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Free Content Tracking the development of children from foetal age: an introduction to Cohort ’18 Growing Up in Hungary

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Cohort ’18 Growing Up in Hungary is a longitudinal birth cohort study run by the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute that will follow the lives of more than 8,000 children from before birth. The purpose of this countrywide representative study is to provide an overview of child development in Hungary and the factors influencing it. The main areas of data collection comprise demographics, social background, health and development. The observation began in 2018, among pregnant women in the 28th to 31st week of pregnancy. Within the first financially covered period of the research programme, this prenatal wave is followed by four further data collection waves: when the child is 6 months, 18 months, 27–30 months and 3 years old. During each of the waves, mothers, as primary caregivers, are interviewed either face to face or by telephone. There is also a computer-assisted telephone interview with the father, when the child is 18 months old. The primary data collection is supplemented by the integration of data from administrative systems. So far, two waves of Cohort ’18 have taken place (prenatal and six-month). The first resulted in a database of 8,287 pregnant women (8,409 foetuses). Following the next waves (which will cover children up to the age of three years), plans are in hand for further financial periods of the research programme – right up until the children are grown up. This study profile introduces readers to Cohort ’18 by providing a brief overview of its origins, objectives, design and potential.
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Keywords: Hungary; child development; life-course approach; longitudinal birth cohort study

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, Hungary

Publication date: October 2020

This article was made available online on June 15, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Tracking the development of children from foetal age: an introduction to Cohort ’18 Growing Up in Hungary".

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  • Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (LLCS) is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the needs of researchers studying the life course and using longitudinal methods at the interfaces of social, developmental and health sciences. It fosters cross-disciplinary and international endeavours and promotes the creation and exploitation of longitudinal data resources as well as their application to policy issues. As the journal of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS) it provides an opportunity for scholars at all stages of their careers to publish work crossing disciplinary boundaries which is often beyond the scope of more conventional, single-field journals.

    Longitudinal research involves the follow up of individuals, households, communities or other groups over time. Life course study focuses on the influences that shape holistic pathways from conception to adult life and old age. LLCS brings together the broad range of specialist interests in an international, multi-disciplinary, multi-method framework.

    The Editors welcome submissions which report on research or methodological development, in one or more of these fields and from a spectrum of disciplinary approaches: sociological (quantitative and qualitative), demographic, economic, geographic, historical, psychological and behavioural, epidemiological and statistical. Typically papers deal with individual data in several domains (for example physical or mental health, education, housing, employment) as they change over time, and set in their life course and policy context. International comparisons are encouraged within papers and can be made between them.

    In addition to carrying research articles, the Journal specialises in publishing study profiles introducing particular longitudinal studies to scientific and policy users and the designers and managers of other studies It explores new forms of longitudinal data collection, including the exploitation of administrative sources. Occasionally, it also publishes edited debates and invited pieces about the research-policy interface, keynote addresses at SLLS conferences, and reviews of books of special relevance to our readership. The Editors seek to ensure that all research reporting is accessible to the journal's multi-disciplinary readership and encourage comparisons and collaborations between countries and studies. We are especially eager to showcase findings from parts of the world where longitudinal studies are increasingly being established, such as East Asia, Africa and South America. LLCS strives to maintain the highest quality in accepted papers through double-blind peer review, drawing on an international as well as interdisciplinary network of editors and reviewers.

    Back issues of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies are available via the PKP Platform.

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