NCDS – Age 7 – Copying Designs Test

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The 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 7 sweep using the Copying Designs Test.

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


Domain:Visual spatial
Measures:Visual motor co-ordination (ability to reproduce shapes and hold a pencil)
CHC:Gv (Visual Processing)
Administrative method:Teacher at school; face to face; pen and paper
Procedure:Six designs were presented: a circle, square, triangle, diamond, cross and star. The child was given a booklet, and asked to copy the 6 drawings, one at a time.
Duration: It was expected 60 - 90 minutes would be required for all 4 tests at age 7.
Link to questionnaire:No direct link to pdf. Information can be found in the file ‘ncds1_1965_questionnaires_and_codebook.pdf’ which accompanies data download from UK Data Service website.
Scoring:Score 0 - 12. Each drawing is scored 0 or 1. As not all children completed two copies a score of 1 was given if at least one copy was good. Total score is the sum of the score for the individual drawings. Zero was awarded when a child attempted to copy at least one design, but all attempts were judged to be poor copies.
Item-level variable(s):Not currently available
Total score/derived variable(s):N457
Age of participant (months):Mean = 85.11, SD = 1.56, Range = 82 - 93
Descriptives:Raw score
N = 14,867
Range = 0 - 12
Mean = 7.01
SD = 2.00
(click image to enlarge)
Other sweep and/or cohort:NCDS – Age 11 – Copying Designs Test
BCS70 – Age 5 – Copying Designs Test (less stringent scoring; 8 designs)
BCS70 – Child of CM (Multi-Age) – Copying Designs Test (8 designs; currently no data available)
Source:Pringle, M. K., Butler, N. & Davie, R. (1966). 11,000 Seven Year Olds. Longman, in association with National Children's Bureau.
Davie, R., Butler, N. R., & Goldstein, H. (1972). From Birth to Seven. London: Longman Group Limited
Technical resources:Shepherd, P., Measures of ability at ages 7 to 16. National Child Development Study User Guide, 2012.
Reference examples:Sheridan, M. D. (1973). Children of seven years with marked speech defects. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 8(1), 9-16.
Ross, A., Schoon, I., Martin, P., & Sacker, A. (2009). Family and nonfamily role configurations in two British cohorts. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71(1), 1-14.

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