Evidence Based Practice Unit


HeadStart Reports & Publications

Heads up policy briefings

HeadStart heads up briefing 6

Targeted interventions in HeadStart: how do HeadStart partnerships support the mental health of young people, and do they reach those in need?

6th June 2022

HeadStart heads up briefing 5

Gender differences, improving support, and talking about mental health: learning from the 2020 HeadStart conference

10th July 2020

HeadStart heads up briefing 4

Supporting young people at home: what helps young people with their mental health and wellbeing?

4th June 2020

HeadStart heads up briefing 3

How are systems change and sustainability being approached in HeadStart?

15th October 2019

HeadStart heads up briefing 2

What are HeadStart partnerships doing to support the mental health of children and young people aged 10 to 16?

17th June 2019

HeadStart heads up briefing 1

What are HeadStart interventions focusing on to improve mental health in 10 to 16-year-olds?

1st April 2019

HeadStart evidence briefings

HeadStart evidence briefing 14

Youth participation: models used to understand young people’s participation in school and community programmes

9 August 2022

HeadStart evidence briefing 13

Young people’s experiences of HeadStart: 2017–2021

28th June 2022

HeadStart evidence briefing 12

Learning from HeadStart: changes in perceived social support during early adolescence

19th October 2021

HeadStart evidence briefing 11

Learning from HeadStart: does a brief, school-based intervention aimed at building resilience help children with emerging mental health difficulties?

7th July 2021

HeadStart evidence briefing 10

Delivery of the HeadStart programme during the coronavirus pandemic: HeadStart staff perspectives

1st February 2021

HeadStart evidence briefing 9

HeadStart in schools: What do school staff members think?

15th December 2020

HeadStart evidence briefing 8

Learning from HeadStart: Does cross-age peer mentoring help young people with emerging mental health difficulties?

28th October 2020

HeadStart evidence briefing 7

Learning from HeadStart: the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent boys and girls

5th February 2020

HeadStart evidence briefing 6

Shining a light on risk and protective factors: young people’s experiences

24th January 2020

HeadStart evidence briefing 5

Whole school approaches to promoting mental health: what does the evidence say?

24th October 2019

HeadStart evidence briefing 4

Learning from HeadStart: does social action help young people with emerging mental health issues?

8th April 2019

HeadStart evidence briefing 3

Learning from HeadStart: the relationship between mental health and school attainment, attendance and exclusions in young people aged 11 to 14

5th February 2019

HeadStart evidence briefing 2

HeadStart year 1: national qualitative evaluation findings - young people's perspectives

14th May 2018

HeadStart evidence briefing 1

Mental health problems in young people, aged 11 to 14: results from the first HeadStart annual survey of 30,000 children

11th January 2018

Other resources 

Conducting economic evaluations of mental health and wellbeing early intervention and prevention programmes: learning and insights from a real-world implementation context

This study was funded through the Children and Families Policy Research Unit by the National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme.

January 2022

Learning from HeadStart: the mental health and wellbeing of boys and girls aged 11 - 14

December 2020

Young people’s experiences during the coronavirus pandemic: views of young HeadStart volunteers

November 2020

What young people in HeadStart told us about: having difficulties and getting support (based on evidence briefing 6)

January 2020

What young people told us about: handling problems and difficult situations (based on evidence briefing 2)

February 2019

Staff perspectives on HeadStart delivery: challenges and solutions

September 2017

Journal Articles

Carmichael-Murphy, P., Demkowicz, O., & Humphrey, N. (2022). “At Risk” Adolescent Boys’ Engagement With an Employability Intervention: A Qualitative Exploration. Frontiers in Education, 7. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2022.924456 

Lereya, S. T., Patalay, P., & Deighton, J. (2022). Predictors of mental health difficulties and subjective wellbeing in adolescents: A longitudinal study. JCPP Advances, e12074. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcv2.12074

Yoon, Y., Eisenstadt, M., Lereya, S.T., Deighton, J. (2022). Gender difference in the change of adolescents’ mental health and subjective wellbeing trajectories. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-022-01961-4

Stapley, E., Stock, S., Deighton, J. & Demkowicz, O. (2022). A qualitative study of how adolescents’ use of coping strategies and support varies in line with their experiences of adversity. Child Youth Care Forum. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-022-09682-0

Black, L., Panayiotou, M. & Humphrey, N. (2021). Internalizing symptoms, well-being, and correlates in adolescence: A multiverse exploration via cross-lagged panel network models. Development and Psychopathology, 1-15. doi:10.1017/S0954579421000225

Demkowicz, O., Panayiotou, M., & Humphrey, N. (2021) Cumulative risk exposure and emotional symptoms among early adolescent girlsBMC Women's Health 21, 388. doi: 10.1186/s12905-021-01527-7

O’Neill, A., Stapley, E., Stock, S., Merrick, H. & Humphrey, N. (2021). Adolescents' Understanding of What Causes Emotional Distress: A Qualitative Exploration in a Non-clinical Sample Using Ideal-Type Analysis. Front. Public Health, 24 May 2021.

Demkowicz, O., Ashworth, E., Mansfield, R., Stapley, E., Miles, H., Hayes, D., Burrell, K., Moore, A., & Deighton, J. Children and young people’s experiences of completing mental health and wellbeing measures for research: learning from two school-based pilot projects. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 14, 35 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-020-00341-7 

Humphrey, N. & Panayiotou, M. Bounce Back: randomised trial of a brief, school-based group intervention for children with emergent mental health difficulties. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2020). doi: 10.1007/s00787-020-01612-6 

Black, L., Mansfield, R., & Panayiotou, M. (2020). Age Appropriateness of the Self-Report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Assessment. doi: 10.1177/1073191120903382

Stapley, E., Demkowicz, O., Eisenstadt, M., Wolpert, M. & Deighton, J. (2019). Coping with the stresses of daily life in England: A qualitative study of self-care strategies and social and professional support in early adolescenceJournal of Adolescence doi: 10.1177/0272431619858420 

Lereya, S. T., Patel, M., dos Santos, J.P.G.A., & Deighton, J. (2019). Mental health difficulties, attainment and attendance: a cross-sectional study. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, doi: 10.1007/s00787-018-01273-6.

Deighton, J., Lereya, T. L., Casey, P., Patalay, P., Humphrey, N., & Wolpert, M. (2019). Prevalence of mental health problems in schools: poverty and other risk factors amongst 28,000 adolescents in England. British Journal of Psychiatry, doi: 10.1192/bjp.2019.19.

Black, L., Panayiotou, M., & Humphrey, N. (2019). The dimensionality and latent structure of mental health difficulties and wellbeing in early adolescence. PLOS One, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213018.

Lereya, S. T., Humphrey, N., Patalay, P., Wolpert, M., Böhnke, J. R., Macdougall A., & Deighton, J. (2016). The student resilience survey: psychometric validation and associations with mental health. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, doi: 10.1186/s13034-016-0132-5.


Stapley, E. (2019). Analysing young people’s experiences of coping with problems, difficult situations and feelings: An evolving approach to analysing qualitative longitudinal evaluation data (Big Qual Analysis Resource Hub).

Maddi (2020). Young people at the forefront: the 2020 HeadStart Learning conference (Evidence Based Practice Unit).