GUI Annual Conference 2018

Minister Zappone at the launch of 9 year key findings

Growing Up in Ireland – the National Longitudinal Study of Children, held its tenth annual research conference on Thursday 8th November 2018 in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin’s docklands area.

The conference focused on research based on Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) data, and also included the launch of the latest key findings on the Infant Cohort/Cohort’08 at 9 years by Minister Katherine Zappone.

An updated programme (6/11/18) is available here.  The book of abstracts is also available to download.

The Keynote address at this year’s conference was delivered by Professor Ingrid Schoon who holds the Chair of Human Development and Social Policy at the Institute of Education, University College London, is a Research Professor at the Social Science Centre in Berlin.

She has published widely, including a monograph on ‘Risk and Resilience’ (2006), co-edited books on ‘Transitions from School to Work: Globalisation, Individualisation, and Patterns of Diversity (2009) with Rainer K. Silbereisen, ‘ Gender differences in aspirations and attainment: A longitudinal perspective’ (2014) with Jacquelynne Eccles, and ‘ Young People’s Development and the Great Recession: Uncertain Transitions and Precarious Futures’ (2017) with John Bynner – all published by Cambridge University Press, and a book on ‘Pathways to Adulthood’ with Rainer Silbereisen with UCL IoE Press.


In total, 23 papers using GUI data were presented at the conference, along with an introductory launch presentation, a keynote address and a policy session. The majority of the conference presentations have been made available online; links to these individual presentations can be found below.

*please note that due to a late change in the schedule, Emer Scott moved from Session I to Session A, replacing Elizabeth Doyle.

Launch Presentation

Key Findings on the Lives of 9-year-olds in 2017/2018

Dorothy Watson (ESRI) – watch a video of Dorothy summarising the key findings below

Keynote Address

Navigating the transition to adulthood: The role of structure and agency

Ingrid Schoon (University College London)

Session A

The relationship between emerging self-concept and adolescent psychotic experiences

Colm Healy (RCSI), Helen Coughlan (RCSI), James Williams (ESRI), Mary Clarke (RCSI), Ian Kelleher (RCSI), Mary Cannon (RCSI)

Childhood personality, psychological traits and weight status over time

Emer Scott (UCD)

Session B

Decision-making about higher education: Choosing an institution

Emer Smyth (ESRI), Daráine Murphy (ESRI)

Measurements of cognition at age 17 years: verbal fluency versus traditional vocabulary

Aisling Murray (ESRI) – watch Aisling give a one-minute summary

Session C

Maternal health behaviours of non-Irish nationals during pregnancy and the effect of acculturation

Rachel Palmer (DIT, TCD), Richard Layte (ESRI, TCD), John Kearney (DIT)

The impact of prescription drug co-payments on healthcare utilisation and health

Gretta Mohan (ESRI, TCD), Anne Nolan (ESRI, TCD)

Session D

The Research-Policy Interface

Dorothy Watson (ESRI)

Building the Gap between Research and Policy

Claire Finn (DCYA)

NDA: research to policy and back again

Grainne Collins (NDA), Dharragh Hunt (NDA)

Watch a two-minute summary video of the policy session by Caoimhe O’Reilly (GUI Research Assistant) here

Session E

A latent growth curve model of the relationship between computer usage and academic performance

Desmond O’Mahony (ESRI) – watch Des give a two-minute summary of his paper here

Screen time versus screen type: The impact of screen engagement on cognitive development

Chloé Beatty (University of Limerick), Suzanne M. Egan (University of Limerick)

Streets ahead: Findings on outdoor play from the Growing Up in Ireland study

Suzanne M. Egan (University of Limerick), Jennifer Pope (University of Limerick)

Session F

Precursors to self-regulation in early childhood: Examining socioeconomic differences in Ireland and Canada

Ailbhe Booth (UCD), Orla Doyle (UCD), Eilis Hennessy (UCD)

Exploring the effect of the home learning environment and parental involvement on cognitive development in early childhood

Clara Hoyne (University of Limerick), Suzanne M. Egan (University of Limerick)

The prevalence of speech and language difficulties at ages 3 and 5 and attendance at Speech and Language therapy services

Aileen Wright (University of Limerick), Michelle O’Donoghue (University of Limerick)

Session G

Cross-cohort comparisons of socioemotional well-being: Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand

James Williams (ESRI), Paul Bradshaw (Growing up in Scotland), Patty Doran (University of Manchester), Susan Morton (Growing Up in New Zealand)

The impact of early life stress on the persistence of psychotic like experiences in adolescence

Daráine Murphy (ESRI), Colm Healy (RCSI), Mary Cannon (RCSI)

Mediating factors in the relationship between childhood stressful life events and child, adolescent and persistent psychopathology: A national longitudinal cohort study

Niamh Dhondt (RCSI), Colm Healy (RCSI), Mary Clarke (RCSI), Mary Cannon (RCSI)

Exposure to adverse home experiences and children’s social competencies in peer relations

Sarah-Rose Whelan (TCD), Nicola Dalrymple (TCD), Lorraine Swords (TCD)

Session H

Partnership dissolution after childbirth in Ireland: On the importance of pregnancy intentions

Thorsten Schneider (University of Leipzig)

Mothers’ employment and the cost of childcare in Ireland

Helen Russell (ESRI), Frances McGinnity (ESRI), Seamus McGuinness (ESRI)

Large family, poor family? A comparative profile of children’s material resources in the modern large family & implications for social policy

Megan Curran (UCD)

Psychological resilience during the Irish recession: Evidence from the Growing Up in Ireland study

Lee-Ann Burke (UCC)

Session I

Physical activity parenting and implications for future interventions

Rhoda Sohun (University of Limerick), Ciarán MacDonncha (UL), Ann MacPhail (UL)

Tracking the physical activity levels of the Growing Up in Ireland child cohort over eight years

Eoin McNamara (ESRI) – watch Eoin give a short summary below

Cross-generational trajectories in weight gain in Ireland

Mark McGovern (Queen’s University), Slawa Rokicki (UCD)


Enquiries should be sent to

Video Summaries

Professor Dorothy Watson: Summary of Key Findings on 9-year-olds in 2017

Dr. Aisling Murray: Measurements of cognition at age 17 years: verbal fluency versus traditional vocabulary

Dr. Eoin McNamara: Tracking the physical activity levels of the Growing Up in Ireland child cohort over eight years

Caoimhe O'Reilly: Summary of GUI Policy Session

Dr. Desmond O'Mahoney: A latent growth curve model of the relationship between computer usage and academic performance