MCS – Age 5 – BAS II Naming Vocabulary

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The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 5 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)
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:Home interviewer; face to face, CM gives verbal response and interviewer records on CAPI
    Procedure:Test items consist of coloured pictures of objects shown one at a time and the cohort member was asked to name. The interviewer showed the cohort member a picture in the BAS easel and asked "What is this?" The cohort member responds verbally, recorded by the interviewer on Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). The assessment stopped automatically if the cohort member made five consecutive errors, apart from at the beginning of the assessment, where if the cohort member made five consecutive errors, and had fewer than three correct answers, the assessment was routed to earlier items in the assessment, which were easier and contained additional teaching items.
    Duration: 4 - 5 minutes (from data)
    Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/mcs3_cogphys.pdf (opens in new tab)
    Scoring:36 items (pictures of objects) in total. Starts at item 12 and decision point at item 30, starting and decision points for children aged 5.
    Item-level variable(s):ccnsta00 - start point for test
    ccndec00 - decision point for test
    ccn12v00 - ccn30v00; ccn31v00 – ccn36v00; ccn01v00 - ccn11v00 (items 12 - 30; 31 - 36; 1 - 11) - 1st attempt
    ccn12p00 - ccn30p00; ccn31p00 - ccn36p00; ccn01p00 - ccn11p00 (items 12 - 30, 31 - 36; 1-11) - probed
    Total score/derived variable(s):ccnsco00 (raw score - total number of correct responses)
    ccnvabil (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)
    ccnvtscore (ability and age adjusted on BAS II age normed data)
    Age of participant (months):Mean = 62.68, SD = 3.00, Range = 53 - 74
    Descriptives:ccnsco00ccnvabilccnvtscore
    (raw score)(ability adjusted)(ability and age adjusted)
    N15,16815,16815,168
    Range0 - 2510 - 17020 - 80
    Mean14.26107.3353.81
    SD3.4516.4411.25
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    Other sweep and/or cohort:MCS – Age 3 – 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:Connelly, R. (2013). Interpreting Test Scores. Millennium Cohort Study Data Note 2013/01. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
    Reference examples:Carson, C., Kelly, Y., Kurinczuk, J. J., Sacker, A., Redshaw, M., & Quigley, M. A. (2011). Effect of pregnancy planning and fertility treatment on cognitive outcomes in children at ages 3 and 5: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ, 343, d4473.
    Goodman, A., Gregg, P., & Washbrook, E. (2011). Children's educational attainment and the aspirations, attitudes and behaviours of parents and children through childhood. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 2(1), 1-18.
    Law, J., Rush, R., Anandan, C., Cox, M., & Wood, R. (2012). Predicting language change between 3 and 5 years and its implications for early identification. Pediatrics, 130(1), e132-7.

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