In what will be the first-ever youth-to-adulthood panel study in the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi New Generation Survey aims to discover the determinants of successful transitions into adulthood for Emiratis in the areas of education, career, family, and health.
By surveying a group of Emirati youth residing in Abu Dhabi, principal investigator Paula England, NYU Abu Dhabi affiliated faculty and NYU New York professor of Sociology, and her four co-principal investigators will assess early life predictors of various types of adult outcomes.
"In Abu Dhabi, those in the new generation of youth are coming of age in a completely different environment, unknown to their grandparents," England explained. "This study will allow us to answer such questions as: What kind of university training leads young adults into the global private sector? What are causes of the gender disparities in university attendance whereby women are graduating at higher rates? Does high income encourage having more children, or is there a tradeoff between a woman's education and her fertility?"
In Abu Dhabi, those in the new generation of youth are coming of age in a completely different environment, unknown to their grandparents.
Parents and Children as Part of the Survey
Using a probability sample of families with children aged 15 to 16, the team will survey one parent, and a youth 15 to 16 years of age in each family — as well as a sibling youth between the ages of 13 and 18, if one exists. "We hope to be able to continue the study after Wave I so that youths will then be surveyed every year or two until reaching age 25 or more," said England.
Currently in its first year, the study includes a pilot survey that is being conducted in NYUAD's 2012–13 academic year. In addition to survey questions, biomarkers will also be collected from a buccal swab (a non-invasive method of DNA collection using cells from the inside of an individual's cheek) and body mass index will be measured to allow researchers to explore gene/environment interactions.