Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


The Lifecourse Podcast

The Lifecourse Podcast is a series of audio interviews about research that is addressing major policy issues around our health and well-being and our family and work circumstances.


The Lifecourse Podcast Artwork

In interviews of no more than 10 minutes, researchers discuss the context of their work, what they have found, what those findings mean and how they can be used to improve people's lives. 

If you like what you hear, why not subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for us on your podcasting app. 

Turning out to vote: what does it have to do with our health?

Thierry Gagné from ICLS discusses research with Ingrid School and Amanda Sacker exploring the links between voter turnout and health.   

The research, which made use of data from the 1958 and 1970 Birth Cohorts, showed that compared with people in good health, those who said they were in fair health had 15% and 18% lower odds of voting whilst those in poor or worse health had 17% and 32% lower odds of voting.

Pause before you post: what do young people think about social media and their mental health?

In a special episode of the Lifecourse Podcast, guest host UCL PhD student Emma Walker discusses young people's social media use and their mental health. Her guests are undergraduate students, Loes Wals, Kritika Rai and Alyson Ong. With support from ICLS and the National Literacy Trust they put on a workshop for 50 schoolchildren discussing their thoughts and attitudes about their social media use and research from Professor Yvonne Kelly showing a link between heavy social media use and increased depressive symptoms. 

iGen - Why our super-connected kids may not be super happy

Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University discusses her research on the links between heavy social media and screen use and increased levels of depression and anxiety among young people in the US and the UK. 

Intimate encounters: setting teenagers on a path to healthy, happy relationships

Cath Mercer from University College London and Clare Tanton from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine discuss research looking at the intimate encounters of 14 year-olds in the Millennium Cohort Study and what it tells us about helping to set young people on a positive path to happy, healthy relationships.

Can cultural engagement stop us becoming frail?

Nina Rogers from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL discusses her research published in the Journals of Gerontology looking at cultural engagement as a possible risk-reducing factor for frailty.

Why are young people drinking less alcohol than they used to?

It seems young people are drinking less alcohol than they used to. Research published in the BMC Public Health Journal shows that almost a third of 16 to 24-year-olds in 2015 said they didn't drink, compared with around one in five in 2005. In this episode of the Lifecourse Podcast, Dr Linda Ng Fat from the Department for Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, explains more about the research.

Taking time out to scroll free

In this episode of The Lifecourse Podcast, CEO of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Shirley Cramer and Professor Yvonne Kelly from the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL discuss the negative effects of heavy social media use on young people's mental health and happiness. They also talk about the RSPH #ScrollFreeSeptember campaign and the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.

Childhood disadvantage and negative health behaviour in adults

Heavy drinking and smoking, poor diet and a lack of physical activity have been shown to go hand in hand in adults from more disadvantaged backgrounds. But research from ICLS PhD student, Claire Mawditt, hints that, contrary to previous evidence, being disadvantaged as a pre-adolescent child is not in itself a predictor of those sorts of negative health behaviours later in life. In this episode of the Lifecourse Podcast she talks to Chris Garrington about the research and its implications for policy.