Study design

Three groups or ‘cohorts’ of children have been taking part in Growing Up In Scotland (GUS):

Birth cohort 1

This cohort contains around 5000 children, born between June 2004 and May 2005. Data is collected annually from their families from between the ages of 10 months and just under 6 years, then every 2 years until the children are in their first year of secondary school. Data collection at age 14/S3, which is the tenth sweep of face-to-face data collection for this sweep, commenced in January 2019 and will be complete in July 2020.

In 2018, as part of sweep 9 fieldwork, an additional group of 502 children were recruited to the cohort to improve the representativeness of the data. The additional sample was drawn from Child Benefit records held by HMRC. Children born between 1st June 2004 and 31st May 2005 and in at least one of the two key sub-groups (i.e. mother aged 16-24 at birth; living in 15% most deprived data zones in Scotland) were eligible for inclusion. Further details can be found in the Sweep 9 User Guide.

Birth cohort 2

This cohort contains around 6000 children born between March 2010 and February 2011. Data is collected from their families when the children are 10 months old, just under 3 years old, and just under 5 years old. There are no current plans to collect further data from this group.

Child cohort

This cohort contains around 3000 children born between June 2002 and May 2003. Four ‘sweeps’ of data are collected from their families, from between the ages of just under 3 years to just under 6 years. There are no current plans to collect further data from this group.

 

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 do 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

 

S3 (Age 14)

 

2019/20

 

 

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). Up until and including sweep 8, subsequent annual sweeps have been reviewed via substantial amendment submitted to the same committee. Sweep 9 and 10 were subject to ethical review by the NatCen Research Ethics Committee.

 

Teacher questionnaire

As part of the sweep 8 interview, parents/carers and children in BC1 were asked for consent for a survey to be conducted with the cohort child’s Primary 6 teacher. The data from the teacher survey is now available via the UKDS. Further information is available from the UKDS website: https://beta.ukdataservice.ac.uk/datacatalogue/studies/study?id=8366

 

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