MCS – Age 5 – BAS II Pattern Construction

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The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 5 sweep using the Pattern Construction 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:Non-verbal (spatial problem-solving)
Measures:Non-verbal spatial ability:
  • Visuo-spatial analysis, decomposing a design into its component parts
  • Perception of relative orientation
  • Visuo-spatial matching, including size, angles and orientation
  • Spatial problem-solving, including use of strategies such as sequential assembly or trial and error, and ability to synthesize
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Low scores:
  • Poor motor control
  • CHC:Gv (Visual Processing)
    Administrative method:Home interviewer; face to face; CM completes tasks and interviewer records outcome and timing on CAPI.
    Procedure:The assessment comprised 23 items and four example items. For each item, a pattern was presented to the cohort member, and the cohort member was asked to replicate the pattern using flat foam squares or solid plastic cubes with black and yellow patterns on each side. All of the cohort members started the assessment at the beginning with Example A, as this is the appropriate starting point for children of this age. On completion of each pattern, the interviewer coded whether or not the pattern was constructed correctly, and whether or not the pattern was constructed within the time limit. The patterns increased in complexity as the assessment progressed. The assessment stopped automatically if a cohort member made four errors in five consecutive items.
    Duration: 13-15 minutes (from data)
    Link to questionnaire:https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/mcs3_cogphys.pdf (opens in new tab)
    Scoring:Score is based on accuracy and speed. Starts at item 1 and first decision point at item 13, for this age-group.
    Item-level variable(s):ccccon0a - ccccon0v (number of failures in 5 items)
    ccc01a00 - ccc07a00 (squares) outcome
    ccc01b00 - ccc07b00 (squares) response
    ccc08a00 - ccc13a00 (cubes1) outcome
    ccc08b00 - ccc13b00 (cubes1) response
    ccc14a00 - ccc23a00 (cubes2) outcome
    ccc14b00 - ccc23b00 (cubes2) response
    Total score/derived variable(s):cccsco00 (raw score- total number of correct responses)
    ccpcabil (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)
    ccpctscore (ability and age adjusted on BAS II age normed data)
    Age of participant (months):Mean = 62.68, SD = 2.99, Range = 53 - 74
    Descriptives:cccsco00ccpcabilccpctscore
    (raw score)(ability adjusted)(ability and age adjusted)
    N15,12615,11015,110
    Range0 - 9210 - 15220 - 80
    Mean18.4187.2650.27
    SD7.9219.5710.07
    (click image to enlarge)
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    Other sweep and/or cohort:MCS – Age 7 – BAS II Pattern Construction
    ALSPAC – Age 4 – WPPSI-RUK Block Design
    ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – WISC-III Block Design
    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:Sullivan, A., Ketende, S., & Joshi, H. (2013). Social Class and Inequalities in Early Cognitive Scores. Sociology, 47(6), 1187-1206.
    Martin, A., Booth, J. N., Young, D., Revie, M., Boyter, A. C., Johnston, B., ... & Reilly, J. J. (2016). Associations between obesity and cognition in the preschool years. Obesity, 24(1), 207-214.

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