Why the UK has some of the most unhappy, unhealthy, fat, alcoholic, pregnant and generally miserable teens in Europe.

On Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 Professor Tanya Byron will address this question during afree public lecture, delivered to celebrate her becoming a Professor at Edge Hill University.

Her lecture will address the growing issue of ephebiphobia, the fear of young people and how it is not UK kids that are the problem, but the way that UK society judges them. She will examine how difficult it is for young people to have aspirations, when they are constantly being told how bad they are. In the words of The Who – The Kids are Alright.

Professor Tanya Byron said: “Social observers since as far back as Plato have complained about young people just being young people, describing them as disrespectful and wasting time. Today in the media we hear phrases like ‘broken Britain and ‘toxic childhood’ being used almost daily and it is this attitude towards youth that makes attaining their aspirations an impossible dream.

“As a society, we make it very difficult for young people to just be young people. We appear to feel threatened by a phase in life that is all about challenging and identity formation.

“I feel that education has a key role to play in addressing and ensuring the change in society’s attitude towards young people.”

The lecture will explore Edge Hill University, of which Professor Byron is the Chancellor, as an example of an institution that challenges social negativity towards young people.

Here, Professor Byron discusses where her lecture topic came from, what ephebephobia is and how Edge Hill University challenges negative stereotypes.

Professor Tanya Byron is a clinical psychologist, broadcaster and Government advisor and became Edge Hill University’s Chancellor in 2008. After starting her career in the NHS, Professor Byron went on to work in television series such as House of Tiny Tearaways and Teen Angels.

The lecture will be delivered in the £14 million state-of-the-art Faculty of Health building, situated on the University’s Ormskirk campus. The evening will begin with pre-lecture drinks at 5pm, followed by the lecture at 6pm and with refreshments at 7.15pm.

Professor Byron will be signing copies of her books, several of which will be available to purchase on the night.

Professor Byron’s lecture marks the beginning of Edge Hill University’s spring series of inaugural lectures, as new professors mark their appointment and the University showcases its academic talent.

Please note, all tickets for this lecture have now been allocated.