A new, easily searchable, online guide on the cognitive measures collected by five British birth cohort studies has been launched today.
The online guide enables users to explore the 180 measures used to assess diverse aspects of cognition within and across the following five British birth cohorts:
- the MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD);
- the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS);
- the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70);
- the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC); and
- the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).
The guide provides key information on the cognitive tests collected throughout childhood and adult life by these studies in a consistent format, including when, how and where tests were administered, what cognitive skills/abilities were measured, how the tests were scored, and what variables correspond to the tests, as well as basic descriptive statistics. Key references for each measure, the original source of the test, details of useful technical resources and a link to the original questionnaire are also provided.
Critically, the guide highlights when and where the same or conceptually similar tests have been administered using the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of cognitive ability. The use of this consistent theoretical framework will enable researchers to use theoretically consistent measures of cognition in their studies, an important first step in facilitating developmental and cross-cohort research.
With overview tables of the tests, cognitive measures can easily be explored by life stage or by cohort, making this an immensely valuable resource for researchers at all career stages.
The guide was produced as part of a CLOSER project which aims to help researchers more accurately explore the links between cognitive ability, social background and education. The project is led by Dr Vanessa Moulton (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL) with support from Dr Eoin McElroy (Lecturer in Psychology, University of Leicester).