Life Study was an ambitious research study that aimed to recruit over 80,000 babies born between 2014 and 2018 – and their families - from across the UK. The Study was designed to collect information about these babies over their early lives to help us understand how early life experiences shape health and wellbeing later in childhood and adult life. 

In the UK there have been several major research studies similar to Life Study beginning with children born in 1946 and most recently in 2000. These studies have recorded the childhoods and adult lives of different generations growing up in Britain for over 70 years. Life Study was to have been the latest in this world leading series, and had been set up in order to address gaps in our understanding of the early life course using innovative scientific methods, as well as to provide an invaluable scientific resource for researchers and policymakers.

Life Study was designed to understand issues of major importance to the next generation of UK children and their futures. Research themes included: 

  • Impact of inequality, diversity and social mobility on children’s life chances
  • Education and school readiness
  • Early life origins of childhood illnesses, child health and wellbeing
  • Social, emotional and behavioural development
  • Neighbourhoods and environment

The study hoped to help researchers find the answers to a range of questions, such as:

  • How is a child’s learning and education influenced by parents, family life and the environment?
  • How does the way parents and their babies play together shape a child’s behaviour?
  • How do fathers influence their children’s development?
  • What causes childhood asthma?
  • How does pollution affect the health of young children?
  • What can be done for children during their early years to improve their life chances?

If you would like to read more about the science behind Life Study and the Study design you can download the Scientific Summary here