|Sweep status||In development.|
|Data access||Plans are to make the data available via the UK Data Service in 2025|
We are planning the Age 22 Sweep as a face-to-face data collection with cohort members. It will include questions on transitions in employment, education, partnerships, fertility and residence, among others, alongside anthropometric measurements and objective measures of cognitive skills and processes. We are considering interviewing resident partners of cohort members and collecting some information on offspring. Consents to data linkage may also be included. The Age 22 Sweep is core-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a large, nationally representative birth cohort study following the lives of over 19,000 cohort members since their infancy. The study has now run for seven sweeps, at ages 9 months, 3, 5, 7, 11, 14 and 17, providing an incredibly rich picture of lives of this generation. Further detail can be found here. It has also collected data through three online COVID-19 surveys at ages 19 and 20.
The aim of the Age 22 Sweep is to provide data for research and policy on the lives of this generation at an important milestone, with the cohort on the cusp of maturation to adulthood.
The early 20s are an exceptionally dynamic period of life, traditionally characterised by five role transitions – in employment, education, partnerships, fertility and residence. The additional strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be severe, striking at a time when the cohort are navigating critical transitions in education and the labour market.
A summary of content for Sweeps 1-7 is available here. The next section sets out what’s proposed to be covered in the Age 22 Sweep.
The questionnaires for the Age 22 Sweep are still under development. However, our initial drafts are available to view below and we would welcome feedback on these. You will see that in some cases we have proposed draft question wording, and in others we have proposed fairly high level topics – these tend to be the areas that involve quite complex routing, so we hope the topic summary may be more straightforward to comment on.
You can also read a list of the topics covered here.
Please send any comments to Rhiannon Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) marked ‘MCS8 feedback’ by 2 September, and they will be taken into consideration as we finalise the drafts in early Autumn time.
There will be a further opportunity to comment on the content and questions included in the sweep before the questionnaires are finalised.
The Age 22 Sweep will also collect information about skills and development, including cognitive processes such as impulse control, emotion perception, short-term memory, inequity aversion, and psychosocial skills such as personality, persistence, motivation, leadership, attitudes to risk, and delayed gratification.
We are also considering the following:
On 25 May we held an interactive half-day online event to help shape the content of the Millennium Cohort Study Age 22 Sweep. Participants joined themed discussion sessions to explore the key topics and questions to include in the next survey. Prior to this, in February to March 2021, we invited people to send us their suggestions for the content of the sweep.