: incidence, assessment and practice Gatsou, Lina; Yates, Scott; Hussain, S.; Barrett, M.; Gangavati, S.; Ghafoor, R. Background: Parental Mental Illness (PMI) increases risk of mental illness and other negative outcomes in children. Work on the family impacts of PMI can protect children’s mental health, but little is known about current assessment and practice. Methods: An audit of mental health service case notes was undertaken in one NHS Trust. A template was designed to code information on family mental health, assessment and referral for comparative analysis. Results: 60% CAMHS cases with data were children of parents with mental illness and 40% AMHS cases were parents of dependent children. Presence of PMI was poorly assessed: 32% CAMHS cases, 38% AMHS cases and 44% LD cases showed no evidence of assessment. Assessment of impacts of PMI on children and rates of referral to support services were very low. Conclusions: Mental health services should review practice in assessing, recording and treating cases where PMI might impact children’s mental health. The file attached to this record is the authors peer reviewed version. The publisher's version of fact can be found here:
  • Safeguarding and supporting families with parental mental illness: issues, challenges and possibilities
    Safeguarding and supporting families with parental mental illness: issues, challenges and possibilities Yates, Scott; Gatsou, Lina
  • Neoliberalism and Disability: The Possibilities and Limitations of a Foucauldian Critique
    Neoliberalism and Disability: The Possibilities and Limitations of a Foucauldian Critique Yates, Scott This article reflects back on the period since the publication of the first edition of Foucault and the Government of Disability, and argues that the intervening years have seen the increasing advance of neoliberal politics impacting the lives of disabled people. Beginning from an overview of Foucault’s 1978-9 lectures on neoliberalism, it seeks to demonstrate that a range of policy developments affecting disabled people can be read against the background of Foucault’s analyses of neoliberal rationalities and practices of government. The impacts of these developments have been economically harsh for many, and the article moves on to consider the potential for effective critique of these issues starting from a Foucauldian analytics. It argues that whilst useful in unsettling taken-for-granted assumptions about subjectivity and autonomy given by neoliberal governmental rationalities, Foucault’s works do not suggest in and of themselves a form of critique capable of mounting an effective challenge to the neoliberal consensus. It ends with a challenge to Foucault-inspired social scientists to ally the valuable insights available from Foucauldian analyses to a critical perspective also able to diagnose and respond to problems of economic marginalization, the concentration of wealth and the marketization of the social.
  • The Challenges Presented by Parental Mental Illness and the Potential of a Whole Family Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Families
    The Challenges Presented by Parental Mental Illness and the Potential of a Whole Family Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Families Yates, Scott; Goodrich, Nigel; Pearson, Dan; Gatsou, Lina Parental mental illness (PMI) can negatively affect the lives of all family members, and there is an acknowledged need to work attentively with family and social contexts to promote recovery. However, programmes undertaking such work remain rare and knowledge concerning mechanisms through which PMI impacts families and through which recovery might be achieved is underdeveloped. This paper outlines a family intervention programme and presents evidence from focus groups with 16 professionals into their experiences of work with families with PMI. Evidence suggests that interactional effects of PMI, family communication and family relationships are key to understanding its impacts, but professionals are liable to struggle to engage with these due to concerns over stigma and low confidence. Positive impacts on professionals’ practice were achieved primarily through raising awareness of the whole family context in relation to PMI, building of confidence to raise and engage with PMI and the provision of structured tools for use with families. Positive impacts on the lives of family members were then achieved by professionals in relation to symptoms for the ill parent, the burden on children and overall family wellbeing, strongly mediated through improved family communication, understanding and relationships. Implications for policy and practice are considered. The full text version attached to this record id the authors final peer reviewed version. The publishers version can be found by following the DOI link.

Click here for a full listing of Scott Yates‘s publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Flemming, J., Ward, D. and Yates, S. (2010) How to use a consortium working approach. London: Participation Works

Payne, M., Yates, S. and Sallah, A. (2009) Skills development and occupational aspirations within E8 migrant groups in Leicester and Leicestershire. Coventry: Learning and Skills Council

Hoggarth, E., Anthony, D., Canton, R., Cartwright, I., Comfort, H., Payne, P., Shafiullah, M., Wood, J. and Yates, S. (2009) Evaluation of the Crash Course: Report to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, De Montfort University, Leicester

Yates, S. (2008) Youth's career aspirations and socio-economic outcomes in adulthood. Discussion paper published on The Wider Benefits of Learning website:

Yates, S. (2007) The Formation of Youth Identities, in M. Payne, D.I. Smith & B. Merton, Young People in Transitions: A review of recent research. Briefing paper commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills.

Research interests/expertise

  • Young people and transitions to work
  • Youth services and social policy
  • Psychosocial studies of health and illness (with an emphasis on young people with chronic conditions)
  • Disability studies
  • Identity and subjectivity
  • Power, institutions and social relationships
  • Theory and applications of discourse analysis.

Areas of teaching

  • Youth studies, youth work and social policy
  • Youth identities and the “youth” phase of the life-course
  • Social psychology and sociology
  • Research methods
  • Health studies and health research strategies
  • Disability studies
  • Discourse analysis
  • Conceptual and philosophical issues for social psychology
  • Post-structuralism and phenomenology
  • Epistemology and the philosophy of science
  • History of social psychology.


BSc (Hons) 1st class, Psychology (with marketing)
PhD, Psychology.

Courses taught

Currently leading:

  • Research Dilemmas And Strategies (MA/MRes/DHSci)
  • Social Exclusion and Disaffection (MA)
  • The Dissertation Module for Youth and Community Development; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Parenting; Social Work (MA)


  • Conceptual Issues and Critical Debates in Psychology, (BSc)
  • Practice Related Research (BA).

Conference attendance

Yates S (2007a) Youth identities. Symposium paper presented to Work with Young People: Advancing Theory, Policy and Practice, Leicester, June 2007.

Yates S, Sabates R, Staff J & Harris A (2009) Socio-economic status, young people’s aspirations, and the transition to work. Paper presented to Centre for Research in Social Policy 25th Anniversary Conference, Loughborough, January 2009.

Yates S  (2010a) Psychosocial issues and transition for young people with SCD & thalassaemia. Paper presented to Organisation for Sickle Cell Research and Thalassaemia Support Conference, Sandwell, July 2010.

Yates S & Roulstone A (2010) Individualisation and ableism in transitions to work: The case of disabled young people and vocational training in England. Paper presented to Critical Disability Studies Conference, Manchester, May 2010.

Yates S (2010b) Sickle Cell Disease and young people in transition. Paper presented to Sickle Cell Disease: The Next 100 Years, Leicester, April 2010.

Yates S (2010c) The challenges for children and young people in hospitals and the case for youth work. Keynote address to 1st Annual Hospital Youth Work Conference, London, February 2010.

Yates S (2011) Young people with thalassaemia and transitions to adulthood. Paper presented to 12th International Conference on Thalassaemia and the Hemoglobinopathies, Antalya, Turkey, May 2011.

Consultancy work

Youth-oriented services and social policy; health, illness and young people; learning disabilities; young people and identity; young people, aspirations and transitions to work.

Previous consultancy: External consultant, Princeton University/Institute of Employment/Pennsylvania State University research project on “careers aspirations and educational expectations.” Funded by The Jacobs Foundation. February - March 2008

Consulted by policy advisor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan on youth services and social policy in the UK. March 2010.

Current research students

  • Sarah Thomson, research PhD (2nd supervisor): Reasonable Adjustments, Professional Placements and Disabled Students in Universities.
  • Bola Ola, research PhD (2nd supervisor): The experiences of young people with sickle cell disease in Nigeria.
  • Charnelle Longe, research PhD (2nd supervisor): English literature and the education of adolescents.
  • Chris Knifton, DHSci thesis (2nd supervisor): A Foucauldian analysis of dementia education in nursing.
  • Jackie Martin, research PhD (2nd supervisor): Participatory research with adults with Aspergers.

Externally funded research grants information

Self-efficacy and self-care for young people with chronic kidney disease - NHS Kidney Care - July 2012 - Present. PI Iain Williamson

Evaluation of Vinspired youth volunteering project - Team V - January 2012 - Present. PI Thilo Boeck

Think Family/Whole Family: working with children of people with mental illness¬ – HIEC - September 2011-present. CI. Nigel Goodrich, Lina Gatsou (Leicestershire Partnership Trust).

The impact of creative work with young people in the East Midlands - The Mighty Creatives - September 2011-present. CI. Mary Tyler, Sarah Hargreaves, Raksha Pandya.

Evolution of the Impact of Community Development Workers - National Mental Health Development Unit - October 2010 – March 2011. CI. Jason Wood, Peter Norrie, James Dooher.

Skills development and occupational aspirations within E8 migrant groups in Leicestershire – Learning and Skills Council/Leicestershire County Council – June-September 2009. CI. Malcolm Payne, Abdouille Sallah.

Participation Works Evaluation – Participation Works Consortium - October 2008 - March 2010. CI. Jenny Fleming, Thilo Boeck, Isabelle Cartwright, David Ward, Steve MacKenzie.

Staffordshire Fire Service “Crash Course evaluation – Staffordshire Fire Service – September 2008 - June 2009. CI. Liz Hoggarth, Hilary Comfort, Jason Wood, Isabelle Cartwright.

Evaluation of Leicestershire Children’s Centres, October 2007 - February 2008. CI. Elizabeth Barner, Malcolm Payne.

DfES policy review for 10 year youth strategy – DfES – February - March 2007. CI. Malcolm Payne, Doug Smith, YCD.

Birmingham Children’s Fund Evaluation Service – Birmingham Children’s Fund – April 2006 - March 2008. CI. Liz Hoggarth, Hilary Comfort.

Internally funded research project information

Inquiry into youth work and the Integrated Youth Offer – YCD internal funding – October 2008 – October 2010. CI. Bernard Davies, Bryan Merton, YCD.

Professional esteem indicators

  • Reviewer, Journal of Youth Studies
  • Reviewer, Ethnicity and Health
  • Reviewer, Developmental Psychology
  • Reviewer, Sociological Research Online
  • Reviewer, Qualitative Health Research
  • Reviewer, NIHR Programme Grants For Applied Research
  • External examiner, PhD - University of Exeter.

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