Adrian Byrne


Modelling unbounded socioeconomic status (SES) for individual development across the life course

PhD summary

This employs a continuous, unbounded measure of life course SES as the main exposure of interest. It also examines the relationship between parental SES and adult (child of parents) SES using birth cohort longitudinal data. I believe this line of research is important as it investigates the degree of accord between the parents’ and adult child’s SES and in doing so, provides an opportunity to rigorously evaluate unbounded SES variation between individuals across the life course empirically. To address the research questions below, I am using the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) 1958-2013 dataset and employing a series of life course multilevel models.

Research questions:

  • What are the legacy effects of a person’s parent’s SES on their own SES development across the life course controlling for sex and residential region? How does SES development vary between individuals across the life course?
  • Using prospectively collected longitudinal survey data which suffers from missing data, how can we evaluate the effect these missing data have on life course SES development? How can we compensate for these missing data?
  • To what extent does fixed parental SES differ from parental SES mobility in terms of adult child SES life course development? Is there evidence of a gradient constraint regarding life course SES development?
  • How do the conclusions differ when we replace mean multilevel modelling with quantile multilevel modelling regarding life course SES development?



Before joining CMI as a Social Statistics PhD student, I worked as a Data Analyst at the University of Nottingham on a research project funded by The European Foundation for Alcohol Research. This research project investigated the relationship between early-life socioeconomic status, midlife alcohol consumption and later life health problems using the 1958 National Child Development Study survey data.

I have also worked as an Associate Tutor providing SPSS statistical training modules for postgraduate research students and Quantitative Methods seminars for undergraduate students at the University of East Anglia and Trinity College Dublin. Outside of the university sector, I have worked as an Economist with Indecon International Economic Consultants and as an Asbestos Analyst with Asbestos Consultancy Services Limited.

My qualifications include an MSc in Statistics from the University of Warwick (dissertation entitled “Predicting one-year response in HIV clinical trials” in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline), an MSc in Economics from Trinity College Dublin (dissertation entitled “Accidents on Irish Roads from 2000 to 2004; An Econometric Analysis” in conjunction with the National Roads Authority) and a joint honours BA in Mathematics and Economics from Trinity College Dublin.

Contact details

Office: Humanities Bridgeford Street, room G.45