Study design

Three groups or ‘cohorts’ of children have been taking part in GUS:

Child cohort

c.3000 children born between June 2002 and May 2003 – 4 ‘sweeps’ of data collected from families when child aged just under 3 years to just under 6 years. There are no current plans to collect further data from this group.

Birth cohort 1

c. 5000 children born between June 2004 and May 2005 – data collected annually from families when children aged between 10 months and just under 6 years then every 2 years until the children are in the first year of secondary school. Data collection at S3 to be confirmed.

Birth cohort 2

c. 6000 children born between March 2010 and February 2011 – data collected from families when children aged 10 months, just under 3 years and just under 5 years. Further data collection to be confirmed.

How are families selected

Our families are selected at random from Child Benefit records provided by HM Revenue and Customs. Families receive a letter inviting them to take part in the study. Participation is entirely voluntary.

Where GUS families live

Families from every Local Authority area in Scotland are taking part in the study. Together, these families are representative of all families in Scotland with young children.

GUS ‘Ages and stages’

Child’s age

Cohort/Year of data collection

Child cohort

Birth cohort 1

Birth cohort 2

10 months

2005/06

2010/11

Age 2

2006/07

Age 3

2005/06

2007/08

2013/14

Age 4

2006/07

2008/09

Age 5

2007/08

2009/10

2015/16

Age 6

2008/09

2010/11

Age 8

2012/13

Primary 6 (Age 10)

2014/15

S1 (Age 12)

2017/18

Ethical approval

The initial sweep of data collection was subject to medical ethical review by the Scotland ‘A’ MREC committee (application reference: 04/M RE 1 0/59). Subsequent annual sweeps have been reviewed via substantial amendment submitted to the same committee.

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