Growing up in Scotland (GUS) is an important longitudinal research study, tracking the lives of thousands of young people and their families from birth through to the teenage years and beyond. Launched in 2005, to date, GUS has collected information on three nationally representative cohorts of children.
The main aim of the study is to provide new information to support policy-making in Scotland but it is also intended to provide a resource for practitioners, academics, the voluntary sector and parents. The importance of GUS for the Scottish Government, not to mention local authorities, health boards and all the other users of the data, is as great as it has ever been.
Findings and insights from GUS have enhanced understanding of language development, informed national youth work policies and helped both researchers and policy makers understand issues such as physical activity levels, diet, sleep and how young people experience their local areas.
In 2017, to address sample attrition, a further group of around 500 children born between June 2004 and May 2005, joined Birth Cohort 1, which is the only cohort being followed at present.
Since the survey began, the families taking part have been contacted regularly by our trained interviewers. This means that, altogether, information has been collected on around 14,000 children/young people, making GUS the largest longitudinal study of its kind in Scotland. The study provides crucial evidence to help the Scottish Government and others develop and monitor policies and services for children, young people and their families.
Growing Up in Scotland is part of CLOSER. CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, brings together world-leading longitudinal studies to maximise their use, value and impact and improve our understanding of key social and biomedical challenges.