Childhood mental health trajectories and lifetime consequences: a cross-cohort programme of work

Background

Drawing on data from all four of our cohort studies, this project examined young people’s mental health trajectories today in the context of previous generations. The project was part of the Cross Cohort Research Programme.

Research details

Project title

Childhood mental health trajectories and lifetime consequences: a cross-cohort programme of work

Project lead

Alissa Goodman

Themes

Mental health and wellbeing

Dates

1 January 2016 – December 2018

Funder

ESRC

Summary

Policy circles and a range of disciplines increasingly recognise that childhood mental health shapes later outcomes across all important life domains including health, partnerships, employment, and incomes.

This project examined young people’s mental health trajectories today in the context of previous generations, using data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS), 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) and Next Steps. 

This cross-cohort comparative project provided new evidence about how the mental health of contemporary children evolves from early childhood onwards through to adolescence. Drawing on the latest data from all four CLS studies, it assessed how these trajectories are shaped. Using the adult cohort studies (NCDS and BCS70), it sheds new light on the long-term adverse effects of mental health problems in childhood, and the factors that may reverse these.

Featured scientific publications

Patalay, P., Fitzsimons, E,. (2018)
Development and predictors of mental ill-health and wellbeing from childhood to adolescence
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
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Patalay P, Moulton V, Goodman A, Ploubidis G B. (2017)
Cross-domain Symptom Development Typologies and Their Antecedents: Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 56(9) pp765-776
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Ploubidis, G., Sullivan, A., Brown, M. and Goodman, A. (2017)
Psychological distress in mid-life: evidence from the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts.
Psychological Medicine 47(2) pp. 291-303.
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Flouri E, Ioakeimidi S, Midouhas E, Ploubidis G B. (2017)
Maternal psychological distress and child decision-making.
Journal of affective disorders. 2017;218:35-40.
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Fitzsimons E, Goodman A, Kelly E, Smith J P. (2017)
Poverty dynamics and parental mental health: Determinants of childhood mental health in the UK.
Social science & medicine (1982). 2017;175:43-51.
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Patalay, P. and Fitzsimons, E. (2016)
Correlates of Mental Illness and Wellbeing in Children: Are They the Same? Results From the UK Millennium Cohort Study.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 55(9), pp. 771-783.
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Researchers

Alissa Goodman Professor of Economics, Director of CLS and Co-Director of the Early Life Cohort Feasibility Study

Phone: 020 7612 6231
Email: alissa.goodman@ucl.ac.uk

Alissa is Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, leading the work of the Centre, with a particular focus on its scientific direction and external engagement. Alissa is also Co-Director of the new Early Life Cohort Feasibility Study, with overall responsibility for its scientific design and delivery, and is on the leadership team of the new Children of the 2020s Study.

Alissa is an economist whose main research interests relate to inequality, poverty, education policy, and the intergenerational transmission of income and well-being. In her previous employment, she served as deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Emla Fitzsimons Professor of Economics and Director of the Millennium Cohort Study

Phone: 020 7331 5129
Email: E.Fitzsimons@ucl.ac.uk

Emla is the Director of the UK Millennium Cohort Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study following children born at the turn of the new century. Her research is focused on the development of human capital throughout the life course, and in particular how experiences and circumstances in early life and childhood affect causally the acquisition of skills later on.

Praveetha Patalay Associate Professor

Phone: 020 7612 6051
Email: p.patalay@ucl.ac.uk

Praveetha’s main areas of research interest relate to investigating the development and antecedents of mental health (both ill-health and wellbeing) and their consequences through the lifecourse.

George Ploubidis Professor of Population Health and Statistics, Research Director and Principal Investigator of the National Child Development Study and 1970 British Cohort Study

Phone: 020 7612 6107
Email: g.ploubidis@ucl.ac.uk

George is Professor of Population Health and Statistics at the UCL Social Research Institute and currently holds the posts of Research Director and Principal Investigator of the National Child Development Study and 1970 British Cohort Study at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies. Prior to joining UCL he held posts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Cambridge. George is a multidisciplinary quantitative social scientist and a longitudinal population surveys methodologist. His main research interests relate to socioeconomic and demographic determinants of health over the life course and the mechanisms that underlie generational differences in health and mortality. His methodological work in longitudinal surveys focusses on applications for handling missing data, causal inference and measurement error.

Relevant studies

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Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

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London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsfeedback@ucl.ac.uk