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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.

Key messages
  • Cohort ’18 Growing Up in Hungary is a longitudinal birth cohort study.

  • The observation began in 2018, among pregnant women.

  • The main areas of data collection comprise demographics, social background, health and development.

  • 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

Affiliations: Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, Hungary

Appeared or available online: June 15, 2020

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