14 September LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF IRISH CHILDREN SHOWS HEALTHY, HAPPY YOUNG PEOPLE - Mary Coughlan TD Minister for Social and Family Affairs

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Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, today welcomed the report "From Child to Adult: a Longitudinal Study of Irish Children and their Families".

Commenting on the report, which was commissioned under the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Families Research Programme, Minister Coughlan said:" I have long believed that there is a need for more quality research into the lives of children and their experiences of the changing nature of childhood itself".

The research project, completed by Anne Cleary, Michael Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Nixon, follows on from a 1990 study when over 2,000 children were assessed for intellectual and behavioural attributes. A more detailed study of 185 of these children was then conducted and it is the development of these children that this report sought to examine.

"Reassuringly, once again the results of a Families Research Programme report point to the resilience of children and this report concludes that overall, those behavioural difficulties that exhibited ten years ago proved to be short term," Minister Coughlan said.

"Children are, of course, the building blocks of our society's future and it is especially important to understand the issues that impact on child development both in the short term and over time," the Minister added.

The conclusion of the report shows that the young people studied were, in general, healthy and happy and benefiting from increased educational and employment opportunities available in this country.

ENDS September 14th 2004

Last modified:14/09/2004