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Two amazing weeks at the School of Education-University College Dublin (UCD)


I’m Mònica González, full professor of Social Psychology in the University of Girona (Catalonia, Spain). I am PI of the research team on Childhood, Adolescence, Children’s Rights and their Quality of Life (http://www.udg.edu/eridiqv). During more than 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of conducting research on children’s and adolescent’s subjective well-being at the local, national, and international level. This has enabled me the development of both quantitative and qualitative longitudinal studies, extending the use of a mixed-methods approach in this field, the development of measuring instruments adapted to younger children from their own perspective, stimulating the development of interventions to promote school well-being and providing new insights into the connection between children’s and adolescent’s subjective well-being and their social participation.


I applied for a transnational visit to the School of Education at the UCD because I was very interested in knowing in detail the Growing Up in Ireland and Children’s School Lives longitudinal projects, since we have already developed in Catalonia two longitudinal studies with 10 to 16-year-olds and subsequent found a decline in subjective well-being levels from the age of 10 onwards, with a different pattern of decline for boys and girls.


Because of this previous experience, I was keen to get familiar with other longitudinal data to verify the cross-cultural existence of this decrease, as a few other longitudinal studies also point out and, on the other hand, to facilitate the publication of a joint article with other researchers comparing different longitudinal data collections. All of this framed in the conviction that this kind of empirical evidence should guide children’s policy at different levels, being this, one of my main motivations along the years.


My assessment of the visit could not be better. I have had the opportunity to meet researchers of a high professional level from whom I can learn a lot and with whom we have many common interests. But I have also seen in them people with great human value, committed to what they do and extraordinarily welcoming. I am sure that this visit will be the beginning of a long and fruitful future collaboration in which I will be delighted to be part of!!


The visit has also allowed me to get to know a country I had never been to before, with an impressive nature and very polite and kind people. I’ve also checked that Irish people love coffee as much as Catalan people do, but let's say that their concept of espresso coffee is a "little" more expansive than ours. One last thing to finish, the visit has allowed me to escape for a few days from the extreme heat of my country, so I’m missing so much the cool temperature of Ireland now that I’m back home!!



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