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Violence Research Centre


Evidence for Better Lives: Cohort Studies as a Vehicle for Improving Global Child Psychosocial Health

Violence Research Centre, Institute of Criminology
10 May 2018



The Violence Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, in partnership with the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, hosted experts from four major cohort studies:

  • Dr Marta Favara - From Infancy to Young Adulthood: An Overview of Young Lives Data Research
  • Dr Rosie McEachan - The Born in Bradford Journey: From Cohort Study to ‘City of Research’
  • Professor Johnathan Hill - The Wirral Child Health and Development Study: Understanding Early Risks Associated with Child Conduct Problems
  • Professor Manuel Eisner - Evidence for Better Lives: A Global Cohort Study to Address Violence Against Children.

The event, held on Thursday 10 May, 5.30-7pm, was followed by a drinks reception. If you missed it, you can watch the experts' talk below and find out more about them.


Dr Marta Favara is a Senior Research Officer at the University of Oxford, who previously has worked as an economist at the World Bank. She joined the Young Lives Study in 2005 and is currently leading the Young Lives quantitative research agenda. Young Lives is an international study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam over 15 years. Its main aim is to shed light on the drivers and impacts of child poverty and generate evidence to help policymakers design programmes that make a real difference. Dr Favara investigates the role of aspirations and subjective expectations as potential self-enforcing mechanisms underlying poverty and gender inequality.


Dr Rosie McEachan is an experienced behavioural scientist with particular research interests in the development and evaluation of complex interventions, environmental determinants of health, green space, and applied health research. She is the Programme Director for Born in Bradford, one of the largest multi-ethnic family studies in the world, tracking the lives of over 30,000 Bradford residents. Established in 2006, Born in Bradford is helping to unravel the reasons for ill health and brings new scientific discovery to the world. It is also providing a catalyst for communities to work with the NHS and local authority to improve child health and wellbeing.


Johnathan Hill is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Reading and Honorary Consultant in the Oxford Healthcare Foundation Trust. He is Lead investigator on the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS). The WCHADS, established in 2007, aims to identify early social, emotional and biological risks and processes involved in the development of later criminality and social dysfunction in a sample of over 800 families. Professor Hill has a particular research interest in understanding how early risks are associated with child conduct problems.


Manuel Eisner is Professor of Comparative and Developmental Criminology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Violence Research Centre. He is Lead investigator on the Evidence for Better Lives Study (EBLS), an innovative global birth cohort study in eight cities across the world. In each city, the early childhood development of 1,500 children within their family and community contexts will be tracked. The study strives to illuminate how families in different cultures strengthen and support children and aims to introduce and evaluate multi-sectoral prevention packages that can help young children to achieve their full developmental and learning potential.