Children’s time-use diaries: promoting research, sharing best practice and evaluating innovations in data collection internationally

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Background

This project aimed to optimise the design and coverage of the MCS age 14 time-use diary so as to maximise benefit to the research community and minimise non-response due to respondent burden.

Research details

Project title

Children’s time-use diaries: promoting research, sharing best practice and evaluating innovations in data collection internationally

Themes

Survey methods

Dates

This project ran until March 2014.

Funder

ESRC

Summary

Time diaries have been widely used in social research across the world since the 1960s. However despite their popularity, there remain many unresolved methodological issues, especially in relation to studies of minors. The inclusion of a time-diary component in the age 14 survey of the Millennium Cohort Study(MCS) offers an opportunity to improve the usability of diaries and increase researchers’ understanding of how to deploy them effectively.

This project aimed to optimise the design and coverage of the MCS age 14 time-use diary so as to maximise benefit to the research community and minimise non-response due to respondent burden. The diary covered cohort members’ exercise, homework and social participation, helping researchers to evaluate links between children’s activity patterns and subsequent outcomes in health, educational attainment, earnings and wellbeing.

Finally, the project shared best practice and increased expertise within the research community. It produced working papers and provided workshops on time-use data-collection methodology and secondary analysis of previous child diary studies.

This project was a partnership between CLS and the Oxford Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR).

 

Outputs

Blog

A misspent youth? How new technology is shedding light on what teenagers do all day

18 May 2018 To coincide with the Millennium Cohort Study time use diary and accelerometer data release, CLS Survey Manager, Dr Emily Gilbert, discusses how the use of new technology has enabled us to gain new insights into the lives of the millennial generation.

Featured scientific publications

Chatzitheochari, S., Fisher, K., Gilbert, E., Calderwood, L., Huskinson, T., Cleary, A., & Gershuny, J. (2017).
Using New Technologies for Time Diary Data Collection: Instrument Design and Data Quality Findings from a Mixed Mode Pilot Survey.
Social Indicators Research
Read the full paper
Chatzitheochari, S., Fisher, K., Gilbert, E., Calderwood, L., Huskinson, T., Cleary, A., & Gershuny, J. (2015).
Measuring Young People’s Time-Use in the UK Millennium Cohort Study: A Mixed-Mode Time Diary Approach.
CLS Working Paper 2015/05. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Read the full paper

Researchers

Lisa Calderwood Managing Director of CLS and Co-Director of the Early Life Cohort Feasibility Study

Phone: 020 7911 5510
Email: l.calderwood@ucl.ac.uk

Lisa is a Professor of Survey Research. She has over 20 years’ experience of the design and implementation of complex, large scale longitudinal surveys. Her research areas include non-response, innovations in participant engagement, new technologies and mixed-modes of data collection, administrative data linkage and integrating bio-measures in social surveys. As PI of Next Steps (2013-2021), she secured funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and led its successful re-start, including major survey sweeps at Age 25 in 2016 and upcoming Age 32 in 2022. As Senior Survey Manager (2007-2021), she has made a major contribution to the scientific content of the CLS studies and overseen all aspects of survey design and implementation on around 14 major data collection sweeps. Lisa has strong national and international networks within the cohort studies community, is a member of the CLOSER Leadership Team, co-ordinator for the cohort network of Society of Lifecourse and Longitudinal Studies and is involved in the European-wide COORDINATE and GUIDE initiatives.

Sam Parsons Research Fellow

Phone: 020 7612 6882
Email: sam.parsons@ucl.ac.uk

Sam has a long history of producing research based on the British Birth Cohorts, from the antecedents and consequences of poor basic skills in adult life, to more recent research focusing on poorer outcomes for children with Special Education Needs, the gendered occupational occupations of teenagers and the long-term advantages for men and women who attended a private school and/or an elite university.

Jonathan Gershuny CTUR Oxford

View Jonathan’s biography on the Oxford University website here.

Kimberley Fisher CTUR Oxford

View Kimberley’s biography on the Oxford University website here.

Stella Chatzitheochari University of Warwick

View Stella’s biography on the University of Warwick website here.

Relevant studies

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsfeedback@ucl.ac.uk