BCS70 – Age 10 – Pictorial Language Comprehension Test (PLCT)

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The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 10 sweep using the Pictorial Language Comprehension Test (PLCT).

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


Domain:Verbal
Measures:Language comprehension, covering vocabulary, sequence and sentence comprehension.
CHC:Gc (Crystallised ability)
Administrative method:In schools, pen and paper
Procedure:The test consisted of 100 sets of four different pictures with a particular word associated with each set of four pictures, increasing in difficulty. The child was asked to indicate the one picture that corresponded to the given word. For the vocabulary Items only, the test continued until the child had five successive failures.
Duration: 30 minutes
Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BCS-1980-Reading-Tests.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:100 items, consisting of vocab 71 items, 16 sentence items and 13 sequence sentence items. One point for each correct answer.
Item-level variable(s):i8-i62, i66-i81 (vocab)
i82-i97 (sentence)
i98-i110 (sequence sentence)
Total score/derived variable(s):None
Age of participants (months):Mean = 121.88, SD = 2.67, Range = 117 - 139
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 12,790
Range = 2 - 100
Mean = 61.10
SD = 10.69
(click image to enlarge)
Other sweep and/or cohort:BCS70 – Age 5 – English Picture Vocabulary Test (EPVT) (has 56 items)
NCDS – Child of CM (Multi-Age) – Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Revised (PPVT-R) (US version)
Source:Based on: English Picture Vocabulary Test (EPVT; Brimmer & Dunn, 1962)
Technical resources:Parsons, S. (2014). Childhood cognition in the 1970 British Cohort Study, CLS Working Paper. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Feinstein, L., & Bynner, J. (2004). The importance of cognitive development in middle childhood for adulthood socioeconomic status, mental health, and problem behavior. Child Development, 75(5), 1329-1339.
Conti, G., & Heckman, J. J. (2010). Understanding the early origins of the education-health gradient: A framework that can also be applied to analyze gene-environment interactions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(5), 585-605.

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