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A Comparative Longitudinal Survey of Child Well-Being in Europe: Challenges and Solutions

Coordinator 1Professor Gary Pollock (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Coordinator 2Dr Toni Babarovic (Ivo Pilar Institute)
Coordinator 3Dr Britta Busse (University of Bremen)
Coordinator 4Dr Jessica Ozan (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Session Details

Significant child well-being inequalities exist as well as a desire to better support children. Policies must be evidence based – there is a need for high quality data upon which to base an intervention. Longitudinal survey data, collected from birth, allows one to see how individuals change over time and the extent to which experiences early in life are associated with outcomes later in life. It is important to collect such data in order to explore the long-term effects of bullying at school, the enduring effects of living in poverty during childhood, and much more. A comparative longitudinal survey, able to observe processes and policy interventions in different national contexts, is ideal. This session seeks to explore the challenges in developing such a survey. While developmental work has already begun on an accelerated cohort survey design in the European Cohort Development Project (ECDP) - an H2020 Design Study, there remains much to do before data collection for the first cohort begins. The challenges include 1) developing the survey design, from sample selection through to data collection and archiving, 2) gaining national funding for the duration of the study 3) establishing a governance structure to manage the complexities of a comparative longitudinal survey, 4) ensuring that the data platform is highly usable and reaches a broad field of researchers, 5) ensuring that the results will be of use to policy makers at both national and European levels, 6) involving children and young people at all stages of the process, from design through to policy recommendations.

This session brings out the most important methodological developments related to developing a European cohort survey and highlights questions and challenges as well as proposed solutions in creating such a complex survey design.