Florence Gaughan

Department of Sociological Studies

PhD student


Full contact details

Florence Gaughan
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

I came to the University of Sheffield from an access course background as a mature student to study Sociology at undergraduate level, achieving first class honours in 2017. During my studies, I took part in the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). This led to my project on infant feeding choice to be selected to represent the University of Sheffield at the Posters in Parliament event in 2017. At Westminster I presented my work to MPs, academics, and other students. After a year of maternity leave I came back to the University of Sheffield as a research associate for the Centre for Loneliness Studies. I assisted with a number of projects on loneliness among marginalised groups, contributing to the Barriers to Belonging report commissioned by the Co Operative Foundation and British Red Cross. Having completed the MA social research course as part of the ESRC funded 1+3 studentship programme, I am now continuing in this vein of research, focusing on loneliness among young mothers in Yorkshire.

  • BA Sociology;
  • MA Social Research.
Research interests

Research interests:

  • Motherhood;
  • Female identities;
  • Family relationships;
  • Health and well-being within communities.

Thesis title: ‘Lonely but Never Alone: a qualitative exploration of parenthood and loneliness among young mothers’.

In a context of young motherhood as a marginalised concept, my PhD study aims explore how young women (under the age of 25) experience the transition from young woman to mother, and how this may impact upon personal identities, quality of relationships, and ultimately feelings of social embeddedness. I will study the theme of loneliness as a key well-being concern in modern society that affects young mothers in unique ways.

Research group