Understanding young people’s experiences of racially motivated appearance-focused (RMAF) bullying

Shioma-Lei Craythorne - black and white image

Dr Shioma-Lei Craythorne, Lead Researcher and Research Fellow, Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment, Aston University

In 2019, the NSPCC reported that incidents of racial abuse and bullying of children had risen by a fifth within four years. They described children using cosmetics to whiten their skin and change their physical appearance in an attempt to protect themselves from being racially bullied.

Dr Craythorne’s RMAF Bullying project has three main objectives:

  • To explore what the current literature tells us about the implications of racial bullying and bullying that focuses specifically on appearance.

  • To understand what young people believe to be important ethical considerations when conducting research on highly sensitive topics such as RMAF bullying.

  • To understand how young people aged 11-16 make sense of racially motivated appearance-focused (RMAF) bullying, and the impact it has on their mental health and wellbeing.

In this project, an exploratory approach to investigating the young people’s experiences will be undertaken, combining Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and creative methods to enable a focus on understanding individual experience. This will support the involvement of young people at all stages of the research.