ALSPAC – Age 15.5 – WASI Vocabulary

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The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 15.5 sweep (TeenFocus 3) using the Vocabulary measure from the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale Of Intelligence (WASI).

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Verbal ability
Measures:Verbal comprehension
Lexical knowledge
Long-term memory
Language development
CHC:Crystallised intelligence (Gc)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; oral answers
Procedure:The test consists of 42 items. For items 7-10, the interviewer showed the child a picture and asked them to describe what they saw (e.g. a fish). For all other items, the interviewer read aloud a list of words, asking the child to define each one as they proceed, e.g. ("Tell me what TRANSFORM means").
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Items 7-10 were worth 1 point each. All other items are scored on a 0 - 2 scale depending on the quality of response. Note (see documentation): WASI scores may underestimate IQ. Raw scores were converted to T-scores using the WASI manual (0 - 60).
Item-level variable(s):Not readily available
Total score/derived variable(s):fh6272, fh6277
Descriptives:Raw scoreT-score
N = 5,281N = 5,281
Range = 4 - 71Range = 20 - 77
Mean = 45.42Mean = 45.56
SD = 10.02SD = 11.82
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:Mean = 185.69 months, SD = 4.24, Range = 171 - 212
Other sweep and/or cohort:ALSPAC – Age 4 – WPPSI-RUK Vocabulary
Source:Wechsler, D. (1999). Manual for the Wechsler abbreviated intelligence scale (WASI). San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Mokrysz, C., Landy, R., Gage, S. H., Munafò, M. R., Roiser, J. P., & Curran, H. V. (2016). Are IQ and educational outcomes in teenagers related to their cannabis use? A prospective cohort study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(2), 159-168.
Ramsay, H., Barnett, J. H., Murray, G. K., Miettunen, J., Mäki, P., Järvelin, M. R., ... & Veijola, J. (2018). Cognition, psychosis risk and metabolic measures in two adolescent birth cohorts. Psychological medicine, 48(15), 2609-2623.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.