INRICH Member Profile Card

Nicholas Spencer

Nicholas Spencer

School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick

Nick Spencer trained as a paediatrician and held the first UK post as a social paediatrician working across the hospital/community divide. In 1990 he was appointed Professor of Community Child Health at the University of Warwick and Consultant Community Paediatrician in Coventry. In addition to clinical and managerial responsibilities in Coventry, he was responsible for leading the development of the Warwick Masters (MSc) course in Community Child Health and developing a research programme in the social determinants of child health. He was national chair of the British Association for Community Child Health and a member of the Advocacy committee of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Following retirement in 2003, he has continued to pursue his research interests with colleagues at the University of Warwick and the University of Montreal. He is the founder, along with Louise Seguin, of INRICH.

Type of member: Regular (since 2008)

Telephone: +44 (0) 1926 424414

Email Address:

Mailing Address: 86 Leicester Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 4TB, UK

Current research interests
Nick Spencer (UK) has a longstanding interest in the social determinants of child health with a particular focus on poverty and child health. He has published widely on social inequities in child health including 'Poverty and Child Health' - the main English language book focusing on this key aspect of the social determinants of health. His recent work has focused on the social determinants of birth weight and chronic illness/disability in childhood.

Research priorities
Pathways and mechanisms: Cumulative and additive social risk exposures (e.g. transient v. persistent poverty). Social into the biological and epigenetic. Intergenerational influences. | Methodological issues: Methods for examining change over time including longitudinal effects studies. Need to study social gradients as well as poverty.

Selected publications

Spencer, N. J., Blackburn, C. M., & Read, J. M. (2015). Disabling chronic conditions in childhood and socioeconomic disadvantage: a systematic review and meta-analyses of observational studies. BMJ Open, 5(9). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007062 – Full Text PDF

Spencer, N. (2008). European Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ESSOP) Position Statement: Social inequalities in child health - towards equity and social justice in child health outcomes. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34(5), 631-634. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2008.00826.x

Spencer, N. (2005). Maternal education, lone parenthood, material hardship, maternal smoking, and longstanding respiratory problems in childhood: testing a hierarchical conceptual framework. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 59(10), 842-846. doi:10.1136/jech.2005.036301

Sundrum, R., Wallace, A., & Spencer, N. J. (2005). Cerebral palsy and socioeconomic status: a retrospective cohort study. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 90(1), 15-18. doi:10.1136/adc.2002.018937

Spencer, N. (2004). The effect of income inequality and macro-level social policy on infant mortality and low birthweight in developed countries - a preliminary systematic review. Child: Care, Health and Development, 30(6), 699-709. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2004.00485.x

Spencer, N. (2001). Poverty and child health. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press.

profile updated: 06/13/2017