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Dr Aniela Wenham

  • Senior Lecturer
  • Deputy Head of Social Policy

Visit Dr Aniela Wenham's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.



  • Youth and Social Policy
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood
  • Qualitative Research Methods, especially qualitative longitudinal research and innovative methods with ‘vulnerable’ young people
  • Youth Transitions
  • Gender and Youth Cultures
  • Social Class


I have had a longstanding interest in the issues children and young people face, having conducted my BA within the Department opting for the ‘Children and Young People’s’ pathway at undergraduate level, before moving onto research with young people at postgraduate level. My area of expertise is qualitative longitudinal research with young mothers. Teenage pregnancy and motherhood is an area of work I find fascinating. Conducting research within this area has been highly rewarding and interesting, especially as it is an area that has, and continues to do so, draw immense media, political and social attention.

Alongside my academic role I have been employed by the City of York Council as a Youth Worker for over several years. This work has been vast and wide-ranging but primarily entailed working with young people who are socially excluded and have a range of complex needs. Responsibilities included managing teams and projects across York, sourcing funding, detached youth work, targeted support/provision with young people who have complex needs.  This role also entailed acting as an advocate for young people in difficult circumstances, such as sitting on local community management committees and within multidisciplinary teams.

I am also an associate editor of the Journal of Youth and Policy. I have been involved with this organisation over a number of years, delivering key note speeches on teenage pregnancy and motherhood, and working with the organisation in order to bring together practitioners and academics that share an interest in the issues young people face.

My role as a research fellow within the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York has furthered my research experience with innovative methods, especially with vulnerable research participants. Currently I am working on a project titled: 'Problem drug users and drinkers in hospital: staff-patient interactions and perspectives'. This project employs ethnography and individual semi-structured interviews with patients and staff in an acute care setting.

Within the Department of Health Sciences I have also been involved in a project titled: 'Adult Siblings of People with Autism and High Support Needs: their experiences, perspectives & future support needs'. This study explored the experiences of adult siblings (aged 25-55 years) of people with autism and a severe learning disability. This role included developing a range of methods and resources to engage with research participants who have autism and severe learning disabilities.

Research and PhD supervision

PhD supervision interests

  • Qualitative Longitudinal Methods
  • Children and Youth Policy
  • Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • Youth Transitions
  • Vulnerable Groups of Young People
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood
  • Gender and Sexuality

Recent publications

Wenham, A. M. (2015). "I know I'm a good mum - no one can tell me different": young mothers negotiating a stigmatized identity through time. Families, Relationships and Societies.

Wenham, A. M., Czarnecki, S. J., & MacKinder, S. (2015). Local evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme: Final Report. York: Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York.

Tozer, R. J., Atkin, K. M., & Wenham, A. M. (2014). 'My brother likes meeting new people, but don’t ask him any direct questions': involving adults with autism plus learning disability in a qualitative research project. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42(4), 292-300. 10.1111/bld.12073

Wenham, A. (2013). ‘Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood: Implications for Policy and Practice’. In Curran, S., Harrison, R., and Makinnon, D. (eds.) Working with Young People, The Open University, Sage Publications.

Stanton, N and Wenham, A. (2013). ‘Fallen women’ and ‘Artful Dodgers’ – societal stereotypes of young people in the nineteenth century and beyond. In Cowell, A., Gilchrist, R., Jeffs, T., Spence, J., Stanton, N., Walker, J., and Wylie, T. (eds.) Reappraisals: Essays in the history of youth and community work, Lyme Regis: Russell House.

Tozer, R., Atkin, K., and Wenham, A. (Early View: 2013). ‘My Brother likes Meeting New People, but Don’t ask Him any Direct Questions’: involving adults with autism plus learning disability in a qualitative research project, British Journal of Learning Disabilities. (DOI: 10.1111/bld.12073)

Tozer, R., Atkin, K., and Wenham, A. (Early View: 2013). Continuity, commitment and context: adult siblings of people with autism plus learning disability, Health & Social Care in the Community. (DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12034)

Macpherson, H., Tilbrook, H., Richmond, S., Atkin, K., Ballard, K., Bland, M., Eldred, J., Essex, H., Hopton, A., Lansdown, H., Muhammad, U., Parrot, S., Torgerson, D., Wenham, A., Woodman, J., and Watt, I. (2013). Alexander Technique Lessons, Acupuncture Sessions or usual care for patients with chronic neck pain (ATLAS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial, Trials, 14, 209.





Aniela Wenham

Contact details

Dr Aniela Wenham
School for Business and Society

Tel: 01904 321236