Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An ethnographic exploration of an adolescent weight management and lifestyle change programme : experiences and perceptions of adolescents, parents, and trainers

Jackson, Francesca Rosemarie


Francesca Rosemarie Jackson


Samantha Nabb


Adolescent obesity is complex yet little attention has been given to this age group. Adolescents experience dramatic biopsychosocial changes that affect their behaviours, attitudes, perceptions, and relationships. This period provides opportunities to shape health enhancing behaviours. For these reasons, it is integral to focus health interventions towards the adolescent age group in order to foster positive health outcomes throughout adolescence and into adulthood.
East Riding Leisure (ERL) was commissioned to deliver a weight management and lifestyle change programme for young people. The aim of this thesis was to conduct an ethnographic exploration of Young Live Well (YLW) in order to gain insight into the experiences and perceptions of clients, parents and trainers.
An ethnographic approach was taken. This involved 12 months of overt observations of clients, parents and trainers during YLW sessions, focus groups and semi- structured interviews with clients, trainers and mothers. Thematic analysis of data gathered was conducted.
Results highlight that the tailored approach of YLW provides clients with the knowledge, provisions and support to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Furthermore, findings cast an interesting light on the effect of adolescent development on YLW experiences. Client success and progress differed as a result of a client’s biopsychosocial development and developmental context. Alongside this, a lack of trainer and parent understanding of a client’s developmental capacity resulted in inappropriate and unsuccessful attempts at support and encouragement.
YLW offers the opportunity for individual healthy lifestyle change. However, the intervention falls in conjunction with biopsychosocial changes that effect a clients’ attitude and ability to manage their YLW journey. It is imperative for trainers and parents to understand a client’s development needs, in order to provide effective support. Acknowledgement of developmental needs and transitions associated with adolescence can facilitate positive lifestyle change that works in conjunction with an adolescent’s transition into adulthood.


Jackson, F. R. (2019). An ethnographic exploration of an adolescent weight management and lifestyle change programme : experiences and perceptions of adolescents, parents, and trainers. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Feb 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Sports science
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sport, Health & Exercise Science, The University of Hull
Award Date Dec 1, 2019


Thesis (8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2019 Jackson, Francesca Rosemarie. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations