Dr. Cathal McCrory
Cathal McCrory joined the TILDA team in May 2012 and is employed as a Research Fellow under the Health Research Board's Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) programme. In this role, he will examine socio-economic variation in mental health and well-being among the 50+ population in Ireland, and explore 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’ may help us understand why a person growing up in a more disadvantaged community in Ireland has a life expectancy at time of birth that is 4.3 years shorter on average compared with those who grow up in more affluent environments (CSO, 2010). Cathal’s research utilises population-level data (TILDA, ELSA, HRS) 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.
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
- McCrory, C. & Murray, A. (2013). The effect of breastfeeding on neuro-development in infancy. Maternal and Child Health Journal. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10995-012-1182-9
- Layte, R. & McCrory, C. (2013). Pediatric chronic illness and educational failure: the role of emotional and behavioural problems. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00127-012-0609-3
- McCrory, C. & McNally, S. (2013). The effect of pregnancy intention on maternal prenatal behaviours and parent and child health: results of an Irish cohort study. Journal of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 27(2), 208-215.
- McCrory, C. & Layte, R. (2012). Prenatal smoking during pregnancy and childhood behavioural problems: a quasi-experimental approach. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(8), 1277-1288.
- McCrory, C. & Layte, R. (2012). Breastfeeding and risk of overweight and obesity at nine years of age. Social Science and Medicine, 75(2), 323-330.
- McCrory, C. & Layte, R. (2012). Testing competing models of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’s (SDQ’s) factor structure for the parent-informant instrument. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 882-887.
- McCrory, C. & Layte, R. (2011). The effect of breastfeeding on children’s educational test scores at nine years of age: Results of an Irish cohort study. Social Science and Medicine, 72(5), 1515-1521.
- McCrory, C. & Cooper, C. (2007). Overlap between different visual inspection time tasks and general intelligence. Learning and Individual Differences, 17, 197-192.
- McCrory, C. & Cooper, C. (2005). The relationship between three auditory inspection time tasks and general intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1835-1845.
- 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.
- Murray, A., McCrory, C., Thornton, M. et al (2011). Growing Up in Ireland: Design, instrumentation and procedures for the child cohort. Technical Report No. 1. Dublin: Government Publications.
- Williams, J. & McCrory, C. (2011). Report on the pre-piloting, piloting and dress rehearsal phases of the child cohort. Technical Report No. 2. Dublin: Government Publications.
- McCrory, C., Layte, R., & Kenny, R.A. (2013). Social gradients and slippery slopes: what have cohort studies contributed to our understanding of the relationship between socio-economic status and health? (in submission).
- McCrory, C., Savva, G., Layte, R., & Kenny, R.A. (2013). The ghost of childhood past: the lasting legacy of childhood adversity for disease risk in later life.
- McCrory, C., Gallagher, D. & Kenny, R.A. (2013). Control orientation as mediator of the social gradient in depression.
- McCrory, C., Finucane, C., Frewen, J, Kenny, R.A., & Kearney, P. (2013). The biology of social inequality: deconstructing the social patterning of heart rate.
- The ghost of childhood past: The Influence of early life events on later life health. Invited speaker presentation given at the British Geriatric Society Conference, Belfast (19/04/2013).
- What do life-course analyses from TILDA tell us about the need for early-life interventions? Policy paper presented at Trinity College Dublin (13/03/2013).
- Control orientation as a mediator of the social gradient in depression. Paper presented at the Department of Medical Gerontology annual research day in St. James hospital, Dublin (09/03/2013).
- Prenatal smoking and childhood behaviour problems: A quasi-experimental approach. Paper presented at the Growing Up in Ireland Annual Conference December, 2011).
- Breastfeeding and risk of overweight and obesity at nine-years of age. Paper presented to the European Child Cohort Network (EUCCONET) symposium on Diet and Nutrition Resources, Bristol, UK (October, 2011).
- Infant feeding behaviour and developmental outcomes. Paper presented at the Growing Up in Ireland Annual Conference (November, 2010).
Other Professional Activities
- Research Affiliate of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland.
- Reviewer for:
- Archives of Disease in Childhood
- Personality and Individual Differences
- Global Health Perspectives
- Behavior Research Methods
- Developmental Science
- Research in Developmental Disabilities
- British Journal of Nutrition