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ELF Study (East London Family)

Associated Research:  Patient and Population Orientated Research

The ELF (East London Family) study is an evolution of the East London Oral Health Inequality (ELOHI) Study, and a major two generation cross-sectional study in the UK. It included a representative sample of families living in Waltham Forest, Redbridge, and Barking and Dagenham in 2008-10 in order to investigate the importance of family functioning for oral health. The aims of the ELF Study included to elucidate the role of family functioning on determining oral health behaviour and oral health status, and to assess whether good family functioning is a protective factor against the detrimental effects of living in a socially deprived area.

Families were conceptualized as dynamic systems of family members who interact with one another, aiming to adjust to the developmental needs and maintenance of its members (Kazak, 1997; Whitchurch & Constantine, 1993). The family system comprised dyadic subsystems, such as parent-child, partner-partner and sibling-sibling relationships. A functioning family refers to a family that is able to manage daily life and resolve problems in the context of warm and affective family interactions, through clear communication, well-defined roles, and flexible behaviour control.

Research Programme Status: Active


The ELF Study included all families as defined above that participate in the  ELOHI Study. Participants completed an additional structured questionnaire in their own homes.  The self-complete questionnaire included the Family Assessment Device (Epstein et al., 1981; Epstein et al., 2005).Trained interviewers administered the questionnaires to adult participants in the ELOHI study that had a family (single parents, nuclear and reconstituted families).

Key Publications

Budi Aslinie Md Sabri (2012). Family functioning and chronic periodontitis among adults in Outer North East London [PDF 3,641KB]. PhD thesis.

Sucharita Nanjappa (2012).Family functioning and frequency of sugar consumption by three and four year old children in Outer North East London [PDF 218KB]. PhD thesis.


Professor Wagner Marcenes


Professor Marcenes
Professor in Oral Epidemiology
+44 (0)20 7882 8650

Centre for Clinical & Diagnostic Oral Sciences
5th Floor, Institute of Dentistry
Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry
Turner Street
E1 2AD

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