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Research visit and collaboration with The UCD Psychosocial Approaches To Health Lab (PATH) Lab

I am Edi (“Eddy”), a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool, UK, working on a project related to the psychological basis of obesity. My research interests include using a range of quantitative approaches in the public health field, including but not limited to social and environmental epidemiology and social determinants of health (link: I was awarded the 2nd Call Transnational Visit Access (TAV) funding from the COORDINATE project that allowed me to visit UCD and collaborate with researchers from The UCD Psychosocial Approaches To Health Lab (PATH) Lab (link:

I spent my two-week visit (18 – 30 June 2023) working on my proposed TAV project under mentorship from Dr Sonya Deschenes (, the Director of the UCD PATH Lab. My project was on neighbourhood characteristics and socioeconomic inequalities in child mental health in Ireland using Cohort ‘08 (Infant Cohort) from the Growing Up in Ireland Study. This project aimed to examine whether a range of neighbourhood items reported by caregivers can explain socioeconomic differences in mental health difficulties in Irish children. In addition, the secondary aim was to identify specific neighbourhood items that were most strongly linked to child mental health. For the latter, I learned a novel approach, network psychometric analysis, from Dr. Sonya and her PhD student, Amy, to identify what neighbourhood items may act as key conceptual bridges between neighbourhood characteristics and child mental health. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with them as we progressed this project into a manuscript (currently available as a pre-print ( Findings from this project indicated that there was strong evidence of socioeconomic inequalities in child mental health, and neighbourhood characteristics may explain the association by up to 23%. During my visit, I also got a chance to present preliminary findings to members of the UCD PATH Lab. It was great to connect with them and learn about their current research. Even after my visit, I caught up with them on some occasions (European Health Psychology Society Conference in Germany, and the 2nd COORDINATE statistical course in Croatia).

I really enjoyed working at UCD, the most massive green campus that I have ever been. The campus also has its own cinema where I watched a couple of movies. I also like Dublin, a culturally diverse city with a unique water landscape (the River Liffey). I loved walking along the river and then having my dinner in the city centre after working at UCD. As someone who loves spending time in nature, visiting the Cliffs of Moher (one of the scenes where the Harry Potter movie took place) was the best decision I’ve ever made during my TAV! The view was tremendous and relaxing. I could fully recharge my energy there after having busy weekdays. My other favourite places in Ireland are Glendalough, Dun Laoghaire and Galway.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity that Coordinate provided which has allowed me to develop research collaboration with researchers at UCD through the TAV programme. Thanks to Dr Sonya and all the members of PATH Lab for being very welcoming during my visit.


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