Publication

A new report published by the Scottish Government explores the relationships between parent-child activities and language development and enjoyment of reading in two of the groups of children taking part in GUS.

The report compares language development at age 3 and explores whether any differences are linked to changes in early parent-child activities across the two cohorts. The report also explores whether any changes in home learning activities across the cohorts appear to be linked to the introduction of the Scottish Book Trust’s Bookbug programme and the Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead campaign.

Click on the link below to read the report:

Language development and enjoyment of reading: impacts of early parent-child activities in two Growing Up in Scotland cohorts

News

GUS Birth Cohort 1 Parents Questionnaire 2017

We have answered some of the questions you may have about the online questionnaire.  You can take part by clicking the link above.

Who is carrying out the study?

The study is conducted by ScotCen Social Research on behalf of the Scottish Government. We work in collaboration with academic researchers from the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, based at Edinburgh University, and the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, at Glasgow University.

How does this stage of the survey differ from previous stages?

Previously one of our interviewers visited you in your home but this time round we’d like you to complete an online questionnaire. This will only take 10 minutes to complete.  As in previous years, the questions will be about you and your child.

What will happen to any information I give?

All the information you give us is treated in strict confidence under the Data Protection Act 1998.  The results collected are used for research purposes only.

Is the information I provide safe online?

We take our responsibility to keep your personal information secure very seriously.  To make sure your information is protected we use a secure website (HTTPS). This is the same type of website that you would generally see when shopping online. As part of our commitment to the security of your information, ScotCen Social Research has regular internal and external audits of its information security, and is accredited to the International Standard for Information Security, ISO 27001:2005.

I don’t have or I have lost the “access code” to get into the questionnaire.

No problem, you can either call the freephone helpline on 0800 652 2704 or email us at gus@scotcen.org.uk.

Can I complete the survey on my smartphone/tablet?

Yes, the questionnaire can be completed using a desktop or laptop computer, a smartphone or a tablet device. You just need to be connected to the internet.

Do I have to complete the questionnaire in one go?

It should only take 10 minutes to complete, but if you are interrupted and need to exit the questionnaire then you will be able to return to where you left off. The questionnaire will be saved automatically, so you can close your internet browser and return to complete it at a more convenient time. To regain access to the questionnaire, just follow the initial instructions in your letter/email and you will return to where you left off.

The questionnaire timed out.

To protect the confidentiality of your answers, the questionnaire is closed down if it is left for a period of time. Your answers will have been saved so you can log back in using the instructions in your letter/email as before and you will be returned to the point where you left off.

I don’t know how to use computers / I don’t want to do the questionnaire online.

If you are unable to complete the questionnaire online please let us know either by email gus@scotcen.org.uk or call us free on 0800 652 2704.

I have completed my questionnaire, but you still sent me a reminder.

Thank you for taking part!  It might be that you completed the questionnaire after we had checked our records and sent out the reminder.  We apologise, but we will have safely received you answers.

Will an interviewer visit us again?

Yes. The face-to-face interviews are still really important and your interviewer will be in contact again once your child is a bit older.

Will you be contacting me by email from now on?

We find email a really handy way to stay in touch, and so do many people who take part in Growing Up in Scotland. So, unless you’d prefer not to, we’d like to keep in contact using emails alongside our letters from now on. If you’d rather not be contacted by email, just let us know.

Where can I find out more?

Email us on gus@scotcen.org.uk or phone us (free) on 0800 652 2704.  Our website also provides information about the study or you can follow us on Twitter @growingupinscot

Publication

Our new report ‘Tackling Inequalities in the Early Years: Key messages from 10 years of the Growing Up in Scotland study’ was launched yesterday at an event to celebrate 10 years of the study.

Download the report here

View our animation that highlights some of the key findings

Publication

Our new report ‘Growing Up in Scotland: The Circumstances and Experiences of 3-year-old children living in Scotland in 2007/08 and 2013’ was published on 6 October 2015.

Download the report here

Publication

Our researchers based at the University of Glasgow have had an article published in the Journal of Family Psychology. ‘Parenting Stress and Parent Support Among Mothers with High and Low Education’ by Alison Parkes, Helen Sweeting and Daniel Wight uses data from our Birth Cohort 2 families to look at how stress varies amongst different groups of parents and how stress levels are related to differences in the levels of support available to families.

Key points

The researchers wanted to find if out the stress associated with bringing up children is different for parents with different educational backgrounds.  They also wanted to find out to what extent deficits in support are related to parenting stress.

Other research has suggested that parenting stress is greater among parents from both low and high socioeconomic positions (SEP) because of material hardship among parents of low SEP and because of employment demands among parents of high SEP.

Using data from GUS Birth Cohort 2 when the children were aged 10 months, the researchers found that maternal parenting stress is indeed higher among both the most and least educated mothers, compared with mothers who have intermediate level education.  They also found that high parenting stress is more likely for migrant families (where parents were born outside of Scotland) and for single-parent families.

In terms of support from grandparents, both high educated and lower educated migrants experienced less frequent contact with grandparents, since few had grandparents living nearby. However, compared with intermediate SEP families, less frequent contact with grandparents was also seen among low-educated families with parents born in the UK, even though most had grandparents living nearby. A small grandparent network was particularly evident among low-educated single mothers, where one fifth of babies had contact with only one grandparent (typically the maternal grandmother).

High educated parents were more reliant on formal childcare and enjoyed less regular contact with friends, compared with the intermediate group. Lower educated families had smaller grandparent and friend networks, compared with the intermediate group. They were also more likely than other groups to perceive barriers to accessing parenting support from formal professional sources, like Health Visitors.

Further analysis showed that the lack of support from either formal or informal sources explains about half of the parenting stress experienced by both high and lower educated mothers. Less frequent contact with the child’s grandparents helps to explain the higher stress experienced by both groups, with this effect strongest among migrants.

However, the support deficits experienced by both groups differed in other ways. Stress among low- educated mothers was associated with smaller and less effective social support networks whereas stress among higher-educated mothers was associated with less readily accessible informal support from friends and family, despite larger network size and quality.

Reliance on formal childcare was a particular source of stress for high-educated mothers, who were more likely to be in full-time employment than less-educated groups.  Barriers to professional support were most pertinent for low-educated mothers.

These findings suggest that understanding how parenting stress varies between different groups of parents might be enhanced by considering particular groups at risk of low support. By examining how different groups experience parenting stress as a result of low support, outreach programmes and interventions might be targeted to maximise the benefits to different groups of families and to make efficient use of resources.

 

 

News

Our interviewers have started to visit GUS families when the children in our older group are in Primary 6. Parents and children will be asked to complete questionnaires. The children will also carry out exercises to look at their cognitive development.

The GUS team have developed some new web pages to thank the children for taking part in the study and to tell them why the information they provide is so important. The pages include a fun, on-line quiz that highlights some of the findings from the study so far. The pages are aimed at the children taking part in the study but may also be of interest to other young people.

Visit the new GUS Kids Pages

Publication

A new report explores the relationship between children’s experience of pre-school provision and change in their social and cognitive development between ages 3 and 5. The project examines differences in the characteristics of pre-school provision experienced by different children and whether, in particular, the quality of the provision – as assessed through inspection by the Care Inspectorate or Education Scotland – influences change in children’s outcomes.  The project uses data collected from mothers and children in the first birth cohort of the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study between 2008 and 2010. Survey data was linked to administrative data held by the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland.

Full report

Publication

A new report explores family and school influences on children’s social and emotional well-being.

The project explored possible influences on children’s behavioural and emotional difficulties, and on their subjective well-being. It used data collected from mothers and children in the first birth cohort of the Growing Up in Scotland study, interviewed in 2012/13 when the child was seven years old. Mothers were asked about the child’s behavioural and emotional problems, and children were asked about their life satisfaction. Analyses explored the role of child, maternal and household characteristics, parenting behaviours, school experiences, friendships, leisure activities, and materialistic attitudes on both child mental health (high levels of behavioural and emotional problems) and low subjective well-being (low life satisfaction).

Factors associated with low life satisfaction and high behavioural and emotional difficulties were: Greater conflict in the parent-child relationship; lower parental awareness of the child’s activities or relationships; child difficulties adjusting to the learning and social environment at primary school; and the child having poorer quality friendships.

Factors associated with low life satisfaction (but not high levels of behavioural and emotional problems):  A recent death, illness or accident in the family; and less positive parenting.

Factors associated with high levels of behavioural and emotional problems (but not low life satisfaction): poor child and maternal health; low maternal education; family mental health/substance use problems; and low parent-child warmth.

Full report       Summary

 

Publication

A new report from GUS explores the characteristics, circumstances and experiences of first-time mothers in Scotland aged under 20 years at the time of their child’s birth.  The report provides a current picture of the circumstances of young mothers and also explores how the circumstances and characteristics of mothers change as their child grows older.

The findings make clear that from the very earliest stages of pregnancy and throughout the first six years of their child’s life, mothers aged under 20 are considerably more likely than older mothers to experience significant disadvantage in relation to health, income, employment and other areas of their lives and that this persistent and multiple disadvantage has an adverse impact their children’s outcomes. Other analysis from GUS suggest that it is not the age of the mother that drives child outcomes but the fact that younger mothers have a more challenging starting point that makes it more difficult for them to achieve the security and stability that they and their children need.

The research also shows that young mothers have specific needs in terms of the support they require and how it should be delivered.  With the right support in place, opportunities and outcomes for younger mothers and their children could be greatly improved.

Full report: The experiences of mothers aged under 20: analysis from the Growing Up in Scotland study

Scottish Government Press Release: Young mothers focus of new research

 

News

The data from Birth Cohort 2 (6,000 children born during 2010/11) is now available to download from the UK Data Service.

If you are interested in using the data for research, there are a limited number of places left on Data Workshops being held in Edinburgh on 14 January 2014 and in Glasgow on 22nd January 2014. More detail here.

If you are using the data or plan to do so, please keep in touch by e-mailing lesley.kelly@ed.ac.uk . It is important for to us to monitor how the data is being used to demonstrate the impact of the study.

 

 

 

Publication

A new report presents an in-depth analysis of data from GUS to examine the circumstances and outcomes of children living with a disability in Scotland. This analysis explores the impact of disability on the child, their parents and the wider family. The analysis found clear differences between disabled and non-disabled children. However, the broad definition applied to disability means that the differences are not huge. It appears that socio-economic differences are, to a large extent, driving the differences in outcomes between disabled and non-disabled children.

Download the full report

Download the summary

 

Event

The presentation slides and audio recordings from our Annual Conference held in Glasgow on 19 February 2013 are now available from our Events Page.

Publication

cover1

Birth Cohort 2 – results from the first year

News

All the latest news, publications and events in GUS News May 2016

Event

We are pleased to announce that ScotCen Social Research have been commissioned to undertake another round of face to face interviews with our ‘Birth Cohort 1’.  These interviews will begin in early 2017, when the young people are in their first year of secondary school.

To help identify the topics for this S1 ‘sweep’ of data collection, the Scottish Government are hosting a questionnaire development workshop on the morning of Monday 11th April at Victoria Quay in Edinburgh. This will also be an opportunity consider topics for a possible sweep in S3 that would begin in 2019 and to hear about long-term strategic plans for the study.

Places at the event will be limited. Our priority is to involve those who would like to make an active contribution to the design of the study.  To register your interest in attending please e-mail David Dey at David.Dey@gov.scot under the title ‘GUS questionnaire workshop’. Please include a sentence about how you envisage using GUS data from these future sweeps and which organisation or interest you’ll be representing.  The closing date for registering an interest is Friday 26th February. Places will be confirmed by Friday 11th March.

News

Around one third of the older children taking part in GUS have recently started Primary 6, and we are interested in finding out how they are getting on at school.

Parents and children have given us their consent to contact the child’s teacher. Teachers will be asked to complete a short on-line questionnaire

Teachers – please help us by completing the questionnaires!

More information and FAQ

 

Event

We are now 10 years old! This year at our annual conference we will reflect on key findings from the first 10 years. We will also launch new findings that compare the experiences and outcomes of children in both birth cohorts at age 3 years and we will hear from the Scottish Government about how GUS is helping to make Scotland the best place to grow up.

For more information, go to our Events page.

 

News

All the latest news, publications and events in GUS News June 2015

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