Trust for the Study of Adolescence

About TSA

TSA was founded in 1989 to help improve the lives of young people and families. Our work is derived from the belief that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about adolescence and young adulthood. We are trying to close this gap through:

• research

• training for professionals and parents, and projects that develop professional practice

• publications for parents, professionals and young people

• influencing policy makers, service providers and public opinion

By concentrating on breaking new ground, we try to avoid duplicating what others are doing. Currently TSA’s main areas of work are communication, emotional well-being, health, parenting and family life, social action and youth justice.

Obesity Prevention in Teenagers

Obesity and weight problems are a big problem for adolescent teenagers in the United Kingdom today. Some go as far to say that there is a childhood obesity crisis in this country. Some statistics indicate that as many as one in four people under the age of sixteen in England is overweight or obese.

We work closely with an organization called Discovery Learning, a subsidiary of Health Hub, to study the causes of adolescent obesity and to educate schools and parents about what they can be doing to prevent from affecting the young people under their care.


TSA has no endowment. All our income is derived either from grants, or from earnings achieved through training and publications. In the five year period 1998-2003 we have been awarded grants from a wide range of organisations and government agencies, including the Children and Families Directorate in the DfES, the Department of Health, the Youth Justice Board, the Cabinet Office, the Health Development Agency, the Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Lankelly Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Joseph RowntreeFoundation, and the Tudor Trust.

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Training and Development

TSA is commited to applying research to practice and to supporting professionals in their work with young people. The Trust does this through project work designed to develop specific aspects of professional practice together with an open programme of conferences and courses. Tailor-made courses are also organised for individual agencies. Current training and development projects include:

a Department of Health funded project to develop practical resources to develop professionals’ skills in communicating with young people. This will result in a ‘toolkit’ that will be published in 2004

a project funded by the Home Office (2002-2004) to develop and evaluate a model of working with young vulnerable fathers in the community
the Self Esteem and Youth Empowerment project (2002-2005) funded by the Pidem fund, is considering young people’s perceptions of self-esteem and setting up a number of projects in which youth participation effects self-esteem.

The Someone to talk to project ‘Talk 2’, a collaboration with Youth Access funded by the National Lottery Community Fund (1998-2001) developed a range of national training programmes for those working with young people. The different target groups included unqualified workers, qualified counsellors and those supervising this work. Training and resource material from this project was published in 2002.

Since 1999 TSA has been carrying out a major piece of work for the Youth Justice Board offering support and consultancy to Youth Offending Teams across the country in respect of their work with parents of young offenders. The programme has included establishing support networks, developing a resource bank for those working in the field, running a variety of training courses, identifying promising practice and writing guidance for the Board on key elements of effective practice.

Previous TSA training and development projects have included work on youth empowerment, mental health and an introductory training programme for all staff working with young offenders.