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


This week our interviewers will start to visit families in our younger group of children (‘Birth Cohort 2’) to ask them to take part in their third interview. At this stage, the children are nearly 5 years old. Main carers will be asked to take part in a face-to-face interview. The children will take part in exercises to look at their language and problem solving skills. They will also have their height and weight measured. This round of visits will take place throughout 2015.

Thanks again to all of the GUS families for taking part. We couldn’t do this research without you! Your information is helping the Scottish Government and all their partners to achieve their aim of making Scotland the best place to grow up.

Click here to find out who is using the new information generated by GUS.

If you are taking part in the study, click here for more information.


All the latest news, publications and events in GUS News October 2014


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


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


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



This event will take place on Tuesday 17 June (am) at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. Two new reports will be presented, looking at family and school influences on children’s social and emotional well-being at age 8, and the characteristics of pre-school education and their association with child outcomes.

For more information and to book a place:



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



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 . It is important for to us to monitor how the data is being used to demonstrate the impact of the study.





All the latest news, publications and events in GUS News November 2013




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