Anna Freud’s online research library contains a collection of evidence-based material on children and young people’s mental health, written and co-written by our team. The research explores factors relating to: 

anxiety | behavioural difficulties | depression | digital mental health | empowering young people and families | early years | evaluation | fostering and adoption | intervention | maltreatment and abuse | measures | mentalization | methodology | neurodiversity | parents and carers| prevalence and trends | prevention | psychological therapies | resources | risk and resilience | social care | trauma | wellbeing

The library is managed by our team of evidence experts. It is updated on a regular basis and currently consists of research published between 2018 and 2023. 

Please be aware that links to our open-access papers lead to external sites and that the management, data handling and administration of these external sites is not Anna Freud’s responsibility. 


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  • HeadStart evidence briefing 6: Shining a light on risk and protective factors: young people’s experiences

    This briefing reports the findings from two qualitative studies conducted as part of the HeadStart Learning Programme (national evaluation).

    Authors: Stapley, E., Eisenstadt, M., Demkowicz, O., Garland, L., Stock, S., Deighton,  J. (2020).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 7: The mental health and wellbeing of adolescent boys and girls

    In this report, we aimed to a) establish whether mental health problems in young people are increasing, decreasing or staying the same over time; b) see whether there are any emerging developmental changes in mental health problems and subjective wellbeing during this period; c) explore any gender differences in the mental health problems and subjective wellbeing.

    Authors: Deighton, J., Yoon,Y., Garland, L. (2020).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 8: Does cross-age peer mentoring help young people with emerging mental health difficulties?

    This study aimed to evaluate More than Mentors (MtM), which is a targeted intervention run in schools by HeadStart Newham.

    Authors: Panayiotou, M., Ville, E., Poole, L., Gill, V., Humphrey, N. (2020).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 9: HeadStart in schools: What do school staff members think?

    A study exploring HeadStart school staff members' experiences of the implementation of HeadStart and perceptions of impact at their school.

    Authors: Stapley, E., Stock, S., Deighton, J. (2020).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 10: Delivery of the HeadStart programme during the coronavirus pandemic: HeadStart staff perspectives

    The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of staff members working at the HeadStart partnerships on HeadStart delivery during the pandemic. 

    Authors: Stapley, E., Stock, S., O'Neill, A., Deighton, J. (2021).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 11: Does a brief, school-based intervention aimed at building resilience help children with emerging mental health difficulties?

    Summative evidence briefing on the Bounce Back intervention, delivered in HeadStart Newham. Looking at promising impact of the intervention.

    Authors: Humphrey, N., Panayiotou, M. (2021).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • Children and young people's mental health in the English-speaking Caribbean: a scoping review and evidence map

    Evidence from low- and middle-income countries and developing nations on children and young people's mental health is generally missed in the international narrative. This scoping review aimed to add to the body of evidence by providing an overview of the available research from the English-speaking Caribbean region.

    Authors: Liverpool, S., Pereira, B., Pollard, M., Prescod, J., Trotman, C. (2021). 

    Download the open access paper

  • Factors associated with children and young people’s mental health in the English-speaking Caribbean region: systematic review and narrative synthesis

    Low and middle income and small developing countries often report high prevalence of mental health problems among children and young people (CYP). To identify some of the contributing factors we examined the available evidence from the English-speaking Caribbean. A review of 83 articles representing CYP ages 3 to 24 years from 13 countries revealed that individual, relationship, community and societal factors influence CYP’s mental health outcomes.

    Authors: Liverpool, S., Draoui, Y., Tucker, J., Pereira, B., Prescod, J., Owen, M., Trotman, C. (2023).

    Download the open access paper

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 12: Changes in perceived social support during early adolescence

    Briefing drawing on pre-pandemic quantitative survey data, looking at the association between supportive relationships at school and mental health and well-being (most of our other coronavirus-related resources have focused on support from partnerships or families).

    Authors: Bear, H., Yoon, Y., Stock, S. Garland, L., Deighton, J. (2021).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

  • HeadStart evidence briefing 13: Young people’s experiences of HeadStart: 2017–2021

    The HeadStart Learning Team has conducted interviews with the same group of young people each year over the course of HeadStart. The interviews are about young people’s experiences of coping and receiving support (from the HeadStart programme and other professional or social sources) for difficult situations and feelings in life.

    Authors: Stapley, E., O'Neill, A., Demkowicz, I., Eisenstadt, M., Nicoll, C., Deighton, J. (2022).

    Download this HeadStart briefing

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