Embarking on a journey with the COORDINATE Transnational Access Visits (TAV) program was like stepping into a realm of endless possibilities, and giving me with an experience beyond compare. In the ever-evolving landscape of research, the journey toward understanding the intricate links between childhood circumstances and later-life outcomes is both fascinating and crucial. My recent visits to the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research have been instrumental in unravelling the complexities of this relationship.
A Journey of Exploration
From January 15 to February 2, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the vibrant research environment of the European Centre. My research, titled "Effects of Childhood Socioeconomic Position on Later-Life Cognitive Decline," sought to shed light on the enduring impact of childhood characteristics on cognitive function in later life by adopting a life-course perspective. By using childhood characteristics, such as living conditions, household financial position, and access to books, to identify socioeconomic position (SEP), my study provided a nuanced understanding of the long-term impacts of childhood SEP on cognitive function. This endeavour was made possible through the invaluable support of the TAV program, which provided me with the opportunity to work closely with the SHARE dataset – a treasure trove of longitudinal data spanning 29 European countries. Drawing upon the rich insights gleaned from the SHARE dataset, I endeavoured to bridge the gap between early-life circumstances and later-life outcomes, offering valuable implications for policy and practice.
Journey of Enrichment
My time with TAV fills me with a profound sense of fulfilment and achievement. Vienna, with its timeless charm and cultural allure, provided the perfect backdrop for my research journey. European Centre is surrounded by expertise and collaboration, which helps me to delve into the depths of the SHARE dataset. The invaluable support and guidance provided by them have been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of my research and empowering me to make meaningful contributions to the field of social welfare policy and research. As I reflect on my journey at the European Centre, I am filled with gratitude for the support of the TAV program and the collaborative spirit of the research community. It was this programme that made my transformative visits to the European Centre a reality. As I carry forward the insights gained from this experience, I remain committed to advancing our understanding of the complex interplay between early-life family characteristics and later-life health outcomes. By leveraging longitudinal survey data and adopting a life-course approach, we can pave the way for evidence-based interventions that promote health and well-being across the lifespan.