Working papers

Here you can search our series of working papers, dating back to 1983. These papers use data from our four cohort studies and cover a wide range of topics, from social inequalities and mobility, to physical health, education and cognitive development. Other papers in the series seek to improve the practice of longitudinal research.

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Working papers

Do primary school children’s career aspirations matter? – Appendix- CLS working paper 2012/5a

This appendix accompanies the CLS working paper, Do primary school children’s career aspirations matter? The paper uses data from MCS to examine the role of young children’s career aspirations in the association between family poverty and children’s emotional (internalising) and behavioural (externalising) problems.

Key words: family socio-economic disadvantage, career aspirations, emotional and behavioural problems

Author: Eirini Flouri and Constantina Panourgia
Date published: 1 September 2012
Working papers

Improving mailings to study members in longitudinal surveys- CLS working paper 2012/4

This CLS working paper reports the results from a randomised experiment to improve the effectiveness of the between-wave mailing on the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).

Longitudinal survey managers send ‘keep in touch’ mailings to sample members between waves to help minimise non-response through failure to locate individuals at future waves.

Key words: longitudinal; tracking; non-response; attrition; survey methods; between-wave mailing; covering letters; advance letters

Author: Lisa Calderwood
Date published: 2 July 2012
Working papers

Assessing recall of early life cicumstances- CLS working paper 2012/3

This CLS working paper uses data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) to assess recall of early life circumstances. The report examines responses to questions about childhood experiences that were answered when cohort members were aged 50.

These questions re-collected information that was first collected contemporaneously. The paper will assess the accuracy with which individuals can recall these details some 40 years later by comparing the information reported at age 50 with the data captured at age 11.

Author: Matt Brown
Date published: 1 July 2012
Working papers

Persistent poverty and children’s cognitive development- CLS working paper 2012/2

This CLS working paper uses data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to document the impact of poverty, and in particular persistent poverty, has on children’s cognitive development in their early years.

Key words: child poverty, cognitive development

Author: Andy Dickerson and Gurleen Popli
Date published: 1 June 2012
Working papers

Multiple risk factors in young children’s development- CLS working paper 2012/1

This CLS working paper quantifies the prevalence of multiple risks for families with very young children in the UK, and their prevalence by ethnic groups. It also examines the associations of multiple risks to deficits in developmental outcomes at three and five years of age using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).

Key words: Multiple risks, child development, Millennium Cohort Study, UK

Author: Ricardo Sabates and Shirley Dex
Date published: 1 February 2012
Working papers

The design and content of the HALCyon qualitative study- CLS working paper 2011/5

This paper provides an overview of the design of a qualitative sub-study of members of the 1946 MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), and members of the Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS). Interviews were carried out in 2010 as part of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme.

This descriptive methodological paper focuses on the content of the interview topic guide, the sampling strategy and on the characteristics of the sample that was achieved in comparison with the overall survey population.

Author: Jane Elliott, Catharine Gale, Diana Kuh, Sam Parsons
Date published: 1 October 2011
Working papers

An ethical review of the use of functional MRI and DNA analysis in birth cohort studies- CLS working paper 2011/4

This CLS working paper provides a detailed ethical review of the use of functional MRI and DNA analysis in birth cohort studies with reference to the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) Age 45 biomedical sweep, conducted in 2002.

Author: Martin Richards
Date published: 1 August 2011
Working papers

Unequal entry to motherhood and unequal outcomes for children- CLS working paper 2011/3

The age of mothers when they give birth to their first child is increasingly socially polarised in the UK. Early motherhood typically occurs among women from disadvantaged backgrounds, in contrast to women with later first births, who are more likely to come from advantaged backgrounds. This CLS working paper compares their children’s development, in terms of cognition and behaviour at age five, using the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).

Author: Denise Hawkes, Heather Joshi
Date published: 1 July 2011
Working papers

Part-time working and pay amongst Millennium Cohort Study mothers- CLS working paper 2011/2

Jenny Neuberger, Heather Joshi and Shirley Dex use data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) to explore the pay penalty to motherhood in Britain.

Key words:  Millennium Cohort Study, part-time work, motherhood, child care.

Author: Jenny Neuberger, Heather Joshi and Shirley Dex
Date published: 10 February 2011
Working papers

Does how you measure income make a difference to measuring poverty?- CLS working paper 2011/1

This CLS working paper examines differences in how income is collected in a nationally representative birth cohort, the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). It looks at variations by questions asked and by respondent characteristics before then examining the implications different methods of collecting and reporting income may have for measuring poverty.

Key words: Income, survey data collection, poverty

Author: Kirstine Hansen, Dylan Kneale
Date published: 1 January 2011
Working papers

Investigating individual differences in memory and cognition in the National Child Development Study cohort members using a life course approach- CLS working paper 2010/10

Helen Knight, Matt Brown, Brian Dodgeon, Barbara Maughan, Martin Richards, Jane Elliott, Barbara Sahakian and Trevor Robbins explore theories within cognitive epidemiology which suggest that environmental and lifestyle factors may have a positive or negative effect on cognitive ability at different stages in life.  A neurobiological explanation for this is known as the cognitive reserve hypothesis.

This hypothesis is explored through analysis of cognitive test results at age 50 on NCDS cohort members, using a lifecourse approach taking into account childhood predictors and health behaviours.

Keywords: NCDS, cognition, cognitive reserve, lifecourse, lifestyle, health behaviours.

Author: Helen Knight, Matt Brown, Brian Dodgeon, Barbara Maughan, Martin Richards, Jane Elliott, Barbara Sahakian and Trevor Robbins
Date published: 16 December 2010
Working papers

Experimental testing of refusal conversion strategies in a large-scale longitudinal study- CLS working paper 2010/9

Lisa Calderwood, Ian Plewis, Sosthenes Ketende and Rebecca Taylor evaluate the effectiveness of fieldwork strategies to covert refusals using evidence from a randomised experiment implemented on the UK Millennium Cohort Study.  The authors show that intensive re-issuing is an effective way of increasing the proportion of refusals converted to a productive interview and hence increasing the sample size and reducing the refusal rate. It is also shown that refusal conversion may have led to a reduction in non-response bias in the survey estimates for several key variables.

Keywords: non-response: fieldwork intervention: cohort study: treatment effects: Millennium Cohort Study.

Author: Lisa Calderwood, Ian Plewis, Sosthenes C. Ketende and Rebecca Taylor
Date published: 7 December 2010
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