Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

Comparative Inequalities, Education and Families (CRIEF)


The Comparative Research on Inequalities, Education and Families (CRIEF) research unit represents a vibrant and prolific group that combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies by using comparative case studies, observational data and experimental designs. CRIEF has three main areas:
(1) Inequalities: Social stratification and well-being processes from early childhood to old age (Yekaterina Chzhen, Pablo Gracia, Richard Layte, Peter Mühlau, Jan Skopek).
(2) Education: Educational systems and processes linked to academic performance and identities of individuals and groups; cross-national comparative curriculum analysis and religion in schools and society (Daniel Faas, Jan Skopek).
(3) Families: Gendered and socioeconomic processes in families affecting individuals’ well-being, time use and norms over the life course (Pablo Gracia, Richard Layte, Cadhla McDonnell, David Ralph, Jan Skopek).

CRIEF researchers have published their research in leading outlets and received grants from top international funding agencies like the Horizon 2020 Programme, Marie Sklodowska-Curie-Actions, Irish Research Council and Health Research Board. Researchers at CRIEF actively collaborate with national and international research centres, networks and organisations including ECSR, ESRI, TRiCC and TILDA. CRIEF is committed to creating high scientific, social and policy impact.   


 Selected Projects:

- TeenPath: Social Environment, Health and Well-Being Among Adolescents in Ireland  (PI: Richard Layte & Debbie Stanistreet, RCSI) Funder: Health Research Board. Period: 2020/22.
- DIGYMATEX: Establishing A Comprehensive Understanding and Taxonomy of Children's Digital Maturity (PI: Pablo Gracia); Funder: Horizon 2020 / -SC6- TRANSFORMATIONS-07-2019-RIA. Period: 2020/24.
- Researching and Promoting Positive Adult and Child Mental Health and Wellbeing in Lone-Parent Families (PI: Cadhla McDonnell; Co-PI: Pablo Gracia). Funder: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, IRC COFUND (CAROLINE). Period: 2019/22.
- Family-Friendly Policies in Rich Countries (PI: Yekaterina Chzhen). Funder: UNICEF. Period: 2019.
- Social Inequalities, Children’s Activities and Child Development: A Longitudinal Approach (PI: Pablo Gracia); Funder: Provost PhD Competition Award, Trinity College Dublin. Period: 2018/22.
- Child Well-Being in Rich Countries (PI: Yekaterina Chzhen). Funder: UNICEF. Period: 2018/2019.
- ISOTIS: Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society (PI: Jan Skopek. Funder: Horizon 2020 European Commission; Period: 2017/19.
- CNS: Religious Education in Ireland: The Responses of Community National Schools (PI: Daniel Faas); Funder: Trinity College Dublin, VP/CAO. Period: 2017/18.
- LIFEPATH: The Biological Pathways Underlying Social Differences in Healthy Ageing (PI Richard Layte); Funder: Horizon 2020 European Commission. Period: 2015-2019.
- MAMILO: Managing Migration at Local Level: Educational and Labour Market Responses (PI: Daniel Faas); Funder: Enterprise Ireland. Period: 2014.
- CAP: Curriculum Alignment between IB-DP and National Systems in Germany and Switzerland (PI: Daniel Faas); Funder: International Baccalaureate Organization. Period 2013/14.

Selected Publications:

Bojarczuk, S., & Mühlau, P. (2018). Mobilising social network support for childcare: The case of Polish migrant mothers in Dublin. Social Networks, 53, 101-110.

Chzhen, Y., & Bruckauf, Z. (2019) Household income and sticky floors in children’s cognitive development: Evidence from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies
Faas, D., Smith, A. & Darmody, M. (2019) Between Ethos and Practice: Are Ireland's New Multi-Denominational Primary Schools Equal and Inclusive? Compare 49(4): 602-618.
Gracia, P., García-Román, J., Oinas, T., & Anttila, T. (2019) ‘Child and Adolescent Time Use: A Cross-National Study’. Journal of Marriage and Family. DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12626.
Kulic, N., Skopek, J., Triventi, M., & Blossfeld, H. P. (2019). Social Background and Children's Cognitive Skills: The Role of Early Childhood Education and Care in a Cross-National Perspective. Annual Review of Sociology, 45.
Layte, R., & McCrory, C. (2018) Fiscal crises and personal troubles: the great recession in Ireland and family processes. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology.
McDonnell, C., Luke, N., & Short, S. E. (2019) Happy Moms, Happier Dads: Gendered Caregiving and Parents’ Affect. Journal of Family Issues,

Ralph, D. (2018) The Unsung Heroes of Ireland” Masculinity, Gender, and Breadwinning among Ireland’s “Euro-Commuters. Men and Masculinities DOI: 10.1177/1097184X18787588.