Media Release for the first major report on the lives of children In Ireland, ESRI, Dublin.
In-Depth Findings Released on the Health, Education and Social and Emotional Well-Being of 8,500 Nine-Year-Olds Monday 7th December 2009 – The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Mr. Barry Andrews T.D., today launched the first major report from Growing Up in Ireland, the national longitudinal study of children tracking the lives of over 8,500 nine-year-olds. The report was launched at the Study’s inaugural research conference held in Dublin Castle. “Growing Up in Ireland – The Lives of 9-Year-Olds” provides a comprehensive picture of how children are faring across a range of key areas in their lives including their health, education, social, emotional and behavioural status. In general, the report shows that children in Ireland are doing well in these areas. It does, however, highlight particular concerns in the three important areas of: (i) weight/obesity; (ii) inequalities related to socio-economic status and (iii) prevalence and nature of bullying. The 150-page report, the first in a series, draws on findings from the first wave of in-depth interviews with 8,500 nine-year-olds and their families, teachers, school principals and other significant carers. (A full download of the report and the executive summary can be found at http://www.growingup.ie/index.php?id=62.) Speakers at today’s conference discussed the study’s findings and explored its research and policy potential. Along with Irish experts speakers included the internationally renowned:
Key Findings from the report include:
The Growing Up in Ireland project is a Government funded study following the progress of almost 20,000 children – a Child Cohort of 8,500 nine-year-olds and an Infant Cohort of 11,000 nine-month-olds. The study is being conducted by a consortium of researchers led by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Trinity College Dublin. Today’s report is one of a series of 20 research reports which will be produced on both the Child and Infant cohorts over the next three years. The data on which this first report is based will be lodged by the end of the year in the national data archive, the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) for other researchers to access and analyse. Speaking at the launch of the report the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Mr Barry Andrews T.D. said: ‘Already we can see how Growing Up in Ireland has the potential to assist in developing policies that will improve the lives of children in Ireland and I am confident that this first publication from the cohort of nine-year old children will prove to be of enormous benefit to both policy makers and practitioners’. Also speaking today, Prof. James Williams, Research Professor, ESRI and Principal Investigator and Co-Director, Growing Up in Ireland, said: “It is important to note that this is the first in a series of reports on the Child Cohort and that we will be returning to these same children when they are 13-years-old. As data from subsequent rounds of the study becomes available they will allow a full analysis of the development of child outcomes and the preliminary analysis presented in today’s report will be built upon. By providing this evidence-base of research and insights into children and childhood, the Study will inform and contribute to the setting of responsive policies and the design of services for children and their families.” Thanking all those who have contributed to the study to date, Prof. Sheila Greene, Director of the Children’s Research Centre, TCD and Co-Director, Growing Up in Ireland, said: “Growing Up in Ireland has benefited greatly from the help and assistance of a very large number of people, groups and organisations. We are extremely grateful to all of them. We are deeply indebted to all the principals, teachers and administrative staff in the schools which participated in the study and appreciate that Growing Up in Ireland added considerably to their already very heavy workload. The biggest word of thanks goes, of course, to the 8,570 nine-year-olds and their families who participated in the study, initially in their schools and subsequently in their homes. Growing Up in Ireland would not have been possible without the time and assistance which t! hey so readily and generously provided to us.” Further details on the conference and the Growing Up in Ireland study can be found at www.growingup.ie ENDS/
For Further Information please contact: Jillian Heffernan, Communications Officer, Growing Up in Ireland, 01 896 3378, or Mobile: 087 9016880.
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.