Improving life chances and reducing child health inequalities: harnessing the potential of existing data


  • Dr Anna Pearce

    University of Glasgow

Project summary

I will research the issues that are crucial to tackling child health inequalities (HIs) – factors including socio-economic circumstances and parental health-related behaviours. I will ask whether it is possible to predict who will be most likely to develop poor health and whether this can help to target interventions. I will also look at early years interventions and the way they are rolled out (eg to everyone or targeted at those at greatest risk) and the affect on HI. 

I will use linked administrative data in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and three UK cohorts (the Millennium Cohort Study, Growing Up in Scotland and the Southampton Women’s Survey). I will examine indicators of child health, such as cognitive development, weight and unintentional injuries, and also parental health-related behaviours, such as immunisation, breastfeeding and smoking. Maternal mental health, childcare and parenting will be investigated as mediating mechanisms that can be affected by interventions from early years services. 

Findings will inform local and national policy and practice.