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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I am a Developmental Psychologist with specialist experience in the areas of infant and adolescent development. I have a number of aeas of expertise which include (i) the nature, and construction, of childhood (ii) cultural influences on childhood experiences (iii) adolescent trantistions (iv) early work experiences and (v) the relatiopnship between learning experiences and school environments.

I have extensive experience of project management having been the principal investigator on a number of externally funded projects. Research experience includes quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

I am a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Current research activities

At present I am working in two main areas. First, adolescent transitions into employment with a particular focus on 'child employment', sometimes referred to as 'child labour'. This research has focused on evaluating the potential costs and benefits of early work experience, exploring the school-work relationship and evaluating the policy and practice surrounding the regulation of child employment. This work has been been carried out with colleagues in the Child Employment Research Group.

The second area of work concentrates on evalutaing the impact of the school environment on student and staff experiences. This work focuses on a large scale longitudinal study of the impact of new secondary school buildings on student and staff experiences.



Desired research direction

With respect to both areas of current research work the goal is to inform and influence educational professionals and policy makers. In the area of child employment this relates to the need to review the nature of the school-work relationship and to update child employment legislation to reflect contemporary childhood.

In the context of the educational environment research the goal is to encourage systematic evlauations of the impact of new educational environments on student learning and teaching practices.

Target collaborative organisations

Local and National government

NGO's interested in childhood issues

Trade Unions

National Network of Children in Employment and Entertainment

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where James McKechnie is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
school Social Sciences
young worker Social Sciences
student Social Sciences
part-time work Social Sciences
legislation Social Sciences
employee Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
worker's child Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2003 2018

Academic skills for psychology: a pre-entry course

Hendry, G., Brodie, Z., Wilson, C., Flynn, R. & McKechnie, J., 6 Jun 2018, p. 18-19. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation

education statistics
video clip
2 Citations (Scopus)
111 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Self Efficacy
Social Theory
Social Support
32 Downloads (Pure)

Learning in work: perceptions from working teenagers

Simpson, A., McKechnie, J. & Hobbs, S., 5 Jun 2018, In : Journal of Education and Work. 31, 4, p. 433-446 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
age group
part-time work
learning environment


earning a doctorate
statistical analysis
young worker
work permit
learning environment