ALSPAC – Age 5 – Bus Story

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The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) at 61 months’ age (Children in Focus Clinic) using the Bus Story measure.

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


Domain:Verbal expression
Measures:Language development
Verbal expression
Listening ability
Communication ability
Oral production and fluency
CHC:Gc (Crystallised Intelligence)
Glr (Long-Term Storage and Retrieval)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; answered orally
Procedure:The interviewer read aloud a story (accompanied with pictures) about a naughty bus. The child was then required to retell the story, using the pictures as support. The child's version was recorded, and scored for information content and sentence length.
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Marks were awarded for information (0 - 55) and sentence length (0 - 20).
Item-level variable(s):Not readily available.
Total score/derived variable(s):cf466 - cf468
Descriptives:Information scoreSentence length
N = 823N = 772
Range = 1 - 52Range = 3 - 20
Mean = 27.38Mean = 9.45
SD = 11.11SD = 2.53
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants (months):Mean = 67.19, SD = 0.8, Range = 65 - 73
Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:Renfrew, C.E. (1997). Bus Story Test: A test of narrative speech. 4th edition. UK: Winslow Press Ltd.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Hughes, C., Dunn, J., & White, A. (1998). Trick or treat?: Uneven understanding of mind and emotion and executive dysfunction in 'hard-to-manage' preschoolers. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 39(7), 981-994.
Clegg, J., Law, J., Rush, R., Peters, T. J., & Roulstone, S. (2015). The contribution of early language development to children's emotional and behavioural functioning at 6 years: an analysis of data from the Children in Focus sample from the ALSPAC birth cohort. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(1), 67-75.

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