Professor Morag Treanor


Morag Treanor is Professor of Child and Family Inequalities and the deputy director of I-SPHERE. Morag was previously Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling, and lecturer in Quantitative Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh and has a range of cross sector employment and consultancy experience.

Morag is a Co-Investigator and Associate Director of the ESRC-funded Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR – formerly the Administrative Data Research Centre – Scotland). She is co-lead on a Strategic Impact Programme to link and analyse children’s data, funded until 2021, working in collaboration with policy colleagues at the Scottish Government.

The primary focus of Morag’s work is child and poverty – its measurement, causes, consequences, mitigation and prevention. Morag’s current research uses birth cohort data, mainly the Growing Up in Scotland study, to explore the impacts of longitudinal poverty and persistently low and high incomes on children’s cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural developmental outcomes and educational transitions. Her research is also concerned with the impact of family, peer and social relations on child wellbeing. Her work spans academic research and publications, applied social research for public and voluntary bodies and statistical analysis of large-scale datasets, especially Scottish and UK birth cohort studies. Methodologically, Morag uses longitudinal quantitative and qualitative techniques to understand and explore the effects of socioeconomic inequalities on children and families across time.

Since 2013, Morag has been conducting longitudinal qualitative research with families affected by welfare reform with the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland called the Early Warning System. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland. This co-produced qualitative research has led to high impact work with local authorities and community planning partnerships on preventing and mitigating child poverty at the local level, and with the Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) on the costs of the school day and children’s participation and experience within schools and education for those on a low income. The EIS and CPAG produced a short film on the costs of the school day in collaboration with Morag called School Costs. She was also an advisor to NHS Health Scotland on child poverty, helping to develop poverty-related materials for use in the initial education of healthcare workers across the whole of Scotland via an online module:

Research Interests

  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Children and young people’s wellbeing
  • Impacts of family, peer and social relationships on children’s wellbeing
  • Children and young people’s developmental outcomes
  • Children and young people’s educational, social and personal transitions
  • Adolescent risk and poverty
  • Adversity in childhood
  • Lone parenthood
  • Methodological – longitudinal qualitative and quantitative methods; administrative data; birth cohort data; and poverty concepts and measures

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)131 451 8358

School Profile:
Research Profile:
Morag’s blog site

Research Output