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Minister Reilly launches the second phase of Growing Up in Ireland, the National Longitudinal Study of Children, 2015-2019

Dr. James Reilly, T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, will officially launch Growing Up in Ireland: the National Longitudinal Study of Children, Phase 2, 2015-2019. 

Following Government approval and an open procurement process in 2014, Minister Reilly is delighted to confirm that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will continue to fund and oversee this important Study over the period 2015 to 2019, in association with the Central Statistics Office and the Department of Social Protection. The second phase of the Study will be implemented by a team of researchers led by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Trinity College Dublin.

Minister Reilly stated: “I am delighted to announce that this Government will continue to invest in Ireland’s research and data infrastructure in relation to children through the Growing Up in Ireland Study. This valuable Study serves to enhance our knowledge of child development and supports evidence based policy-making and practice to help improve the lives of children and their families. It is a unique source of data on children’s lives and will continue to be used for research and policy purposes for decades to come”.  

The purpose of the Growing Up in Ireland Study is to study the factors that contribute to or undermine the well-being of children in contemporary Irish families, and through this, to contribute to the setting of effective and responsive policies relating to children and to the design of services for children and families.

Growing Up in Ireland follows the lives of two groups of children and monitors their development over time. The ‘infant’ cohort of over 11,000 children was recruited at 9 months, and the ‘child’ cohort of over 8,500 children was recruited at 9 years.  Over the period of 2006 to 2014, information was collected from the ‘infant’ cohort at 9 months, 3 years and 5 years, and from the ‘child’ cohort at 9 years and 13 years’. 

The second phase of the Study will cover the period of 2015-2019 and collect information from the ‘infant’ cohort at 9 years and the ‘child’ cohort at 17 years and 20 years. A smaller data collection for the infant cohort at 7 years will also be undertaken. 

Growing Up in Ireland is the first nationally representative longitudinal study of children in Ireland. The importance and value of longitudinal cohort studies is recognised internationally. Similar large-scale studies to Growing Up in Ireland have been undertaken in many countries, including the UK, Australia, the US, Canada and New Zealand. Like other similar studies, Growing Up in Ireland has many policy applications, providing data on many aspects of the lives of children and their families. 

The Minister thanked the children and families that participated in the Study for their on-going commitment: “This Study would not be possible if it were not for the continued contribution from children and their families. Through volunteering their time and personal information, these families play an invaluable role in in supporting evidence-based policy the enhancement of Irish children’s lives”.