VAMHN'S ECR BURSARY WINNER murylo batista DISCUSSES tHEiR ATTENDANCE AT a training course on sequence analysis for the social sciences
Have a read below to see what our ECR bursary winner Murylo Batista did with their award money. To find out how you can apply to our ECR Bursary Scheme click here.
Thanks to the VAMHN, on 21-22 January 2022, I was given the opportunity to attend a training on sequence analysis for the social sciences delivered through the National Centre for Research Methods and taught by Professor Nicola Barban from the University of Bologna. Sequence analysis originated in computational biology to study and compare DNA sequences and has been readily adapted by social scientists to study events in the life course. My research questions lie in the application of life course approaches to understanding the dynamics of violence against women and children. VAWC can occur at any age but also vary by age, whereby differences in experiences during early life can be associated with health outcomes in later life.
As an early career demographer working in social services for missing and exploited children, I am interested in how population health sciences could generate new insights for safeguarding strategies that are typically more attuned to individual case work. For example, let us say a child went missing (M) in June and July but was at home (H) for the other months in an annual period. We can use sequence analysis to represent the missing episode like this: HHHHHMMHHHHHH. Then, another child went missing in September through November: HHHHHHHHMMMH. We go on to analyse these patterns using the mathematical properties underlying the positions (first, second, third, etc.…) of both states in the sequence (at home or missing). We can compare the missing trajectories of young people based on individual characteristics, safeguarding concerns, and health outcomes. The NCRM training on sequence analysis demonstrated that applying demography and life course perspectives to violence and abuse can lead us to new research questions for social services.