The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) began in 1970 when data were collected about the births and families of babies born in the United Kingdom in one particular week in 1970. The first wave, called the British Births Survey, was carried out by the National Birthday Trust Fund in association with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Its aims were to examine the social and biological characteristics of the mother in relation to neonatal morbidity, and to compare the results with those of the National Child Development Study (NCDS), which commenced in 1958 (held separately at the UK Data Archive under GN 33004). Participants from Northern Ireland, who had been included in the birth survey, were dropped from the study in all subsequent sweeps, which only included respondents from Great Britain.
Since BCS70 began, there have been seven full data collection exercises in order to monitor the cohort members' health, education, social and economic circumstances. These took place when respondents were aged 5, in 1975 (held under SN 2699), aged 10, in 1980 (SN 3723), aged 16, in 1986 (SN 3535), aged 26, in 1996 (SN 3833), aged 30, 1999-2000 (SN 5558), and aged 34, in 2004-2005 (SN 5585). The first two sweeps (at 5 and 10 years) were carried out by the Department of Child Health at Bristol University. During these times, the survey was known as the Child Health and Education Study (CHES). The 16-year survey was carried out by the International Centre for Child Studies and named Youthscan. The Social Statistics Research Unit (SSRU) became involved with the BCS70 study at this time, and eventually changed its name to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), based at the Institute of Education, University of London. With each successive attempt, the scope of BCS70 has broadened from a strictly medical focus at birth, to encompass physical and educational development at the age of 5, physical, educational and social development at the ages of 10 and 16, and physical, educational, social and economic development at 26 years and beyond. Further information about the BCS70 and may be found on the Centre for Longitudinal Studies website. As well as BCS70, the CLS now also conducts the NCDS series.
A separate dataset covering response to BCS70 over all seven waves is available under SN 5641, 1970 British Cohort Study Response Dataset, 1970-2005. Users are advised to order this study alongside the other waves of BCS70.
Subsample, supplementary and related studies
A range of sub-sample and supplementary surveys have also been conducted, such as the Ten-year Follow-up Special Needs Survey (held under SN 7064) and a supplementary survey of head teachers (held under SN 5225) at the time of the 16-year follow-up in 1986. A related study, Coding of Text Data from BCS70 at 10 and 16 Years: Health Care Utilisation of School Aged Children, 1970-1986, is also held under SN 4126. The aim of this project was to code text variables from BCS70 files, selected from the ten- and 16-year follow-ups to provide information about health care utilisation by the target age group.
|The BCS70 Twenty-One-Year Sample Survey was the fourth sample follow-up of the 1970 BCS cohort. It focused principally on: youth training; full-time education; post-school vocational qualifications; unemployment; current or most recent employment; literacy and numeracy.
For the second edition (August 2008), the serial number has been replaced with a new one, variable Bcsid. This change has been made for all datasets in the BCS70 series. Further information may be found in the 'CLS Confidentiality and Data Security Review', included in the documentation.
The survey comprised four sections: the main interview, a set of literacy and numeracy assessments and two self-completion questionnaires ('Your Life Since 1986' and 'Your Views').
The interview covered qualifications, training, current employment, unemployment, reading and writing behaviour, literacy and numeracy self-appraisal, household composition, relationships, children, housing, income and health.
The literacy and numeracy assessments comprised a series of 17 tasks using showcards, to assess reading, writing, comprehension and simple mathematical skills.
Self-completion: the 'Your Life Since 1986' questionnaire covered employment and education histories since 1986, and 'Your Views' gathered information on attitudes to employment, education, literacy, numeracy, self-efficacy, health and opinion of respondent's life so far.
Malaise Inventory: a measure for the assessment of psychiatric morbidity, developed by Rutter and others at the Institute of Psychiatry from the Cornell Medical index. Full references:
Rutter, M., Tizard, J. and Whitemore, K. (1970) Education, health and behaviour, London.
Rodgers, B. et al (1999) 'Validity of the Malaise Inventory in general population samples' Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol.34, pp.333-341.
By principal investigator(s):
A full list of publications based on the BCS70 series is included in the user guide for this study.
Resulting from secondary analysis:
Publications based on BCS70 may be found on the Centre for Longitudinal Studies website.
Chamberlain, G., et al. (1975) British births 1970, London: Heinemann.
Crawley, H.F. (1993) 'The energy, nutrient and food intakes of teenagers 16-17 years in Britain: 1. energy, macronutrients and non-starch polysaccharides', British Journal of Nutrition, 70, pp. 15-26.
Crawley, H.F. (1993) 'The role of breakfast cereals in the diets of 16-17 year-old teenagers in Britain', Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 6, pp. 39-50.
Furlong, A. (1993) Schooling for jobs: changes in the career preparation of British secondary school children, Aldershot: Avebury.
Lewis, S., et al. (1995) 'Prospective study of risk factors for early and persistent wheezing in childhood', European Respiratory Journal, 8, pp.349-356.
Goodman, A. and Butler N. R. (1996) The 1970 British Cohort Study: the Sixteen-year Follow-up - a guide to the BCS70 16-year data available at the Economic and Social Research Council Data Archive, London: Social Statistics Research Unit, City University.
Butler, N., Despotidou, S., and Shepherd, P. (1997) 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) Ten-year Follow-up (formerly known as the Child Health and Education Study, CHES): a guide to the BCS 10-year data available at the Economic and Social Research Council Data Archive, London: Social Statistics Research Unit, City University.
Bynner, J., Ferri, E. and Shepherd, P. (1997) Twenty-something in the 1990s: getting on, getting by, getting nowhere, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Kallis, C. (2004) CLS Cohort Studies Data Note 4: BCS70 partnership histories, Centre for Multilevel Modelling, Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies, Institute of Education, University of London.
Steele, F., et al. (2005) 'The relationship between childbearing and transitions from marriage and cohabitation in Britain', Demography, 42.
Steele, F., et al. (2005) 'Changes in the relationship between the outcomes of cohabiting partnerships and fertility among young British women: evidence from the 1958 and 1970 Birth Cohort Studies', paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Philadelphia, 2005.
Stewart, A. and Orme, J. (1989) 'Teenage smoking and health education' , Health Visitor, March, pp.91-94.
Roker, D. (1992) 'The private sector of education: a review of past research and recommendations for future work', Educational Studies, 3, pp.227-298.
Green, F., Hoskins, M. and Montgomery, S. (1994) 'The effects of training, further education and YTS on the earnings of young employees', Discussion Paper in Economics, University of Leicester.
Banks, M.H. and Roker, D. (1996) 'Work attitudes of private and state schools: evidence from the Youthscan study', British Journal of Education and Work.
Al-saadoon, M. A. (1999) Antisocial behaviour and residential care teenagers, dissertation for MSc Community Paediatrics, University of Nottingham.
Cheung, Yin Bun (1999) 'The blood pressure of heavier and lighter twins: support for the fetal origin hypothesis?', British Medical Journal, 27, October.
Cheung, Yin Bun (2001) 'Adjustment for selection bias in cohort studies: an application of a probit model with selectivity to life course epidemiology', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 54, pp.1238-1243.
Cheung, Yin Bun (2002) 'Zero-inflated models for regression analysis of count data: a study of growth and development', Statistics in Medicine, 21, pp.1461-1469.
Cheung, Yin Bun (2002) 'Early origins and adult correlates of psychosomatic distress', Social Science and Medicine, 55, pp.937-948.
Kiernan, K. (2003) Cohabitation and divorce across nations and generations, CASEpaper 65, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, March.
Pevalin, D.J. (2003) Outcomes in childhood and adulthood by mother's age at birth: evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study, Working Paper of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Paper 2003-31, Colchester: University of Essex.
Ermisch, J. F. and Pevalin, D.J. (2003) Who has a child as a teenager?, Working Paper of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Paper 2003-30, Colchester: University of Essex.
Ermisch, J. F. and Pevalin, D.J. (2003) 'Does a 'teen-birth' have longer-term impacts on the mother? Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study, Working Paper of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Paper 2003-28, Colchester: University of Essex.
Gale, C.R. and Martyn, C.N. (2004) 'Birth weight and later risk of depression in a national birth', British Journal of Psychiatry, 184, p.28-33.
Ermisch, J.F. and Pevalin, D.J. (2004) 'Early childbearing and housing choices', Journal of Housing Economics, 13(3), pp.170-194.
Hobcraft, J. and Sigle-Rushton, W. (2005) An exploration of childhood antecedents of female adult malaise in two British birth cohorts: combining Bayesian model averaging and recursive partitioning, CASEpaper 95, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, March.
Batty, G.D., Deary, I.J. and Schoon, I. et al. (2007) 'Childhood mental ability in relation to cause-specific accidents: the 1970 British Cohort Study', QJM, 100(7), pp.405-414.
Batty, G.D., Deary, I.J. and Schoon, I. et al. (2007) 'Childhood mental ability in relation to food intake and physical activity in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study', Pediatrics, 119(1), pp.38-45.
Gale, C.R., Deary, I.J. and Schoon, I. et al. 'IQ in childhood and vegetarianism in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study', British Medical Journal, Feb 3, 334(7587), p.245.
Batty, G.D. et al. (2007) 'Mental ability across childhood in relation to risk factors for premature mortality in adult life: the 1970 British Cohort Study', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61, pp.997-1003.
Deary, I.J., Batty, G.D. and Gale, C.R. (2008) 'Bright children become enlightened adults', Psychological Sciences, 19, pp.1-6.
Gale, C.R., Batty, G.D. and Deary, I.J. (2008) 'Locus of control at age 10 years and health outcomes and behaviors at age 30 years: the 1970 British Cohort Study', Psychosomatic Medicine, 70, pp.397-403.
Leuze, K. (2007) 'What makes for a good start? Occupation-specific higher education and graduate career mobility', International Journal of Sociology, 37(2), pp.29-53.
Leuze, K. and Allmendinger, J. (2008) 'Ungleiche Karrierepfade? – Die Bedeutung institutioneller Differenzierung für stratifizierte Arbeitsmarkterträge von Hochschulabsolventen', in B. Kehm (ed.)Hochschule im Wandel, Frankfurt: Die Universität als Forschungsgegenstand.
Taulbut, M. and Walsh, D. (2013) Poverty, parenting and poor health: comparing early years' experiences in Scotland, England and three city regions, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, February. Retrieved August 2, 2013 from http://www.gcph.co.uk/assets/0000/3817/Poverty__parenting_and_poor_health.pdf
Greaves, E. (2013) 'Marriage, cohabitation and child outcomes', paper presented at Understanding Society conference, University of Essex, Thursday 25 July 2013.
Hirvonen, K. (2013) 'Measuring catch-up growth in malnourished populations', Annals of Human Biology, doi:10.3109/03014460.2013.827239