ALSPAC – Age 5 – The Reynell Developmental Language Scale: Verbal Comprehensions Subscale

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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 Reynell Development Language Scale’s Verbal Comprehensions Subscale.

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


Domain:Language ability
Measures:Language development
Verbal/lexical comprehension
Listening ability
CHC:Gc (Crystallized Intelligence)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; guided play session; questions answered orally
Procedure:During a guided play session, the child was presented with a set of toys and asked to carry out a series of tasks of increasing complexity. First, the child was asked to select a specific toy (e.g. "Where is the horse?"). Next the child was asked to manipulate the toy in increasingly complex ways in order to demonstrate understanding, e.g. "Put the spoon in the cup", "Put the white button underneath the cup".
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Raw (0 - 55) and standardised (-11 - 3) scores are available, with the standardised score reflecting how well the children performed in comparison with other children at age 2 years (mean = 0, SD = +/- 1).
Item-level variable(s):Not readily available
Total score/derived variable(s):cf463, cf464, cf465
Descriptives:Raw scoreAge equivalised score
N = 985N = 982
Range = 6 - 67Range = 2.02 - 7
Mean = 60.77Mean = 5.33
SD = 4.55SD = 0.95
(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:ALSPAC – Age 2 – The Reynell Development Language Scale: Verbal Comprehensions Subscale
Source:Reynell, J., & Curwen, M. P. (1977). Manual for the Reynell developmental language scales (revised). NFER.
Technical resources:Reynell, J. K., & Gruber, C. P. (1997). Reynell developmental language scales. Western Psychological Services.
Reference examples:Roulstone, S., Loader, S., Northstone, K., & Beveridge, M. (2002). The speech and language of children aged 25 months: Descriptive data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Early Child Development and Care, 172(3), 259-268.
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’.