Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Study Profile
Measures of Early-life Behavior and Later Psychopathology in the LifeCycle Project - EU Child Cohort Network: A Cohort Description
Johanna L. NaderMònica López-VicenteJordi JulvezMonica GuxensTim CadmanAhmed ElhakeemMarjo-Riitta JärvelinNina RautioJouko MiettunenHanan El MarrounMaria MelchiorBarbara HeudeMarie-Aline CharlesTiffany C. YangRosemary R. C. McEachanJohn WrightKinga PolanskaJennie CarsonAshleigh LinSebastian RauschertRae-Chi HuangMaja PopovicLorenzo RichiardiEva CorpeleijnMarloes CardolTuija M. MikkolaJohan G. ErikssonTheodosia SalikaHazel InskipJohan Lerbech VintherKatrine Strandberg-LarsenKathrin GürlichVeit GroteBerthold KoletzkoMarina VafeiadiJordi SunyerVincent W. V. JaddoeJennifer R. Harris
Author information
Supplementary material

2023 Volume 33 Issue 6 Pages 321-331


Background: The EU LifeCycle Project was launched in 2017 to combine, harmonize, and analyze data from more than 250,000 participants across Europe and Australia, involving cohorts participating in the EU-funded LifeCycle Project. The purpose of this cohort description is to provide a detailed overview of the major measures within mental health domains that are available in 17 European and Australian cohorts participating in the LifeCycle Project.

Methods: Data on cognitive, behavioral, and psychological development has been collected on participants from birth until adulthood through questionnaire and medical data. We developed an inventory of the available data by mapping individual instruments, domain types, and age groups, providing the basis for statistical harmonization across mental health measures.

Results: The mental health data in LifeCycle contain longitudinal and cross-sectional data from birth throughout the life course, covering domains across a wide range of behavioral and psychopathology indicators and outcomes, including executive function, depression, ADHD, and cognition. These data span a unique combination of qualitative data collected through behavioral/cognitive/mental health questionnaires and examination, as well as data from biological samples and indices in the form of imaging (MRI, fetal ultrasound) and DNA methylation data. Harmonized variables on a subset of mental health domains have been developed, providing statistical equivalence of measures required for longitudinal meta-analyses across instruments and cohorts.

Conclusion: Mental health data harmonized through the LifeCycle project can be used to study life-course trajectories and exposure-outcome models that examine early life risk factors for mental illness and develop predictive markers for later-life disease.

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© 2021 Johanna L. Nader et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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