The age 16 sweep took place in 1974 and aimed to continue measuring the educational, social and physical development of the cohort through adolescence.
Around 300 new participants, who had been born overseas, joined the study after moving to Great Britain.
The age 16 sweep was the last time that parents were interviewed. Health visitors visited the cohort members’ homes and conducted interviews with parents (mothers, in most cases). Information was collected about household composition, housing, parental occupation and income, cohort member health, parental health, schooling and parents’ aspirations for their child’s future.
Cohort members completed a paper questionnaire about their attitudes to school, aspirations for the future in terms of jobs, education and family life, school absences, self-ratings in school subjects, spare-time work, income and pocket money, leisure activities, family relationships, smoking and drinking. Cohort members also did a reading test and a maths test.
As at 7 and 11, the age 16 sweep also included a medical examination where height, weight, vision, vision, hearing, speech, and motor coordination were measured and any other medical issues noted.
Information was collected from cohort members’ schools about type of school, class sizes, approaches to discipline, attendance, behaviour, ability and the examinations cohort members would likely be entered for.