Publication - Research and analysis

Growing Up in Scotland: Birth Cohort 2. Results from the First Year

Published: 19 Feb 2013

This Growing up in Scotland report provides a detailed insight into the first set of data collected from the study’s second birth cohort – representative of all children born in Scotland between 1st March 2010 and 28th February 2011 – around the time they were all aged 10 months old.

Growing Up in Scotland: Birth Cohort 2. Results from the First Year


1 Child Benefit Records were chosen because of the high levels of uptake among parents. Approximately 97% of those families eligible for Child Benefit are registered with HMRC.

2 Local Authority has been used as a stratification variable during sampling, this means the distribution of the GUS sample by Local Authority will be representative of the distribution of Local Authorities in Scotland. However, the sample sizes are such that we would not recommend analysis by Local Authority. The small sample sizes would give misleading results.

3 These dates were chosen in order that, when they are older, the children in cohort will all be eligible to start school in the same August and will thus represent a single school year group.

4 For further information on the Family Nurse Partnership programme in Scotland see:

5 For a full insight into the relationship between children and their grandparents in BC1, including a description of the 'types' of grandparents children have, see Warner, P. and Jamieson, L. (2012) Growing Up in Scotland: The involvement of grandparents in children's lives, Edinburgh: Scottish Government

6 For further discussion of the income data collected in GUS, including potential limitations of this data, please see the technical notes in Appendix A

7 Using the HM Treasury GDP Deflator Index

8 See Appendix for further information on multivariate analysis

9 See the technical notes in Appendix A for a full description of this analytical approach


11 See the appendix for a description of logistic regression analysis

12 The binary variable created indicating starting solids before five months used the 'mid' version - see appendix for details

13 Five categories of response were available for each statement: strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, disagree strongly.

14 After providing the number of the child's grandparents alive, respondents were asked to define who each grandparent was in relation to themselves - eg. their mother, father, their partner's mother and so on. As most respondents were the child's natural mother, in the report we refer to the respondent's parents as the child's maternal grandparents and the partner's parents as the child's paternal grandparents.

15 For more information on the structure of the questions on grandparents, and a detailed overview and analysis of existing grandparent data from BC1, see Jamieson et al. (2012).

16 Note that the structure of the questions varied between the two cohorts. Parents in BC1 were asked about support from any grandparents and all items measured the frequency that support was given. Parents in BC2 were asked all items in relation to each individual set of grandparents with which the family were in contact. Only the items on looking after the child during the day and babysitting in the evening measured frequency. The data shown here represents variables which have been derived to allow comparison and differences should therefore be interpreted with caution.

17 For the items which measured frequency, responses were coded as follows: Every day or almost every day = 5, At least once a week = 4, At least once a month = 3, At least once every three months = 2, Less often than once every three months = 1, Never = 0; The other items were coded '1' if the support was given, and '0' if not.

18 To allow comparison between cohorts, the final item - 'helped by providing advice or support' - was excluded from the scale.

19 In this chapter, informal parenting support was measured using three items: agreement with the statement: "I feel close to most of my family"; parent sees or speaks to close friends at least weekly (either in person, by phone, on e-mail or using the internet); agreement with the statement: "There is someone I trust whom I would turn to for advice if I were having problems"

20 In this chapter, formal parenting support was measured using items concerning regular attendance at parent and baby or parent and toddler groups with the cohort child in the last year; any participation in a programme, group or seminar on child development, child behaviour, or parenting in the last year (examples given were Triple P - Positive Parenting Programme, Baby massage, Incredible Years Programme, Mellow Parenting, Baby yoga, Swimming classes/groups, Baby sensory, Tuneful tots (music classes/rhymes etc), PEEP parent education, Book Bug /libraries); and using, visiting or contacting any of five Government-sponsored resources (Childcare Link website or phoneline, ParentLine Scotland website or phoneline, ChildSmile website or ChildSmile dental services, Play, Talk, Read website, Play @Home booklets)

21 See appendix A for a description of multivariate logistic regression analysis

22 Note that numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding

23 Note that the format in which the questions asked collects the number of days for each individual arrangement and not which days of the week the child is looked after by someone else. As two arrangements may be used on a single day, the number of days the child is looked after by someone else cannot be totalled in the same way as the number of hours.

24 In cases where more than one childcare arrangement was being used, only reasons for using the first of these has been included

25 Using the HM Treasury GDP Deflator Index

26 Note, however, that BC1 parents were presented with a more limited range of policies - subsidised childcare, work place nursery, flexible working arrangements, 'some other' family-friendly facilities. Whilst those included for BC2 which were not listed for BC1 fall into the 'some other' category, the smaller range demonstrated may have limited parents' responses to some extent.

27 See:

28 p9 of A guide to Getting it Right for Every Child, Scottish Government, June 2012



31 Press release accompanying the publication of the 2008 Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report.

32 See:

33 National Performance Framework: Changes to the National Indicator Set, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2012. [online] Available from:

34 See:

35 See:

36 See:

37 For example, the 2014 target relating to fluoride varnish applications for 3 and 4 year old children, see:

38 See:

39 For example, the ROSPA campaign about blind cords, supported by Scottish Government; and ROSPA's work with Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board to raise awareness about trampoline safety, and the risk of burns from hair straighteners (details of which can be found at:

40 The overall policy framework for the programme is set out in two documents: the 2005 Health for All Children 4: Guidance on Implementation in Scotland, available from:; and the 2011 update: A New Look at Hall 4 - the Early Years - Good Health for Every Child, available from:

41 For full details see:

42 The full list can be reviewed in the questionnaire documentation available via the GUS website:

43 The questions about acute health problems and illnesses used different wording in 2005/06. Parents in 2005/06 were asked to only mention conditions for which treatment or advice was sought from a health professional. In 2010/11 details of all conditions were recorded and a follow-up question ascertained whether contact was made with a health professional. The two sets of data are not directly comparable

44 A simple regression model with maternal age, education level and area deprivation confirmed the finding that children born to mothers aged 30-39 were significantly less likely to experience four or more health problems than those born to mothers under 20, after adjusting for education and deprivation

45 To investigate the possibility that the difference was due to the children in cohort 2 being slightly older than those in cohort 1 the analysis was repeated with just those children aged 10 months in both cohorts. The same pattern was found: 24% of 10-month-old children in 2005/06 had missed one or more motor milestones compared with 19% of those in 2010/11

46 One point was allotted for each behavior the child displayed 'sometimes', two points for 'often', and one point was allotted for knowing 1-3 words/phrases, two points for 4-10, three points for 11-30 and four points for 30 or more.

47 The question wording used lay expressions for these areas, for example motor skills concerns were described as concerns about how the child moves around or uses his/her hands.

48 No definition of sleep problems was provided for parents

49 See:

50 Equally Well:

51 Frameworks to improve maternal health and reduce health inequalities:

52 Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL):

53 Obesity prevention strategy:

54 Health Works strategy:

55 Good Places, Better Health (GPBH):

56 Framework for Action on alcohol:

57 Analysis of the combined AUDIT-C items is not included in this report although the responses to the additional item are.

58 Current guidelines state the daily limit for alcohol consumption is 4 units for men and 3 units for women

59 If respondents never drank alcohol then they were not asked the following 5 questions on alcohol. Their answers have been set to 0 for the following questions for the purposes of calculating the AUDIT-PC.

60 Men drinking more than 21 units per week and women drinking more than 14

61 Binge drinking is defined by the NHS and the National Office of Statistics as drinking double the daily unit guidelines for alcohol in one session. This is 6 units for women and 8 units for men. The AUDIT-PC asks about drinking over 6 units in one session as a measure of binge

62 The binary variable created indicating starting solids before 5 months used the 'mid' version - see appendix for details.


Email: Sharon Glen