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Dr. Cathal McCrory

Cathal McCrory joined the TILDA team in May 2012 and is a Senior Research Fellow in Psychology. His research explores the pathways, processes and mechanisms through which socially mediated risk factors come to influence health over the life-course, with a particular emphasis on stress. Psychosocial frameworks postulate that those growing in more disadvantaged environments are subjected to a greater number of stressors during development resulting in greater 'wear and tear' on physiological systems (i.e. allostatic load) which may precipitate earlier biological ageing. Understanding how differences in the social environment 'get under the skin' is a major focus of his work. Cathal's research utilizes population-level data to explore the extent to which differences in exposure to stressors can account for disease and mortality differentials between different social groups, leading to the identification of modifiable risk and resilience factors.

Cathal is currently working on the Horizon 2020 funded LIFEPATH project (http://www.lifepathproject.eu) . In this role, he will examine socio-economic variation in health and wellbeing in Ireland and other European countries at different stages of the life-course using data from a number of European cohort studies with intense phenotyping and repeat biological samples. You can learn more about the project here: http://www.lifepathproject.eu/media/video

Prior to joining the TILDA team, Cathal was employed by the Economic and Social Research Institute as a Research Analyst on the Growing Up in Ireland study (2006-2012), which is a large nationally representative cohort study following the development of two cohorts of Irish children (with a sample of 20,000+). His research with the Growing Up in Ireland cohort has been widely reported in national print (Irish Independent, Irish Times, The Examiner, Sunday Times) and broadcast media (RTE, TV3).

He also previously worked as a Research Analyst/Manager of the Surveys and Indicators Unit in Forfás, the national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation. He obtained his Primary Degree in Psychology (1999) and Doctorate in Psychology (2002) from Queens University, Belfast. He was awarded his PhD for his work examining the relationship between putative measures of neurological processing speed and psychometric intelligence

Peer-Reviewed Publications

In Submission/Preparation

  • McCrory, C. et al. (in submission) Socio-Economic Differences in Children’s Growth Trajectories from Infancy into Early Adulthood: Evidence from four European countries.

  • Vineis, P., Avendano-Pabon, M., Barros, H., Chadeau-Hyam, M., Costa, G., Dijmarescu, M., Delpierre, C., D’Errico, A, Fraga, S., Giles, G., Goldberg, M.,  Zins, M., Kelly-Irving, M., Kivimaki, M., Lang, T., Layte, R., Mackenbach, J., Marmot, M., McCrory, C., Carmeli, C., Milne, R.L., Muennig, P., Nusselder, W., Polidoro, S., Ricceri, F., Robinson, O., Stringhini, S. & The LIFEPATH Consortium (in submission). The biology of inequalities in health: the Lifepath project.

  • Fiorito, G., Polidoro, S. Dugue, P.A., Kivimaki, M., Ponzi, E., Matullo, G., Guarrera, S., Assummaa, M.B. Georgiadis, P., Kyrtopoulos, S.O. Krogh, V. Palli, D., Panico, S., Sacerdote, C. Tumino, R., Chadeau-Hyam, M., Stringhini, S., Severi, G., Hodge, A.M., Giles, G.G., Marioni, R.,  Linnér, R.K. O’Halloran, A., Kenny, R.A., Layte, R., McCrory, C., Baglietto, L., Milne, R.L., Vineis, P. (in submission).  Social adversity accelerates epigenetic aging: a multi-cohort study on socioeconomic differences in peripheral blood DNA methylation.

  • McNally, S., McCrory, C., Murray, A. & Quigley, J.  Why do children of highly educated mothers have better vocabularies at 36 months?

Book Chapters

  • Layte, R. & McCrory, C. (2016). Social Variation in Child Health and Development: A Life Course Approach. Cherishing All the Children Equally? Ireland 100 years on from the Easter Rising.  Oak Tree Press.

Book Reviews

  • McCrory, C. (2002). Book review of “The new psychometrics - Science, psychology and measurement” by Paul Kline.  British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(2) 354-355.

Government Publications

  • Layte, R. & McCrory, C. (2015). Maternal Health Behaviours and Child Growth in Infancy. Dublin: Government Publications.  

  • Williams, J., Murray, A. McCrory, C. & McNally, S. (2013).  Growing Up in Ireland. Development from birth to 3 years. Dublin, Government Publications

  • Layte, R. & McCrory, C. (2011). Overweight and obesity among 9 Year Olds.  Dublin: Government Publications

  • Williams, J., Greene, S., Doyle, E., Harris, E., Layte, R., McCoy, S., McCrory, C. et al. (2010).  Growing Up in Ireland – the lives of 9-year-olds.  Dublin, Government Publications.

Other Publications

  • Morgan, M., Thornton, M., & McCrory, C. (2016). Growing Up in Ireland Literature Review Series (Number 5): Review of the Literature Pertaining to the Second Wave of Data Collection with the Child Cohort at Age 13.

  • McCrory, C., Leahy, S., & McGarrigle, CA. (2014).  What Factors are Associated with Change in Older People’s Quality of Life? In A. Nolan et al. (eds) The Over 50’s in a Changing Ireland: Economic Circumstances, Health and Wellbeing, 154-185.

  • Greene, S., Morgan, M., McCrory, C., & McNally, S. (2014). Growing Up in Ireland Literature Review Series (Number 4): Review of the Literature Pertaining to the Second Wave of Data Collection with the Infant Cohort at Three Years.

  • Williams, J., & McCrory, C. (2011).  Growing Up in Ireland Technical Series (Number 2): Report on Pre-Piloting, Piloting and Dress Rehearsal Phases of the Child Cohort. Department of Health and Children.

  • Murray, A., McCrory, C., Thornton, M. et al. (2010). Growing Up in Ireland Technical Report (Number 1): Design, Instrumentation and Procedures for the Child Cohort (at 9 Years). Department of Health and Children.  Department of Health and Children.

  • Greene, S., Williams, J., Doyle, E., Harris, E., McCrory, C. ... Whelan, C.T. (2010). Growing Up in Ireland Literature Review Series (Number 3): Review of the Literature Pertaining to the First Wave of Data Collection with the Infant Cohort at 9 Months

  • Greene, S., Williams, J., Doyle, E., Harris, E., McCrory, C. ... Whelan, C.T. (2010). Growing Up in Ireland Literature Review Series (Number 2): Review of the Literature Pertaining to the First Wave of Data Collection with the Child Cohort at 9 Years.

Select Presentations

  • The Ghost of Childhood Past: The Influence of the Early Life Social Environment on Health from Cradle to Grave. Invited Speaker, Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, Mary Immaculate College (April, 2016).

  • Socio-Economic Variation in Heart Rate Recovery to Orthostatic Challenge.  Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 7(1). Paper presented at the SLLS conference, Dublin (October, 2015).

  • Loneliness and the Heart: Social Disadvantage, Social Isolation and Cardiovascular Health. Invited Speaker Presentation, ‘In the Psychologist’s Chair’, National College of Ireland (26/04/2015). 

  • Socio-Economic Variation in the Heart Rate Response to a Cardiovascular Stressor. Invited Speaker Presentation given at the ESRC Workshop on Biomarkers in Behavioural Science. University of Stirling, (27/02/2015).

  • Speed of Heart Rate Recovery in Response to Orthostatic Challenge: A Strong Risk Marker of Mortality. Paper presented at the Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard University. (12/12/2014).

  • Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life Among Older People in Ireland: Findings from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Invited speaker presentation given at the Trinity Week: Science of Happiness event. Trinity College Dublin (10/04/2014).   

  • The Influence of Early Life Events on Later Life health.  Invited speaker presentation given at the British Geriatric Society Conference, Belfast (19/04/2013).

Professional Memberships and Appointments

  • Visiting Research Scientist, Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard University (Oct-Dec, 2014).
  • Research Affiliate of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Member of the Expert Advisory Group, Growing Up in Ireland.
  • Member of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS).
  • Reviewer for:
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Archives of Disease in Childhood
  • Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
  • European Journal of Ageing
  • Personality and Individual Differences (PAID)
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Maternal and Child Health Journal
  • British Journal of Nutrition
  • BMC Geriatrics