NSHD – Age 11 – Word Reading

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The MRC National Survey of Health of Development (NSHD) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 11 sweep using the Word Reading measure.

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


Domain:Verbal (reading)
Measures:Reading decoding
CHC:Grw (Reading/Writing)
Administration method:Teacher/psychologist/trained individual; face to face; read aloud
Procedure:Participants were presented with a list of 50 words. They were instructed to read words aloud, one by one, working down the list. The interviewer recorded the number of correct responses (only correct if usual pronunciation used). If a child changed their initial answer to a correct answer, the item was marked as correct. If the child changed their initial answer to a wrong answer, the item was marked incorrect. Interviewers were instructed not to give any indication as to whether answers were right or wrong. In case of a delay, prompts such as "Have a try" were used. The overall testing session at age 11 lasted under 2 hours.
Link to questionnaire:https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk/NSHD/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=questionnaires:1957_sm_nf3.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:One point per correct response (0 - 50)
Item-level variable(s):Not currently available
Total score/derived variable(s):R11R, R11R57, R1157, R11N
Descriptives:Raw scoreNormalised score
N = 4,027N = 4,027
Range = 0 - 50Range = 52 - 139
Mean = 36.43Mean = 101.97
SD = 10.50SD = 15.08
(click image to enlarge)
(click image to enlarge)

Age of participants (months):Mean = 130.33, SD = 1.06, Range = 128 - 137
Other sweep and/or cohort:NSHD – Age 8 – Word Reading
MCS – Age 7 – BAS II Word Reading
BCS70 – Child of CM (Multi-Age) – BAS Word Reading
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’.