1970 British Cohort Study age 42 survey completed

7 May 2013

Members of the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), who turned 42 this year, have now completed their ninth survey since they were born.

More than 9,800 cohort members were interviewed between May 2012 to April 2013, which is a larger response than either the age 38 or age 34 surveys. Each cohort member completed a 60-minute face-to-face interview and a paper self-completion questionnaire. They also took a vocabulary test, which was a shortened version of an assessment used at the age 16 survey.

The age 42 survey was conducted by TNS-BNRB and managed by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS).

Each survey of the BCS70 has collected information on family life, housing, employment, income and health. However, the age 42 survey included questions on a number of new topics as well, including belief in God and the afterlife, attitudes towards science and religion, sexual orientation, reading and television viewing, eating habits, childlessness, fertility intentions and the use of fertility treatments.

Many 1970 cohort members and their partners also gave permission for CLS to access their health and economic records, which are held by the NHS, the Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Revenue & Customs. CLS will now be able to link those cohort members’ survey responses to their administrative records. These invaluable linked data will allow researchers to answer questions such as, ‘Have government welfare to work programmes worked over the last 15 years, and if so, for whom?’ or ‘What lifestyle factors are associated with the onset of particular diseases?’

The data from the age 42 survey will be available from the UK Data Service in autumn 2013

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