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Cardiff Child Development Study

About CCDS

Cardiff Child Development Study

Many families have been helping us with a major study of children’s development, from birth to the age of seven.  Our study is funded by the Medical Research Council and based in the School of Psychology, Park Place, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT. 

The aim of the study is to find out how children learn to relate to other people.  We are particularly interested to learn why some children have difficulties settling into playgroups and nursery schools.  Children’s behaviour in nursery or reception classes is an early sign of how they will cope with later challenges. Children who have difficulties getting along with others do less well in primary and secondary school.  This means that it is critically important to find out why some children find getting along with other children more difficult than others do.  To do this, we began early and studied over 300 infants’ earliest relationships in their families and with the other children they met at home and in birthday parties we held at the School of Psychology.  We are now studying the children again at the age of seven.  Many children have younger brothers or sisters who are also taking part in the study.

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We have presented findings at national and international conferences in the UK, Germany, Lithuania, France, Spain, Canada, and the United States. Locally, we have been asked to speak to professionals working with children at the conferences for Flying Start, Children in Wales, and Bookstart. 

Although Wave 6 of the Cardiff Child Development Study is still ongoing, we have already published several papers on the development of the children’s early relationships with other people and their emotional reactions to the birthday party challenges (see Dale Hay’s publication list for details of papers in academic journals).  Several of the researchers who helped with the home visits and birthday parties (Kathryn Hudson, Victoria Kairis, Lisa Mundy, Rebecca Phillips, Siwan Roberts and Cerith Waters) have reported findings from the CCDS as part of their postgraduate theses for Cardiff University.