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Growing Up in Scotland: The impact of children's early activities on cognitive development

DescriptionThis report uses data from the first three waves of the Growing Up in Scotland study (GUS) to explore children’s cognitive ability.
ISBN9780755919680
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateMarch 18, 2009

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Catherine Bromley*
*Scottish Centre for Social Research

Prepared for the Scottish Government: Children, Young People and
Social Care Directorate by the Scottish Centre for Social Research

ISBN 978 0 7559 1968 0 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (1.7Mb)
This research findings is also accompanied by five reports & research findings,
Report 1, Non resident Parent Report, Research findings 1/2009,
Report 2, Food Activity Report, Research findings 2/2009,
Report 3, The neighbourhood context Report, Research Findings 3/2009,
Report 4, Multiple childcare provision amongst families Report, Research Findings 4/2009,
Research findings, Researh Findings 5/2009.

Contents

Executive Summary

1 Introduction

2 Cognitive development
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Measures of cognitive development
2.3 Why measure cognitive development?
2.4 Factors influencing cognitive development

3 Children's activities
3.1 Key findings
3.2 Introduction
3.3 Defining activities
3.4 Activities at age 10 months
3.4.1 Reading books and library visits by socio-demographic factors
3.5 Activities at age 22 months
3.5.1 Daily activities
3.5.2 Daily activities by socio-demographic factors
3.5.3 Annual visits and events
3.5.4 Annual visits and events by socio-demographic factors
3.6 Parental attitudes towards activities at age 22 months
3.6.1 Parental attitudes towards activities by socio-demographic factors
3.7 Parental satisfaction with activities at age 22 months
3.7.1 Parental satisfaction with activities by socio-demographic factors
3.8 Summary of measures of activities

4 Factors influencing cognitive development
4.1 Key findings
4.2 Introduction
4.3 Socio-demographic factors
4.3.1 Child level factors
4.3.2 Mother level factors
4.3.3 Household level factors
4.3.4 Area deprivation
4.4 Children's activities
4.4.1 Activities at 10 months
4.4.2 Activities at 22 months
4.4.3 Parental attitudes towards, and satisfaction with, activities at 22 months
4.5 Conclusion

5 The relative importance of children's activities and socio-demographic factors
5.1 Key findings
5.2 Introduction
5.3 Approach to the analysis
5.3.1 Overview and limitations
5.3.2 Regression model stages
5.4 Results of multivariate analysis
5.4.1 Naming vocabulary
5.4.2 Picture similarities

6 Conclusion

References

Appendix A Regression tables

Tables
Table 2.1 British Ability Scale Naming Vocabulary and Picture Similarities scores at age 34 months
Table 3.1 Frequency of children's activities at age 10 months
Table 3.2 Daily reading and library visits at age 10 months by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, equivalised household income, family and employment type, age of mother at birth and mother's educational attainment
Table 3.3 Frequency of children's activities in the past week at age 22 months
Table 3.4 Daily activity quartiles at age 22 months by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, equivalised household income, family and employment type, age of mother at birth and mother's educational attainment
Table 3.5 Total number of different places or events children had been to in previous year, at age 22 months, by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, equivalised household income, family and employment type, age of mother at birth and mother's educational attainment
Table 3.6 Scale of activities parents rated as 'very important', at age 22 months, by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, equivalised household income, family and employment type, age of mother at birth and mother's educational attainment
Table 3.7 Parental satisfaction with children's range of activities, at age 22 months, by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, equivalised household income, family and employment type, age of mother at birth and mother's educational attainment
Table 4.1 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by child level factors
Table 4.2 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by mother level factors
Table 4.3 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by household level factors
Table 4.4 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Table 4.5 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by activities at 10 months
Table 4.6 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by activities at 22 months
Table 4.7 Average cognitive ability T-scores at age 34 months by parental attitudes at 22 months
Table 5.1 Naming vocabulary multiple linear regression - summary results
Table 5.2 Picture similarities regression models - summary results

Figures
Figure 3A Places or events children had been to in previous year, at age 22 months
Figure 3B Number of different places or events children had been to in previous year, at age 22 months
Figure 3C Parents' attitudes towards the importance of different activities for their children, at age 22 months
Figure 3D Scale of activities parents rated as 'very important', at age 22 months
Figure 3E Parental satisfaction with children's range of activities, at age 22 months