Understanding Society already provides unique insights into children’s lives in the 21st century and will continue to track them as they develop into adults. The Study naturally follows the development of families over time from couples forming to babies being planned, conceived and born, to children growing up in their family context (whether both parents remain in the house or not) and transitioning to adulthood. The Study also enables research that examines childhood in different contexts, whether these are geographical, ethnic group and generation status, family structure, economic circumstances, cohort or period. It also allows for the investigation of inter- generations effects whether they be those of parents and grandparent on children, or of children on their parents. In this think piece we have outlined ten areas where we are currently working, or have plans, to improve the multi-dimensional biological and social data that Understanding Society provides on families across households and generations to significantly enhance the data we produce for scientific and policy research at this crucial life-stage.
(2019) Enhancing data around early life in Understanding Society: scientific opportunities and considerations, Understanding Society Working Paper 2019-14, Colchester: University of Essex