ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – WOLD Listening Comprehension

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The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 8.5 sweep (Focus@8) using the Listening Comprehension measure from the Wechsler Objective Language Dimensions (WOLD).

Details on this measure, of which the second part only was used, as well as details on the data collected from the CMs, are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Verbal comprehension
Measures:Listening comprehension
CHC:Crystallised intelligence (Gc)
Glr (Long-Term Storage and Retrieval)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; oral answers
Procedure:This task consisted of the second part of the listening comprehension subtest of the Wechsler Objective Language Dimensions (WOLD, Rust 1996). The tester read aloud a paragraph about a picture, and then the child was asked several questions about what they had heard. For example (taken from ALSPAC clinic documentation):
"Listen carefully.
The kitten climbed up into the very highest branches of the tree. Amy called to the kitten to come down, but the kitten did not move. Amy started to climb the tree to get the kitten. "No, Amy," her grandfather said. "You don't need to climb up there. Your kitten will come down when it's ready."
Why did Amy want to climb the tree?
What reason did Amy's grandfather give her for not climbing the tree?"
The task was discontinued if the child got three consecutive answers wrong. Alternate items from the standard test were used, and items that were judged to be loaded towards American culture were not used.
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:A raw score was calculated as the number of items the child got correct.
Item-level variable(s):f8sl020 - f8sl036
Total score/derived variable(s):f8sl040
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 7,377
Range = 2 - 15
Mean = 7.46
SD = 1.95
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:Mean = 103.82 months, SD = 3.92, Range = 89 - 127
Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:Rust, J. (1996). The manual of the Wechsler objective language dimensions (WOLD) UK Edition. London: The Psychological Corporation.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Hameed, M. A., Lewis, A. J., Sullivan, S., & Zammit, S. (2013). Child literacy and psychotic experiences in early adolescence: findings from the ALSPAC study. Schizophrenia research, 145(1-3), 88-94.
Paget, A., Parker, C., Heron, J., Logan, S., Henley, W., Emond, A., & Ford, T. (2018). Which children and young people are excluded from school? Findings from a large British birth cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Child: Care, Health and Development, 44(2), 285-296.

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