The Christchurch Child Development Study: a review of epidemiological findings Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The Christchurch Child Development Study is a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1265 New Zealand children who have been studied over an 11-year period using data from multiple sources including parental interview, medical records, teacher questionnaires and direct testing of children. The article provides a review of the major lines of epidemiological research examined in the Study. These include: breast feeding and child health; parental smoking and child health; the effects of low level lead exposure; childhood asthma; nocturnal bladder control; the effects of early hospital admission; the distribution of child health services; and the consequences of private medical insurance. In addition a number of general topics (sample attrition, measurement error, individual differences and causal inference) relating to longitudinal designs are discussed briefly. It is concluded that the longitudinal design is a powerful and cost-effective method of gathering data for general paediatric epidemiological purposes but that research in this area would benefit from an increased use of emerging methods of statistical modelling.

authors

publication date

  • July 1989