Children experience great change as they progress from infancy to adolescence to adulthood: physical, emotional, psychological and social.  Children must negotiate new social contexts (schools, workplace, public space), as well as their own development.  The research in this theme explores the developments taking place during childhood and adolescence; how psychological and social processes intersect over time to shape children’s outcomes and experiences; how transitions are managed and negotiated.
  • Physical, psychological and emotional development
  • The relevance and impact of social processes on children’s development, and on their experiences and outcomes
  • Negotiating transitions between educational institutions
  • Children leaving state care
  • Adolescence and transitions to adulthood

Example of activity

Student transitions

For over seven years now, geographers at Newcastle have been conducting collaborative research about the transitions to, through, and from university for local and non-traditional students. We are interested in how these transitions are negotiated by students as well as how practical changes can be made to learning, teaching and induction processes to improve how these transitions are experienced. We are also interested in students’ experiences of the academic transition between A-level and degree level geography and advise A-level exam boards and the A-level Content Advisory Board for geography (ALCAB) about the process of A-level reform. Our website is

Polish youth mobility and transitions in Scotland and Poland

This ESRC doctoral research project explored the relationship between mobility and youth transitions through a focus on the experiences of young Polish migrants living in Scotland and return migrants in Poland. Following Poland's entry to the European Union in 2004 there has been significant out-migration from Poland to Scotland, particularly among young people searching for better opportunities for work and study. This thesis investigated how young people, who stayed and returned, have negotiated socio-spatial mobility alongside the personal transitions of youth. In particular the research analysed the effect of mobility on young people's self-perception and ways in which their experience of family and community life has been shaped by mobility.