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John Ratcliffe

Dr John Ratcliffe



I am a researcher in the Centre for Loneliness Studies. I have a key role in producing research papers, and in organising a reading group and seminar series on loneliness. I completed a PhD about masculinities and loneliness at the University of York in October 2022. I worked for Care-connect at the University of Sheffield 2016-2018, where I took part in research projects on loneliness for Age UK and British Red Cross, and a project on fabricated or induced illness for the NHS. 


I started as a researcher for the Centre for Loneliness Studies in October 2022. In this role, I am producing research papers from numerous data collected by 'Ageing Better', a nationwide set of interventions to tackle loneliness in older people. I am also assisting in the formation of a monthly reading group for SHU staff and students, and a seminar series for academics and external stakeholders.

I studied for a PhD in Health Sciences at the University of York 2018-2022, using mixed methods to investigate the impact of gender on men's constructions and experiences of loneliness. I was a teaching assistant in statistics and taught on a course for prospective Undergraduate students from less represented backgrounds. I attained my Ba in Sociology and Ma in Social Research from the University of Sheffield, where I also worked part-time for Care-connect. In that role, I took part in research projects on loneliness for Age UK and British Red Cross, and a project on fabricated or induced illness for the NHS. I also worked in social care for many years.

I am particularly interested in conceptualisations of loneliness, the social construction of loneliness, risk-factors for loneliness, and masculinities. I conduct research informed by interdisciplinary perspectives, including the use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches.




College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences

Subject area:

Centre for Loneliness Studies 



 - Ratcliffe, J., Wigfield, A. and Alden, S., 2021. ‘A lonely old man’: empirical investigations of older men and loneliness, and the ramifications for policy and practice. Ageing & Society, 41(4), pp.794-814.
 - Ratcliffe, J., Kanaan, M. and Galdas, P., 2022. Men and loneliness in the Covid‐19 pandemic: Insights from an interview study with UK‐based men. Health & Social Care in the Community.
 - Ratcliffe, J., Gray, J., Bools, C., Wilson, R., Wigfield, A. and Mason, W., 2020. Safeguarding children when fabricated or induced illness is suspected or proven: Reviewing the experiences of Local Safeguarding Children Boards in England. Child Abuse Review, 29(6), pp.559-573.


 - Typologies of Loneliness, National Lottery Community Fund, 2018-current (with Universities of Kent and UWE).
 - Understanding barriers faced by BAME community members in accessing loneliness services, 2018-19, British Red Cross and Co-op (qualitative researcher for Oldham).
 - Safeguarding Children from Fabricated and Induced illness in England: A Review of the Experiences of Local Safeguarding Children (with Kingston Hospital).
 - The Integrated Care Programme Pilot: An Interim Report (with Age UK Sheffield, 2016).


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