Home > Growing Up in Ireland: the lives of 5-year-old. Infant cohort, report 9.

Murray, Aisling and McNamara, Eoin and Williams, James and Smyth, Emer (2019) Growing Up in Ireland: the lives of 5-year-old. Infant cohort, report 9. Dublin: Stationery Office.

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This report is concerned with the younger of the two cohorts in the Growing Up in Ireland study (Cohort ’08). It is based mainly on data collected from this cohort at five years of age in 2013, but also drawing on data collected when the Study Children were aged three and when they were nine months old. Summary findings from this cohort at age nine have been published. This new report provides a further, more indepth description of the circumstances of the children and their families when they were five years old.


At the first wave, 11,134 children aged nine months and their parents participated between September 2008 and March 2009. When the families were interviewed again in 2011, the Study Children were three years old and 9,793 families took part. The home phase took place between March and September 2013 when the Study Children were aged five, followed by data collection from their schools via postal questionnaires completed over winter 2013/14. There were 9,001 Study Children at age five years, representing a 91% response rate from the 9,793 who had been interviewed at age three years; or 81% of the 11,134 respondents who had participated at nine months of age.


The data in this report have been statistically adjusted to account for differential response and attrition rates according to the family’s background characteristics. This is in line with best international practice in sample surveys and ensures that the data are representative of the population under study – in this case five-year-olds resident in Ireland who had also been resident in Ireland at nine months old.


The report contains five chapters of results, beginning with a context-setting discussion of the circumstances of the families in which the five-year-olds live. Chapters 3 to 6 focus on child outcomes in the study’s core domains of health, socio-emotional development (including relationship with parents) and school/cognitive development. The emotional quality of parent-child interactions is an important feature of the child’s microsystem (in the conceptual model). The final chapter (Chapter 7) discusses some of the key findings in light of two key policy documents concerning children: Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children & Young People 2014-2020 (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2014) and First 5: A Whole-of-Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their Families 2019-2028 (Government of Ireland, 2018).

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