PremLife: Life Course Dynamics after Preterm Birth – Protective Factors for Social and Educational Transitions, Health, and Prosperity

Preterm birth is an increasingly important cause of inequality in Europe. Incidence rates and survival after preterm birth have increased over the last decades while rates of adverse outcomes regarding education, health, quality of life, partnering, employment chances, and prosperity across the lifespan remain. This project will investigate what factors provide protection and increase resilience for preterm children’s life course outcomes. It will consider protective/resiliency factors at the individual (such as specific educational skills), micro-system (including parental socio-economic status, quality of parenting, and peer relations) and macro-system level (including differences regarding the countries’ educational systems, welfare systems, and income inequality). By studying transitions at all stages of the life cycle up to old age, the project is crosscutting the themes of the call. The collaborative group consists of leading researchers on preterm children’s development in Europe and will work on existing data from specific preterm cohorts and population longitudinal and panel studies (from Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK) and the National Social and Health registers from Finland. The collaborative study brings together four research groups based in the UK, Finland, and Germany across the disciplines of Psychology, Economics, and Public Health covering complementary strengths. The results will inform the future design of interventions to promote the health, prosperity, and wellbeing of those born preterm at all stages of their lifecycle. Close exchange and collaboration with various stakeholder groups has already been established.

Research team

Dr S. Lemola
University of Warwick

Prof. K. Räikkönen
University of Helsinki

Prof. D.D. Schnitzlein

Dr E. Kajantie
National Institute for Health and Welfare