This report draws on data from Birth Cohort 1 (BC1) and Birth Cohort 2 (BC2) combined with administrative data from the Care Inspectorate to provide an understanding of characteristics of early learning and childcare (ELC) use and provision in Scotland.

Read full report


Read a blog from ScotCen researcher Eilidh Currie on GUS’s achievements in 2017. 


This report uses data from the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) longitudinal study to investigate the employment patterns of mothers during the first 5 years of their child’s life. The analysis draws on data relating to children in 2 birth cohorts: Birth Cohort 1 (BC1), children born in 2004/5 and Birth Cohort 2 (BC2), children born in 2010/11. Surveys were conducted when the children were aged 10 months, 3 years and 5 years, spanning the period 2005 – 2015.

Read full report


Data from the second sweep of GUS Birth Cohort 2 (6,000 children born 2010/11) is now available from the UK Data Service.

For a user guide for the data, click here.

For a deposit form, click 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.


The Scottish Government has published a new report ‘Objectively measured physical activity levels of Scottish children: analysis from a sub-sample of 10-11 year-olds in the Growing Up in Scotland study’.

Link to the full report.  

This report uses GUS data to explore the physical activity and sedentary levels in Scottish 10-11 year old children. Using two approaches, self-reported and objectively measured physical activity, the analysis examines differences in activity levels by gender and area deprivation. 

The report was written by Paul McCrorie and Anne Ellaway from the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. This work part of a wider academic study exploring the environmental determinants of physical activity in young people that also incorporates GPS data on where young people are most active (SPACES – Studying Physical Activity in Children’s Environments Across Scotland).


A new report published by the Scottish Government explores the quality of father-child relationships as perceived by children aged 10 years old, the factors predicting less positive father-child relationships, and how father-child relationships relate to other aspects of children’s wellbeing.

Download the report

The report was commissioned by the Scottish Government as part of Year of the Dad 2016. The report was written by Alison Parkes, Julie Riddell, Daniel Wight and Katie Buston at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow




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


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


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 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.


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

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

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