ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – WISC-III Similarities

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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 Similarities measure from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III).

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


Domain:Verbal ability
Measures:Verbal comprehension
Verbal reasoning
Language development
CHC:Gc (Crystallised intelligence)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; oral answers
Procedure:The interviewer asked the child whether they knew how two different things or concepts were related, e.g. "In what way are hope and fear alike?".
Link to questionnaire:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/researchers/our-data/clinical-measures/ (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Items 1-5 were worth one point each, with the remaining items worth 0 - 2 points. Raw scores were converted into scale scores using tables provided in the WISC manual (M = 10, SD = 3).
Item-level variable(s):Not readily available
Total score/derived variable(s):f8ws021 - f8ws051
Descriptives:Raw scoreScaled score
N = 7,404N = 7,409
Range = 0 - 33Range = 1 - 19
Mean = 13.86Mean = 12.32
SD = 4.91SD = 3.99
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:Mean = 103.82 months, SD = 3.92, Range = 89 - 127
Other sweep and/or cohort:ALSPAC – Age 4 – WPPSI-RUK Similarities (both verbal and picture similarities)
BCS70 – Age 10 – BAS Word Similarities
MCS – Age 11 – BAS II Verbal Similarities
Source:Wechsler, D. (1991). WISC-III: Wechsler intelligence scale for children: Manual. Psychological Corporation.
Technical resources:Kaufman, A. S., & Lichtenberger, E. O. (2000). Essentials of WISC-III and WPPSI-R assessment. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Reference examples:Horwood, J., Salvi, G., Thomas, K., Duffy, L., Gunnell, D., Hollis, C., ... & Zammit, S. (2008). IQ and non-clinical psychotic symptoms in 12-year-olds: results from the ALSPAC birth cohort. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 193(3), 185-191.
Northstone, K., Joinson, C., Emmett, P., Ness, A., & Paus, T. (2012). Are dietary patterns in childhood associated with IQ at 8 years of age? A population-based cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66(7), 624-628.

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