In this report, the authors aim to identify the factors present during pregnancy, infancy, and the early years of life that are associated with a wide range of outcomes for children at ages 5, 7, and 11 by conducting a comprehensive analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a large-scale multidisciplinary child cohort study.
This study builds on an earlier project (the PREview study) that used the MCS to identify factors during pregnancy, shortly after birth, and at age 3 that were associated with child outcomes at age 5 (Hobcraft and Kiernan, 2010). Compared to the earlier project, this report covers a broader window of children’s lives, as the authors take into account variables measured between birth and age 11; and they analyse a broader set of outcomes. These outcomes, which cover four domains of children’s lives (health, cognitive, behavioural, and social), are explained in greater detail in Section 2.3. Specifically, this project focuses on the following research questions:
1) What child and family factors predict child outcomes in the domains of health; behaviour; cognitive and educational development; and peer relations at ages 5, 7, and 11?
2) What is the relative importance of these different predictors in shaping child outcomes?
3) Are any of these factors protective or markers of 'resilience'? That is, are they associated with more positive outcomes (or less negative outcomes) for those from less advantaged backgrounds?