Vision & Principles

Vision

Research on childhood and its consequences for life-course wellbeing has reached a point where collaborations between numerous disciplines are needed to produce ground-breaking research and inform policy.

The aim of the CHD-RC at UCD is to create a space for such collaborations across the Bio – Psycho – Social Sciences to respond to important challenges and create insights into how early life biological, psychological and social mechanisms impact lifecourse health and wellbeing. Our goal is to contribute to this knowledge base which can then be used by policy makers and practitioners to enhance child well-being. The Centre brings together UCD-based researchers who utilize a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodological approaches in researching all aspects of children’s lives from the early years through to adulthood. Experimental designs, analyses with large scale data sets, as well as more intensive ethnographic and participatory studies across a range of sites in children’s lives are included in our focus (click here). In addition, the CHD-RC has a specialist and evolving focus on methodologies that work with children and young people, including their voices and perspectives.

We seek to profile UCD’s research as an international centre of excellence in this area, contributing to evidenced based research at national and international levels and responding to important challenges for policy and professional practice as these affect the lives of young people. The Centre is especially timely in light of the growing awareness of children’s rights, welfare and well-being in national and international policy developments and the very explicit need for systemically responsive research that leads to effective interventions in children’s lives.

Core Principles of the Centre:

  • Our work supports an exceptionally wide inter-disciplinary approach bringing together academic expertise from biological, educational, psychological, economic and social backgrounds.
  • It draws together longitudinal, experimental, bio-social and comparative research to create a unified framework for understanding and contributing to human development.
  • It is underpinned by an approach that is child centred and grounded in a children’s rights framework.
  • It covers the key inflection points in childhood/human development from pregnancy to adulthood.