Growing up In Ireland Cohort ’08 (Infant Cohort) Wave 4 - 7/8 years, 2016

Study number (SN): 0019-04


Central Statistics Office (CSO). (2018). Growing up In Ireland Cohort ’08 (Infant Cohort) Wave 4 - 7/8 years, 2016. [dataset]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0019-04. URL



Growing Up in Ireland - the National Longitudinal Study of Children is a landmark study of children and youth which has been running since 2006.  The objectives of the study are outlined in a separate publication (Greene et al. 2010) but can be summarised as seeking to collect data on what it means to grow up a child in Ireland, with a view to informing policy on what both helps and hinders development. A two cohort, cross-sequential longitudinal design was adopted and began with one cohort (the Infant Cohort) of 11,134 infants (aged 9 months) and a second cohort (the Child Cohort) of 8,568 9-year olds. Being longitudinal in nature, the same children are followed over time. The families of the Infant Cohort have been interviewed when the children were 9 months, 3 years and subsequently 5 years of age, while the Child Cohort and their parents/guardians were interviewed at 9, 13 and 17/18 years of age. This wave of data concerns a postal survey of the Primary Caregivers of the children in the Infant Cohort when those children were 7/8 years old.


  • Families
  • Children
  • Child Health
  • Child Development
  • Education
  • Child Day Care
  • Leisure Time Activities
  • Hobbies
  • Parental Role
  • Anthropometric Measurements




The children of the Infant Cohort were born between 1st December 2007 and the 30th June 2008 and were aged 9 months at the time of the first data collection between September 2008 and April 2009. Over 10,000 families participated in the first wave (n=11,134) while 9,793 took part at age 3 years (Dec 2010 - July 2011), and 9,001 at age 5 years (Mar – Sep 2013). The current fourth wave of data collection, a postal questionnaire, took place in the spring of 2016, when the cohort was 7/8 years of age and was completed by 5,344 families. 

Observation units

  • Families / Households

Temporal coverage

From 02/2016 to 06/2016

Time dimension

Cohort study

Geographical coverage

Country: Ireland

Methods of data collection

  • PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interviewing): Self-completion

Sampling procedures

The target population for sampling at Wave 4 was made up of the children and families who participated in Wave 2 and/or Wave 3, as well as most of those who participated at Wave 1 but refused or otherwise did not participate at one or both of the next waves due to family circumstances at that time (e.g. due to the birth of a new baby or temporary absence from the country during the fieldwork period). Families who had moved abroad, moved within Ireland with no forwarding address, or had requested at Wave 2 or Wave 3 to be removed from the study, were not issued at Wave 4. Thus the Wave 4 sample had four components: those children and families who participated in all three earlier waves of the study; those who had participated only in Wave 1; those that participated in Waves 1 and 2; and those children and families who had participated in Waves 1 and 3. Just over 95 per cent of the families at Wave 4 had participated in all previous waves, while approximately 1 per cent had participated at Wave 1 but not at Wave 2 or 3. Two per cent of the Wave 4 study sample completed all except Wave 2, and a final 2 per cent completed all but Wave 3.

Response rate

As noted above, the survey at the fourth wave of the study was implemented on a mixed mode (postal and phone) basis. A total of 10,317 families were selected for the first mail shot. This was made up of families who had participated in any previous round of the study, who had not requested that their names be removed from the sample and whom the Study Team understood from their most recent records to be still living in Ireland. The first mailshot to these families contained an introductory letter and questionnaire (available at This was sent to the person identified as the Study Child’s Primary Caregiver at the family’s most recent face-to-face interview (mostly those which took place when the Study Child was 5 years of age).

The first mailshot in the 7/8-year survey was issued between the last week of February and first week of March 2016. A reminder letter was sent to 7,522 families between March and April 2016, the remaining 2,795 having already returned their completed questionnaire in the post in response to the first mailshot. Between April and June of 2016, a second reminder letter and questionnaire was issued to 5,444 families who had not returned the completed form at that time.

Following the postal phase, the Study Team phoned 534 non-respondent families in June and July 2016 to encourage them to participate, with a fourth copy of the questionnaire being sent to them at that time, where necessary. These families who were included for this phone phase were identified as those who were felt to be most likely to participate at that time – largely on the basis of their response histories to date.

By the end of fieldwork a total of 5,344 usable questionnaires were returned to the Study Team. This means that a crude response rate of 52 per cent was achieved in this postal round of the project. This response rate does not take account of the families who no longer lived in Ireland at the time of the survey, and whose letters were returned by An Post as being unknown at the last address then available to the Study Team. Many of the non-respondents may no longer have been living in Ireland at the time of the survey and so should have been excluded from the response rate (from the denominator). The Study Team is not in a position to estimate how many target respondents had, in fact, left Ireland and so the estimated 52 per cent response rate is a lower bound.




Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

0019-04_GUI_InfantCohort_Wave4 SAS, SPSS, Stata Survey data


Documentation (available for download)

File name


File format/s

Contents of file



Cohort ’08 at 7/8 Years Codebook for Wave 4 of the Infant Cohort



Questionnaire for Wave 4 of the Infant Cohort (At 7/8 years)



Summary Guide to Wave 4 of the Infant Cohort (At 7/8 years)



Summary Data Dictionary to Wave 4 of the Infant Cohort (At 7/8 years)




Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.


The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by ISSDA, should  acknowledge: "Growing up In Ireland Cohort ’08 (Infant Cohort) Wave 4 - 7/8 years, 2016" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

Central Statistics Office (CSO). (2018). Growing up In Ireland Cohort ’08 (Infant Cohort) Wave 4 - 7/8 years, 2016. [dataset]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0019-04. URL


The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.