UK Data Service series record for:
The Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study, which began in 2005, is a large-scale longitudinal social survey which follows the lives of groups of Scotland's children from infancy through to their teens, and aims to provide important new information on young children and their families in Scotland. The study forms a central part of the Scottish Government's strategy for the long-term monitoring and evaluation of its policies for children, with a specific focus on the early years. Unlike other similar cohort studies, this survey has a specifically Scottish focus.
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Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) is a longitudinal research study aimed at tracking the lives of two cohorts of Scottish children from the early years, through childhood and beyond. Funded by the Scottish Government Education Directorate, its principal aim is to provide
information to support policy making, but it is also intended to be a broader resource for secondary analysis.
The survey is based on two cohorts of children: the first aged approximately 10 months at the time of first interview and the second aged approximately 34 months. A named sample of approximately 10,700 children was selected from the Child Benefit records to give an achieved sample of 8,000 overall.
The focus of interest in the study lies in the characteristics, circumstances and experiences of Scotland’s children in their early years and subsequently through to adolescence. The main areas to be monitored and evaluated will be:
During the first phase of GUS, families were visited by an interviewer every year until the child reached 5 years old. During
phase 2 of GUS (from 2010) families will be visited less frequently, at key stages in the child’s development or just after 'transitions' (for example, after starting primary school or secondary school).
At Sweep 1, primarily because of the inclusion of questions on the mother’s pregnancy and birth of the sample child, interviewers were instructed as far as possible to undertake the interview with the child’s mother. Where the child’s mother was not available, interviews were undertaken with the child’s main carer.
At the following sweeps, interviewers were instructed to undertake the interview with the same respondent as in the previous sweep.
At Sweep 4, this means the same respondent as Sweep 3, or Sweep 2 / Sweep 1 if the household skipped some of the sweeps. Where this was not possible or appropriate, interviews were conducted with the child’s main carer. In practice, most interviews were undertaken with the previous sweep respondent (98.7 per cent of interviews were with the previous respondent) and this was usually the child’s mother (97.7 per cent of interviews were with the child’s mother).
As the children become older, they may also be asked to take part in an interview or to complete a questionnaire.
The data are available in SPSS, Stata, SAS and ASCII tab-delimited formats.
Details of publications are given in the GUS resources section of the Guide to the Growing Up in Scotland study
GUS uses the following standard measures:
Sweep 1: National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC); Scottish Executive Urban/Rural Classification; Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation; Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form (SF-12).
Sweep 2: NS-SEC; Scottish Executive Urban/Rural Classification; Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation; questions for parents in the birth cohort form the Infant/Toddler checklist of the Communication and Symbolic Behaviour (CSBS); Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS).
Sweep 3: NS-SEC; equivalised household annual income; income equivalence scales for household members; Scottish Executive Urban/Rural Classification; Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation; British Ability Scales – Naming Vocabulary and Picture Similarities; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; Insecure Attachment - taken from the Temperament scale developed for the Child Surveys of the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). (Further details on the NLSY Child survey can be found at: www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy79ch.htm ; SF-12
Sweep 4: NS-SEC; equivalised household annual income; Index of Material Deprivation; Scottish Executive Urban/Rural Classification; Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation; Carstairs Index; Body Mass Index (BMI) scores; Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; DASS; Parent Supervision Attributes Profile (PSAPQ) questionnaire.
Variable lists and PDF user guides (including questionnaires) are freely available via Growing Up in Scotland catalogue record
Files are named according to the sweep of the data and whether the file is from the birth or child cohort. For example:
gus_sw4_b = GUS Sweep 4 Birth Cohort
gus_sw4_c = GUS Sweep 4 Child Cohort
Variables names are made up of 8 characters, the first indicates the source of the variable, the second the year of collection and the rest is an indication of the question topic. Therefore where the same question was asked in the different sweeps the names will usually be the same apart from the second character.
If a variable name has changed substantially between sweeps this is marked in the variable list.
The naming convention is summarised in Table 7.2 of the Sweep 4 User Guide
See the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships GUS Where are we now? web page.