MMU’s europe-wide study of young people’s well-being

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) researchers are leading the design of a survey for young people’s well-being. The survey will be the first Europe-wide project to track the well-being of children as they grow up.

The European Cohort Development Project (ECDP) will establish the design of a European survey called EuroCohort.

EuroCohort is for children and young people from birth until the age of 25. It aims to provide data to aid policymakers across Europe to make better decisions to secure their well-being.

Funded by the European Commission, the project has been awarded over 2 million Euros. It will gather data needed to address complex social problems with negative effects on child and adolescent well-being.

According to the OECD publication ‘How’s Life’ (2015) there is a need for “longitudinal and purpose-built surveys of child well-being”. These surveys aim to fully understand how it is that a variety of policies influence different groups of children. At different points in their lives.  Without such data, policies will be ill-informed and less likely to be able to make a real difference.

Once in operation, the survey will gather large amounts of data on measures such as stress at school and happiness in the home. A comparison across European countries will strengthen the understanding of how context and policy influence such measures.

Professor Gary Pollock, Head of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University and lead researcher said: “The European Cohort Development project is a first as it is building towards a pan-European, longitudinal survey of child health and well-being.

“The aim is to arrive at a research framework that is scientifically robust enough for policymakers to take forward.”

The next year and a half of the project is focussed on setting up the survey. The project holds its initial meeting in Manchester in January. Here, partners from 12 European countries will begin work to develop the research design and the data collection instruments.

Representatives from UNICEF are also closely involved with the project and are keen to support the initiative to develop a Europe wide cohort survey.

TNT Education

Photo Credit: Cade Martin

 

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