What is the need?

It is important that healthy emotional, physical and psychological life-styles should start from an early age.  However, very little European comparative social and educational research is being done in order to ascertain what are the best policies and approaches to effectively promote the well-being of children and young people.  Research into care, education, leisure and well-being of children and young people is needed, although it involves significant methodological challenges.

What are we doing?

In this project we explore the feasibility of conducting a longitudinal survey, which would capture the full picture of the growing-up process possibly from birth to the end of a child’s education – including aspects related to the transition to work and parenthood.  A longitudinal multidisciplinary would be needed to understand these different dimensions and the dynamics of these processes.  Key elements of the feasibility study include reviewing current, relevant policy and data collection, developing options for a longitudinal study and scoring these options according to their technical, political and financial feasibility.

MYWeB takes a balanced approach to assessing the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP) through prioritising both scientific and policy imperatives.  Striking the appropriate balance between science and policy is guaranteed through the use of an evaluation/appraisal methodology which ensures that the outcomes will be methodologically robust, technically feasible and will represent value for money.  A full scale pilot study in six countries means original empirical data on field experiences will provide direct evidence of the feasibility of an ELSCYP.  Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including policy-makers at a European, Member State and regional level ensures that the project outcomes take into account the broadest range of policy makers.  Questions about the “value added” that a longitudinal survey can offer over a cross-sectional survey will, therefore, be fully informed by policy agendas.  Children and Young People are integrated into the project plan to contribute to the operationalisation of notions of well-being as well as in understanding the best modes of conducting an ELSCYP.

What will be the outcomes?

We will produce a final report in which a preferred option a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP) is identified.  In the second half of the project we will undertake a pilot of key elements of the preferred option to further demonstrate its feasibility. The results of the pilot will also be an important outcome from the project.

What are the timescales?

The project starts in March 2014 and runs for 30 months.

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