First study of its kind uses Growing Up in Ireland data to provide a comprehensive overview of factors influencing child wellbeing
Today, the ESRI published the first comprehensive analysis of inequalities among children in modern Ireland. For the first time, significant findings from 10 years of the pioneering Growing Up in Ireland study have been assembled to provide an authoritative description of how factors such as education, family and health in 21st Century Ireland influence children’s outcomes.
The groundbreaking findings from the first longitudinal profile of children in Ireland provide insights into critical points in child development, allowing the authors of the book to investigate if the words in the 1916 Proclamation of Independence, resolving to “…cherish all of the children of the nation equally”, have been realised 100 years on from the Easter Rising.
The book finds that despite many improvements in education, health and socio-emotional outcomes in the last century, children’s wellbeing in contemporary Ireland is largely shaped by parental circumstances and social position, resulting in persistent inequalities. The findings in the book point to implications for public policy that could support families most in need and help children to reach their potential regardless of family circumstances, health or ethnic background.
Changing family models
Inequalities on School Entry
Integration of Migrant Children
Various measures of social inequality in health outcomes are illustrated in the book:
The Recession and economic vulnerability
James Williams, Research Professor at the ESRI and one of the co-editors of the book, commented “While we have undoubtedly made huge strides in terms of how we think about and treat children in Ireland, the book presents evidence concluding that we have not lived up to the Proclamation’s resolution to cherish all of the children of the nation equally. Despite the changing nature of inequality over time, children’s future prospects continue to be shaped by family circumstances. Measures existing to help children flourish must be cognisant of the powerful impact of the home environment on child wellbeing and development.”
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.