What works for wellbeing cross-cutting capabilities evidence programme


Research using longitudinal data is able to provide invaluable insights into how as a society we can work together to improve our quality of life. This research project included an analysis of how wellbeing and mental health have changed across generations and an analysis of how national and local policies contribute to child wellbeing.

Research details

Project title

What works for wellbeing cross-cutting capabilities evidence programme

Project lead

Alissa Goodman


Mental health and wellbeing


June 2015 – June 2018




The Centre for Longitudinal Studies forms part of the What Works for WellBeing Cross-Cutting Capabilities evidence programme, led by Professor Richard Layard (LSE). CLS’s contribution is led by Professor Alissa Goodman.

This project included:

  • an analysis of how wellbeing and mental health have changed across generations,
  • an analysis of how policies and events taking place at a national and local level contribute to child wellbeing, using new data from the Millennium Cohort Study at age 14, and
  • the collection of wellbeing measures as part of forthcoming data collection for the pilot of an early years parenting programme in Peterborough (Autumn 2018)

As part of this project, we hosted a workshop on using the CLS and other birth cohort studies for the analysis of wellbeing.



Poor mental health is more prevalent among teenage girls from poorer backgrounds, new findings show

19 May 2018 New findings published by CLS during Mental Health Awareness Week have revealed how teenage girls from less well-off families are more likely to experience mental ill-health than their better-off peers.

One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

29 September 2017 New research using the Millennium Cohort Study shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

Introduction to the 1958 and 1970 British Cohort Study

This webinar introduced the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study to both first-time and more experienced users. It focused particularly on wellbeing measures available in each study. A recording of the webinar is available to view on the event page.

Wellbeing over the life course: Learning from the British cohort studies

In partnership with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) hosted a one-day workshop exploring the ways in which data sourced from longitudinal birth cohort studies can be used to inform wellbeing research.


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

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsfeedback@ucl.ac.uk