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Keeping Connected

  • Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.

    Identity, social connection and education for young people living with chronic illness

    School connectedness and retention is an established key to both immediate and long-term health, academic and life outcomes. Young people with significant chronic health conditions often miss schooling and get caught in a spiral of catching up and disconnection from important peer relationships and from school.

    Using a primarily qualitative methodology this study investigates the experiences and perspectives of young people whose schooling is disrupted by chronic illness or long-standing physical trauma resulting from accident. It also investigates the perspectives of parents, health care and education professionals.

    The project brings together a multi-disciplinary team of education and adolescent health researchers, together with industry partners from the Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute. Visual and narrative research methods will help illuminate the educational and social experiences of young people with an ongoing health condition. The study also has a longitudinal framework, and the experiences and perspectives of young people will be elicited through in depth interviews over a three-year period.

    Through examining the professional and institutional processes that support or impede young people's connection to education, the research will build a new foundation for best practice for the professionals and institutions who work with young people in this situation. The research will highlight key considerations for improving the services offered by health and schooling professionals, and provide better knowledge about the processes by which disconnection occurs.

    Journal Articles

    • Lyn Yates (2010) The story they want to tell, and the visual story as evidence: young people, research authority and research purposes in the education and health domains, Visual Studies, 25:3, 280-291, DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2010.523281
    • Marilys Guillemin & Sarah Drew (2010) Questions of process in participant-generated visual methodologies, Visual Studies, 25:2, 175-188, DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2010.502676
    • Ethnography versus Case Study, Julie White, Sarah Drew and Trevor Hay (2009), Qualitative Research Journal, Vol 9, No 1, pp 18-27

    Media Reports



    ARC Linkage Grant


    Keeping Connected, University of Melbourne | website