A new generation of Irish children are to be added to a long-running study that helps policymakers to learn more about their lives.
The latest cohort to be added to the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study will track the lives of yet-to-be-born babies who will be nine months old in 2024.
The GUI study has followed a core group of thousands of young people, born in and around 1998, since they were nine years old.
The latest publication from the GUI study found that rates of depression among young adults almost doubled during the pandemic.
It also found that over half (57%) found it difficult to study while learning remotely.
The new additions to the study will ensure there is access to robust national data on what it’s like to grow up in contemporary, post-pandemic Ireland, according to Children's Minister Roderic O’Gorman.
“It will also seek to capture in more detail than previously, the diverse experiences of families and children in Ireland — particularly among smaller subgroups in the population, such as diverse ethnic groups, children in migrant families or those with disabilities.”
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will take on the responsibility for the GUI data collection transfer in January 2023, while the Department of Children will lead the research aspects of the study.
Since 2006, the GUI study has been under the stewardship of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) where it made a "huge contribution" to informing policy and decision-making that impacts children and young people, Mr O'Gorman said.
"Most recently, it has provided us with evidence on the impact of the pandemic on children and young people."
"The decision to start a new birth cohort in 2024 marks a very exciting milestone for the study and reinforces the study as a leading member of the international family of longitudinal studies."