NSHD – Age 8 – Vocabulary

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The MRC National Survey of Health of Development (NSHD) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 8 sweep using the Vocabulary measure.

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


Domain:Verbal (comprehension)
Measures:Lexical Knowledge/word understanding
CHC:Gc (Crystallized intelligence)
Administration method:Teacher/psychologist/trained individual; face to face; read aloud
Procedure:After the participant completed the word reading task, the interviewer asked the child whether they knew the meaning of each word, e.g. “What is a ___”, “What do we mean by ___”. The interviewer noted the number of correct responses. The overall testing session at age 8 lasted under 2 hours.
Link to questionnaire:https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk/NSHD/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=questionnaires:1954_sm_nf2.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:One mark for each correct response (0 - 50)
Item-level variable(s):Not currently available
Total score/derived variable(s):VOC8R, VOC8R54, VOC854, VOC8N
Descriptives:Raw scoreNormalised score
N = 4,259N = 4,259
Range = 0 - 40Range = 60 - 158
Mean = 16.28Mean = 102.25
SD = 5.99SD = 15.31
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:8 years 6 months
Other sweep and/or cohort:NSHD – Age 11 – Vocabulary
BCS70 – Age 10 – BAS Word Definition
ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – WISC-III Vocabulary
Source:Pigeon DA. Tests used in the 1954 and 1957 surveys. In: Douglas JWB, ed. The home and the school. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1964. (Appendix 1.)
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Richards, M., Hardy, R., Kuh, D., & Wadsworth, M. E. (2001). Birth weight and cognitive function in the British 1946 birth cohort: longitudinal population based study. BMJ, 322(7280), 199-203.
Kuh, D., Richards, M., Hardy, R., Butterworth, S., & Wadsworth, M. E. (2004). Childhood cognitive ability and deaths up until middle age: a post-war birth cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33(2), 408-413.

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