MCS – Age 3 – BAS II Naming Vocabulary

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The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 3 sweep using the Naming Vocabulary measure from the British Ability Scales II (BAS II).

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


Domain:Verbal knowledge (expressive and spoken)
Measures:The Naming Vocabulary is a verbal scale which assesses the spoken vocabulary of young children. The full BASII version was employed. The test items consist of a booklet of coloured pictures of objects which the child is shown one at a time and asked to name. The scale measures expressive language ability, and successful performance depends on the child's previous development of a vocabulary of nouns. Picture recognition is also crucial; however, the pictures are large and brightly coloured and are unlikely to cause problems except for children with major visual impairments or with no experience of picture books. The items require the child to recall words from long-term memory rather than to recognise or understand the meaning of words or sentences.
CHC:Gc (Crystallised ability)
Administrative method:Interviewer, face to face, CAPI and verbal response
Procedure:The cohort member was shown a picture, the cohort member responds verbally, recorded by the interviewer on Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
36 items (pictures of objects) in total - as original BAS
The test continued, unless:
  • the cohort member failed on 5 successive items;
  • after item 16 (Ear), the cohort member has failed on three or more items administered;
  • after item 30 (Hourglass), the cohort member has failed on three or more items administered;
  • the cohort member completes the Naming Vocabulary subscale (i.e.: reaches item 36 (Easel).
  • Link to questionnaire:No direct link to pdf. Information can be found in the file 'a3723udb.pdf' which accompanies data download from UK Data Service website.
    Scoring:36 items (pictures of objects) in total, starting at item 1 and first decision point at item 16. The raw scores were then adjusted using a set of standard adjustment tables to take account of the age of the cohort member and the difficulty of the item set administered.
    Item-level variable(s):bca01a00 - bca36a00 - items (raw) 1st attempt
    bcre1a00 - bcr36a00 - why stopped
    bca01b00 - bca36b00 - items (raw) 2nd attempt
    bcre1b00 - bcr36b00 - why stopped
    cognitive observations: bcapre00 - bcener00; bcenvi00 - bcslap00
    duration: bcdurm00
    Total score/derived variable(s):bdbasr00 (raw score - total number of correct responses)
    bdbasa00 (ability adjusted - total number of correct responses, accounting for the sets of items the CM was presented with, which depended on age and successful completion of blocks of items)
    bdbast00 (ability and age adjusted on BAS II age normed data)
    Age of participant (months):Mean = 37.71, SD = 2.53, Range = 32 - 55
    Descriptives:bdbasr00bdbasa00bdbast00
    (raw score)(ability adjusted)(ability and age adjusted)
    N14,77614,77614,776
    Range0 - 3010 - 14120 - 80
    Mean16.6273.1949.34
    SD4.8117.9811.45
    (click image to enlarge)
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    Other sweep and/or cohort:MCS – Age 5 – BAS II Naming Vocabulary
    BCS70 – Child of CM (Multi-Age) – BAS Naming Vocabulary
    ALSPAC – Age 2 – Object Naming Assessment
    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:Hansen, K. (ed, 5th edition) (2010) Millennium Cohort Study First, Second, Third and Fourth Surveys: A Guide to the Datasets, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, London, March. (pp. 52-55)
    Connelly, R. (2013). Interpreting Test Scores. Millennium Cohort Study Data Note 2013/01. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
    Hansen, K, & Joshi, H. (2007). Millennium Cohort Study Second Survey: A User's Guide to Initial Findings. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
    Jerrim, J., & Vignoles, A. (2013). Social mobility, regression to the mean and the cognitive development of high ability children from disadvantaged homes. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 176(4), 887-906.
    Dockrell, J. E., & Hurry, J. (2018). The identification of speech and language problems in elementary school: Diagnosis and co-occurring needs. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 81, 52-64.
    Midouhas, E., Kokosi, T., & Flouri, E. (2018). Outdoor and indoor air quality and cognitive ability in young children. Environmental Research, 161, 321-328.

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