Four children running

Children of the millennium

7 November 2018

Understanding the course of conduct problems during childhood

Leslie Morrison Gutman, Heather Joshi, Lorraine Khan & Ingrid Schoon
7 November 2018

Children of the millennium is the report of an analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study, which follows the lives of a large sample of children born in 2000 and 2001, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Our report with UCL’s Institute of Education finds that one child in every twelve in the UK has behavioural problems from a young age into their teenage years, putting them at risk of a lifetime of disadvantage and poor health. Children with persistent problems are much more likely to have a multitude of risks early in life, including poverty and housing insecurity, parental mental illness and developmental delay.

The project focused on the analysis of pathways of conduct problems during childhood, comparing the pathways by gender; the impact of multiple risks over time; and pathways of conduct disorder for children with multiple mental health difficulties.

As a result of this work, we’re calling for:

  • Concerted action across government to reduce the risk of severe and persistent behavioural problems
  • Government to seek to reduce child poverty and housing insecurity
  • The NHS to continue to boost mental health support to new parents
  • Local authorities to get the funding they need to boost early years services such as Sure Start and to offer evidence-based parenting programmes to families with the greatest needs.

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