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Our Work

In October 2013 the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated the University of St Andrews School of Medicine as its Collaborating Centre for International Child and Adolescent Health Policy (WHO CC).

This prestigious appointment endorses the international research and policy-influencing work of the School’s leading researchers in the field of population and behavioural health sciences. We are currently the only WHO Collaborating Centre in Europe focusing on how society and culture impact on the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.

The centre has several strands of work related to social determinants of health and prevention of health inequalities, reduction of youth violence and prevention of risk behaviours such as drug use. The ultimate aim is to translate and communicate research findings to inform policy aimed at improving young people’s health and well-being.


To change our understanding of child and adolescent health and well-being worldwide.


To advance the debate on adolescent health.

Our Objectives

  • Invest in the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study to increase its policy impact, dissemination efforts, as well as to strengthen national capacity in data collection.
  • Develop a youth engagement programme for Child and Adolescent Health Policy so young people have a direct channel of participation in the policy and research process.
  • Prioritise adolescent health issues and use these to develop policy recommendations for national and international bodies.
  • Devise strategies to effect change in young people’s health behaviour using evidence on successful interventions in the fields of health inequalities, violence and behavioural risk reduction.