Next Steps Age 25 data now available

22 June 2017

Data from the eighth sweep of Next Steps at age 25 is now available from the UK Data Service.

Next Steps, formerly known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), follows the lives of around 16,000 people born in 1989-90. The Age 25 Sweep will provide valuable insights into the lives of young adults today. It is the first time participants have been interviewed since they were age 19-20, and is the first survey carried out by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies since taking over management of the study from the Department for Education.

A total of 7,707 participants took part at this age, enhancing the study’s value as a resource for researchers to gain an insight into the millennial generation as they leave their adolescence behind and enter early adulthood.

Now that the participants have turned 25, this new data will allow researchers to explore how their educational choices, family resources and experiences in adolescence have influenced their life chances so far. The data includes extensive information about cohort members’ lives at this pivotal time.

To download the data, visit the UK Data Service website

About the Next Steps Age 25 Sweep

The Next Steps Age 25 Sweep took place between August 2015 and September 2016. Cohort members could take part either online, by telephone or face-to-face. Fieldwork was carried out by NatCen Social Research.

What information was collected from cohort members?

The questionnaire covered several aspects of the cohort members’ lives, including their:

  • Employment histories
  • Income and finances
  • Education
  • Mental and physical health
  • Body Mass Index
  • Wellbeing and life satisfaction
  • Relationships and family formation
  • Identity and attitudes.

They also answered new questions about important issues in early adulthood:

  • Alcohol, drug use and smoking
  • Risky behaviours
  • Home ownership
  • Sexuality
  • Crime
  • Self-harm
  • Social Networks.

Data linkage

During the Age 25 Sweep, cohort members were also asked if they would consent to linking administrative data about them with their survey responses. They were asked for permission to access information held by government departments and agencies on health, education, work and employment, and criminal behaviour.

New at age 25

Next Steps has been tracking educational choices and training participation since participants were age 13 and 16 respectively. At age 25, this valuable collection of data has been enhanced with the addition of information relating to participants’ employment histories, income, and finances.

This wealth of new information will enable researchers to examine the extent of social and income mobility for a new generation of adults. It will also open up the opportunity to make cross-generational comparisons between the levels of social and income mobility experienced by today’s millennials compared to previous generations.

Moreover, the Age 25 Sweep has seen Next Steps widen its focus to examine the physical health of cohort members in more depth, including measuring frequency of exercise, diet and Body Mass Index, and self-assessed general health.  This is a first for the study and will allow researchers to examine some of the long-term predictors of healthy behaviours.

Redeposit of previous Next Steps sweeps

In 2004, when Next Steps first began collecting information, participants were visited every year until 2010 when they were age 19-20. In addition to the release of the Age 25 Sweep, data from all of the study’s previous sweeps has been redeposited with the UK Data Service, enabling researchers the opportunity to easily link data from the previous sweeps to this latest dataset.

To download the previous sweeps, visit the UK Data Service.

Briefing papers

To mark the release of the Age 25 data, researchers based at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies have produced a series of briefing papers summarising initial findings, including:

  • Economic activity and health
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity and quality of life
  • Politics, perceptions and identity

These reports and accompanying news items will be released over the next few weeks on the CLS website.

Webinar: Introduction to Next Steps and the Age 25 Survey

Date and time: Tuesday 27 June, 12:30 – 14:00

Following the Age 25 data release, CLS will host a webinar next week introducing Next Steps and the Age 25 Survey to both first-time and more experienced users. Organised into four sessions, guests will hear presentations and ask questions on the following topics:

  • Introduction to Next Steps with Q&A
  • Age 25 Survey content with Q&A
  • Data, documentation and accessing the data with Q&A
  • Survey design and weights with Q&A

For more information and to register for the webinar, please click here.

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