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The NatCen Blog

Here we’ll be talking about our research in the context of the latest news, opinion and
analysis through comments from our team of experts. We’d love to hear from you, so post comments or get in touch with us.

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  • Posted on 18 February 2019 by Mari Toomse-Smith, Head of Health and Biomedical Surveys

    How to design a bespoke survey about pensions

    Mari Toomse-Smith
    The UK has an ageing population, and ageing workforce, and has introduced a range of policy changes to both State Pension and private pensions over recent years. It has never been more important to make sure that policymakers have reliable information about how the public is planning and preparing for later life. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently commissioned NatCen to explore the feasibility of a survey in this area.

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    Tags: methodology, pensions, surveys

  • Posted on 15 February 2019 by Jane Kerr, Senior Researcher

    GPS technology’s role in supporting offender management

    Jane Kerr
    The ongoing debate over the use of custodial versus community sentences continued recently during a speech in the House of Commons. Rory Stewart, Minister for Prisons and Probation stated that ‘we have conclusive evidence that giving somebody a community sentence rather than a short custodial sentence reduces reoffending over a one-year period’. Innovative technology, in the form of Global Positioning System (GPS) location monitoring, has been outlined as a possible way to better facilitate community sentences. 

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  • Posted on 14 February 2019 by Sally McManus, NatCen Associate

    Self-harm: the questions we need to ask

    Sally McManus
    Medical, social, educational and public health services need to understand and address self-harm. Since the early 1990s national UK surveys have sensitively collected information about experiences of non-suicidal self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts. What can we learn from these existing data sources?

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  • Posted on 22 January 2019 by Miranda Phillips, Research Director

    Common law marriage - a peculiarly persistent myth

    Miranda Phillips
    There’s no single way of ‘doing’ family in modern Britain: family life and personal relationships have changed considerably over the last few decades - from the introduction of same-sex marriage, to a marked increase in the number of mixed-race couples, or a rising tide of flatsharing and young adults moving back in with their parents.

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  • Posted on 31 December 2018 by Luca Tiratelli, Press Assistant

    NatCen 2018: A year in review

    Day to day, week to week, the National Centre for Social Research does so much work across so many areas that keeping track of it all is almost a full-time job in itself. In 2018, we have worked on 266 projects across all our research teams. 667 people have signed up for our events, and we’ve appeared in the pages and on the websites of the national press over 750 times.  

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  • Posted on 24 December 2018 by Alex Scholes, Researcher

    Public attitudes to Brexit in 2018

    2018 has been a tumultuous year for the politics of Brexit but a remarkably stable one for public attitudes towards it. Indeed, despite a series of key political developments over the past 12 months, there remains little evidence that the balance of opinion on whether Britain should remain in or leave the EU has shifted significantly.  

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  • Posted on 19 December 2018 by Robert Wishart, Senior Researcher

    Understanding house prices at a local level

    Recent slowdowns in house price growth, coupled with the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, warning that house prices could fall by as much as 35% in the three years following Brexit, may leave many homeowners with a distinct feeling of unease. Yet renters, many of whom may see this as their best chance of getting onto the housing ladder, still face significant barriers.

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  • Posted on 17 December 2018 by Franziska Marcheselli, Researcher

    England's first estimates of body dysmorphic disorder prevalence in children and young people

    Franziska Marcheselli
    More than one in twenty girls aged 17 to 19 may have a body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), according to findings from the latest Mental Health of Children and Young People survey. The anxiety disorder, defined as being preoccupied with an aspect of personal appearance hugely out of proportion of any actual defect, can be debilitating and distressing, and has only recently gained recognition in the UK.

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