21-22 Rudolph Field Research Fellow

The Wellness of Children, The Health of All: Tracing Logics of Global Youth Mental Health

Project Abstract

Nascent calls for globally-scalable mental health interventions, specifically tailored to children and adolescents, marks a shift in social consciousness, as youth mental health has been historically marginalized in the field of global health. In this stage of my dissertation research, I explore how intersecting legacies of social, political, and scientific norms shape the way adolescent mental health has emerged as an object of global significance and expertise. I seek to connect these historically-contingent logics with my previous research on contemporary practices, especially those deemed translatable across youth populations. As such, I will focus on archival documents available at the Wellcome Collection in London, UK, which span the underpinnings of global mental health initiatives from the 1940s; I will also engage with members of the Wellcome’s children mental health team. In doing so, I address questions such as: 1) how has young people’s mental health shifted from a marginalized issue to a major source of global concern?, and 2) what are the historical logics that inform dominant practices of care for youth today?



Lauren Beard is a PhD student in the Sociology Department. Her work explores the rise and implications of globally-scalable mental health interventions, especially for youth and young adult populations. Using mixed-methods approaches, her research interests include interdisciplinary insights into health and healing, the social construction of deviance among youth, and global social theory. Prior to starting her PhD, Lauren graduated with Bachelors’ degrees in both Biological Basis of Behavior and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more at their department profile: https://sociology.uchicago.edu/directory/lauren-beard