The Age 14 Sweep was the first time cohort members were involved as teenagers. There was extensive direct engagement of cohort members, alongside continued participation of parents.
Interviewers visited the cohort members’ homes and conducted face-to-face interviews with both resident parents. Topics covered included family composition, parental health, employment and income, housing, parenting attitudes and activities, alongside the cohort member’s physical and mental health, behaviour, and schooling.
More sensitive questions to parents, relating to quality of relationship with partner and cohort member, alcohol consumption and drug use, and depression and anxiety, were administered through self-completion. Parents also completed a cognitive task for the first time – a Word Activity – to measure knowledge of vocabulary (like cohort members, see below).
Cohort members did a self-completion questionnaire on the interviewer’s tablet. It covered areas such as school, relationships, daily activities, mental and physical health, wellbeing, aspirations and the future, identity and attitudes, alongside age-appropriate questions on more sensitive topics such as risky behaviours, including alcohol, smoking and drugs; antisocial and criminal activities and contact with the police; puberty, romantic relationships and sexual behaviour.
Cohort members completed two cognitive assessments: the Cambridge Gambling Task (from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery [CANTAB] developed by Cambridge Cognition) and a Word Activity that measured knowledge of vocabulary.
Measurements of height, weight and body fat were taken from cohort members at this sweep.
All cohort members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and a random sample of 81 per cent of cohort members in England wore a wrist activity monitor for two randomly selected days (one week day and one weekend day). On the same days, these cohort members completed a time use diary covering all of their activities over a 24-hour period. This could be completed online, using an app or, as a last resort, on paper.
Cohort members and their resident natural parents provided saliva samples for the purpose of DNA extraction and genotyping.