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“Growing Up in Europe“: Insights into the development of the first trans-European panel study on the adolescence of children and teenagers

12/10/2019

How are children and adolescents doing in Europe? How do they perceive their living conditions and how do they look at education and health in different countries? The first trans-European longitudinal study will explore these questions from the perspective of adolescents. Prof. Dr. Gary Pollock of Manchester Metropolitan University presented the progress of the project at the LIfBi Lectures.

Prof. Dr. Gary Pollock presents the concept of EuroCohort at the LIfBi Lectures. 

Growing Up in Europe is the title of a planned panel study on growing up and the well-being of children and adolescents in Europe. Under the leadership of Gary Pollock (Manchester Metropolitan University), scientists from 13 European countries are currently developing the research infrastructure for Europe's first comparative birth cohort survey. The project, also known as EuroCohort, aims to close a gap in European comparative studies. There are already studies that enable a comparison of countries in Europe such as the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), which starts with young adults, and SHARE the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe, which deals with the population aged 50+. However, the perspective of children and teenagers has not yet been considered.

Pollock gave exciting insights into the research design and development of the survey instruments at the LIfBi. When designing the questionnaire, not only existing studies and the interests of science and politics should be taken into consideration, but also input from children and teenagers. This child-centered approach is also reflected in the selection of respondents. EuroCohort plans to initially follow two cohorts over a period of 25 years. The first cohort is expected to survey eight-year-olds and their parents from 2022 onwards, while the second cohort will accompany newborns aged nine months and their parents from 2024 onwards. According to Pollock, the initial sample sizes are approx. 8,000-10,000 respondents per country (or 4,000-5,000 for smaller countries) in order to maintain a sufficient number of respondents in later survey waves.

Gary Pollock highlighted in his lecture the relevance for educational and social policy in Europe: "Since EuroCohort is conducting two surveys simultaneously, it will be possible to compare birth cohorts at the beginning of the study". Thus, the planning of the study funded by the EU under the framework program "Horizon 2020" is strongly based on the multicohort sequence design of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). It remains exciting to see which points of contact and cooperation possibilities there might be beyond this.

Presentation by Gary Pollock (PDF)