The life-course: what shapes children's development?

Poverty and associated risks can have profound implications for children that last throughout their lives and affect future generations. By the age of 8, one in three of the Young Lives children born in the least poor households in Ethiopia could read and write well; among the poorest children it was just one in fifty. As a longitudinal study, Young Lives is able to analyse the factors that affect children’s experiences at particular ages and phases, and shape development of skills, competencies and well-being over time. In-depth studies of children’s own perceptions of their life history and future prospects complement life-course analysis from the full sample.


What's new

'Building Strong Foundations for Later Livelihoods by Addressing Child Poverty', by Paul Dornan and Kirrily Pells, Enterprise Development and Microfinance 26.2: 90-103



From Infancy to AdolescenceFrom Infancy to Adolescence: Preliminary Findings from Round 4, Young Lives Policy Paper 7, by Paul Dornan and Kirrily Pells




UNICEF-Life-course paperHow Inequalities Develop through Childhood, UNICEF Office of Research–Innocenti Discussion Paper, by Paul Dornan and Martin Woodhead



HDR2014_hardgrove-boyden-cover-low-resYouth Vulnerabilities in Life-course Transitions, UNDP Human Development Report Office Occasional Paper by Abby Hardgrove, Kirrily Pells, Jo Boyden and Paul Dornan



Journal of Youth StudiesTroubling Transitions? Young People's Experiences of Growing Up in Poverty in rural Andhra Pradesh, by Virginia Morrow, Journal of Youth Studies, 16:1, 86-100



Economics and Human Biology_coverStefan Dercon and Alan Sánchez (2013) 'Height in Mid Childhood and Psychosocial Competencies in Late Childhood: Evidence from four developing countries', Economics & Human Biology 11.4: 426-32


 Mary_YouTube_Dec2013Dr Mary Penny, Director of Peru’s Nutrition Research Institute (IIN) talks about 'catch-up growth' observed among the Young Lives sample children, and what this might mean for their other outcomes (You-Tube video, 2mins45secs).



Early nutrition and 'catch-up growth'

A major area of work focuses on early nutrition and the potential for children to 'catch-up'. A consortium of researchers led by Jere Behrman of the Univerity of Pennsylvania is using the Young Lives data to look at these questions.

We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.