Elfe is France’s first nationwide scientific study of children, tracking them from birth to adulthood. We are looking at many varied aspects of their lives, from the perspectives of health, social sciences and the environment. By monitoring the children at regular intervals, we will be better able to understand how their health, development and socialization are affected by their environment, family circle, schooling and living conditions.
Elfe brings together a variety of research bodies and has the backing of government and public institutions. Around 150 researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines are currently working on its data. From the very outset, Elfe has enjoyed close links with a number of European and international child cohorts.
The study has three main research themes: social sciences, health and the environment. Each research project selected by the Elfe team is therefore placed under one of these three headings, depending on its topic. Some projects concern several different fields, illustrating the study’s multidisciplinary approach.
Regular follow-up provides a means to track the children’s development, as well as changes in their family and their environment. They also allow us to remain in contact with the families and give them regular updates on how the study is progressing.
Thanks to the active participation of our many Elfe families, the study has already yielded results in the fields of social sciences, health and the environment. In this section, you will find summaries of articles published in academic journals and papers presented at scientific conferences.
Elfe has many core research topics tackling societal, environmental and public-health issues. The data it collects are made available to the scientific community, which regularly proposes new research projects. Thanks to all the researchers working on Elfe data, scientific output on childhood is steadily increasing.
This section summarizes the Elfe study’s scientific and methodological output, which includes articles published by researchers, posters presented at scientific meetings, and theses and dissertations.
All these research projects using data from the Elfe cohort were approved by the Elfe data access committee (CADE) made up of representatives of the project team and researchers associated with Elfe.
The bulk of the data will be collected via regular surveys of the children’s parents, in the form of telephone interviews and postal or Internet questionnaires.
The different stages of the study are carried out either by expert interviewers or by professionals who come into contact with the children in the course of their work, be they healthcare staff conducting the initial observations in the maternity units, physicians collecting more technical information about growth, innoculations, psychomotor development and so on, or teachers assessing the children’s learning.
Input from teachers about the children’s early learning, peer relationships and any special educational needs enriches the information we collect directly from the parents. Following on from our first two school surveys, conducted in nursery schools in 2016 and in the first year of primary school in 2018, Year 3 primary teachers have been asked by Elfe parents in the fall of 2020 to give their children maths and French exercises to do.
Au printemps 2016, une enquête en moyenne section de
maternelle a été réalisée auprès des enfants de la cohorte Elfe,
grâce à la mobilisation de milliers d’enseignants ayant accepté
de faire passer des tests à quelques élèves de leur classe. La
participation à cette enquête, non obligatoire pour les familles
comme pour les enseignants, s’est élevée à près de 50 % des
enfants Elfe concernés par ce volet de l’étude.
Dedicated to the parents and children taking part in Elfe, this section is in French.
Bienvenue dans ton espace ! Tu sais sans doute que tu participes avec plein d’autres enfants à une grande étude scientifique appelée Elfe. Ici, tu vas pouvoir t’amuser et mieux connaître l’étude Elfe. Pour cela, clique vite sur les différentes choses qui t’intéressent !
Vous vous posez des questions sur l’étude ? découvrez les coulisses de la recherche !
Dans cette rubrique, vous retrouverez toutes les informations concernant la sécurité et confidentialité de vos données et vos droits en tant que participant(e) à l'étude Elfe
Like to find out more? In this section, you will find a selection of tools and media relating to the Elfe study!
Conferences with the participation of Elfe families, interviews with researchers, films introducing the study… Behind the scenes in pictures!
Around twenty people currently work within the Elfe unit.
Elfe unit 2021 - ©Ined
Marie-Aline Charles, epidemiologist and research director at INSERM
Crédit : Ined
Xavier Thierry, demographer and researcher at INED