BCS70 – Child of CM (Multi-Age) – BAS Naming Vocabulary

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The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) assessed the children of cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 34 sweep using the Naming Vocabulary measure from the British Ability Scales (BAS).

When the CM was aged 34, child assessments were conducted with the cohort member’s children. Each of the CM’s eligible children were asked to complete three exercises designed to measure a range of verbal and numerical abilities. Although dependent on the child’s age and abilities, each set of exercises was expected to take an average of 20 minutes to complete.

The BAS Naming Vocabulary measure was administered as part of a set of ‘Early Years’ exercises (for children aged between 3 and 5 years and 11 months). Details on this measure and the data collected are outlined in the table below.


Domain:Verbal knowledge (expressive)
Measures:Spoken vocabulary:
Expressive language skills
Vocabulary knowledge of nouns
Ability to attach verbal labels to pictures
General knowledge
General language development
Retrieval of names from long-term memory
Level of language stimulation
CHC:Gc (Crystallised ability)
Administrative method:Shown picture, child responds verbally, recorded on Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
Procedure:Test item consisted of coloured pictures of objects shown one at a time that the child was asked to name. There were 36 pictures in total, but the number of items a child answered depended on his / her performance. Starting and stopping points based on different ages and performance. These 'rules' were programmed into the computer to minimise the decisions interviewers had to make on the spot.
Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/BCS70-2004-Guide-to-Child-Assessments.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:36 items (pictures of objects) in total. Starting and stopping item depends on age and performance.
Item-level variable(s):basnv01 - basnv36
Total score/derived variable(s):basnvR (raw score)
basnvA (ability and age adjusted)
Age of child (months):Mean = 58.86, SD = 10.58, Range = 36 - 71
Descriptives:basnvR (raw score)basnvA (ability and age adjusted)
N1,2381,238
Range0 - 2710 - 170
Mean17.7499.69
SD4.819.38
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Other sweep and/or cohort:MCS – Age 3 – BAS II Naming Vocabulary
MCS – Age 5 – BAS II Naming Vocabulary
ALSPAC – Age 2 – Object Naming Assessment (similar task involving objects)
Source:Elliott, C. D., Smith, P., & McCulloch, K. (1996). British Ability Scales Second Edition (BAS II). Administration and Scoring Manual. London: Nelson.
Elliott, C. D., Smith, P., & McCulloch, K. (1997). British Ability Scales Second Edition (BAS II). Technical Manual. London: Nelson.
Technical resources:Parsons, S., Bynner, J., & Foudouli, V. (2005). Measuring basic skills for longitudinal study: the design and development of instruments for use with cohort members in the age 34 follow-up in the 1970 British Cohort Study. London: NRDC.
Parsons, S. (2006). British Cohort Study 2004 Follow up: Guide to Child Assessment Data, CLS Working Paper. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Reference examples:Cooksey, E., Joshi, H., & Verropoulou, G. (2009). Does mothers' employment affect children's development? Evidence from the children of the British 1970 Birth Cohort and the American NLSY79. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 1(1), 95-115.
Crawford, C., Goodman, A., & Joyce, R. (2011). Explaining the socio-economic gradient in child outcomes: the inter-generational transmission of cognitive skills. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 2(1), 77-93.
de Coulon, A., Meschi, E., & Vignoles, A. (2011). Parents' skills and children's cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Education Economics, 19(5), 451-474.

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