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Tracking the lives of 20,000 children - Launch of the Elfe child cohort study


  • Marie-Aline Charles
  • Henri Leridon
  • Patricia Dargent
  • Bertrand Geay
  • l'équipe Elfe


New research is needed to understand how the ongoing changes in children's early environment affect their development, their health and their socialization. The multiple factors involved and their numerous interactions make this type of research particularly complex. The best way to track detailed trajectories through childhood is a cohort study. This involves selecting a large sample of children whose lives are followed throughout their development, if possible until they reach adulthood. Such cohorts have existed in other countries for many years, but not, until now, in France. The Elfe longitudinal study of children (Étude longitudinale française depuis l'enfance), launched in the field in 2011, aims to fill this gap. It will follow a cohort of 20,000 children from birth to adulthood via a multidisciplinary approach. Elfe was born out of the questions raised by researchers and the concerns expressed by various public bodies. The national health and environment plan (Plan national Santé-environnement) of 2004 provided the decisive impetus for the project to go ahead.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Aline Charles & Henri Leridon & Patricia Dargent & Bertrand Geay & l'équipe Elfe, 2011. "Tracking the lives of 20,000 children - Launch of the Elfe child cohort study," Population and Societies 475, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  • Handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:475

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