|The Young Lives survey is an innovative long-term project investigating the changing nature of childhood poverty in four developing countries. The purpose of the project is to improve understanding of the causes and consequences of childhood poverty and examine how policies affect children's well-being, in order to inform the development of future policy and to target child welfare interventions more effectively.
The objectives of the study are to provide good quality long-term data about the lives of children living in poverty, trace linkages between key policy changes and child welfare, and inform and respond to the needs of policymakers, planners and other stakeholders. Research activities of the project include the collection of data on a set of child welfare outcomes and their determinants and the monitoring of changes in policy, in order to explore the links between the policy environment and outcomes for children.
The study is being conducted in Ethiopia, India (in Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam. These countries were selected because they reflect a range of cultural, geographical and social contexts and experience differing issues facing the developing world; high debt burden, emergence from conflict, and vulnerability to environmental conditions such as drought and flood.
The Young Lives study aims to track the lives of 12,000 children over a 15-year period. This is the time-frame set by the UN to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Round 1 of the study followed 2,000 children (aged between 6 and 18 months in 2002) and their households, from both urban and rural communities, in each of the four countries (8,000 children in total). Data were also collected on an older cohort of 1,000 children aged 7 to 8 years in each country, in order to provide a basis for comparison with the younger children when they reach that age. Round 2 of the study returned to the same children who were aged 1-year-old in Round 1 when they were aged approximately 5-years-old, and to the children aged 8-years-old in Round 1 when they were approximately 12-years-old. Round 3 of the study returned to the same children again when they were aged 7 to 8 years (the same as the older cohort in Round 1) and 14 to 15 years. It is envisaged that subsequent survey waves will take place in 2013 and 2016. Thus the younger children are being tracked from infancy to their mid-teens and the older children through into adulthood, when some will become parents themselves.
Further information about the survey, including publications, can be downloaded from the Young Lives website.
This dataset comprises the data from the 8-year-olds' and 15-year-olds' household surveys and child questionnaires carried out in 2009. For each of the four countries the dataset contains files at the community, household and child level for both ages. In addition there are several files at lower levels (i.e. where there are several records per household). These include the household roster and activity schedules for livelihoods, etc. The Peru community level data includes an additional file with community data covering new communities for children who have migrated.
Topics covered in the dataset include: community characteristics (environmental, social and economic); parental background; household and child education; livelihoods and asset framework; household food and non-food consumption and expenditure; social capital, economic changes and recent life history; socio-economic status; child care, education and activities; child health; anthropometry; caregivers perceptions and attitudes; school and activities, child time use; social networks, social skills and social support; feelings and attitudes; parents and household issues; child development; perception of the future, environment and household wealth.
Also included are calculated indices such as a wealth index, various social capital scores, and mental health scores, which are all detailed in the documentation. The SPSS syntax code and/or Stata 'do' files that show methods of calculation for the composite indices are also included in the dataset.