The latest news from Growing Up in Scotland (GUS), the longitudinal research study following the lives of thousands of children and their families from birth through to the teenage years.  

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GUS News June 2015

GUS is 10 years old!

GUS was launched in 2005. We have been following the children in our older cohort (Birth Cohort 1) for 10 years. The children in our younger children are approaching their fifth birthdays. Almost 50,000 interviews have taken place in our participants' homes. Thanks again to all of our families who have given up their time to help us carry out the research. 28 research reports have been published. Findings from these reports are being used by the Scottish Government and others to help make Scotland 'the best place to grow up'.

An event to celebrate 10 years of the study will take place in Edinburgh on 6 October 2015 (pm).  As well as reflecting on the main messages from the research over the last 10 years, our researchers will present new findings comparing the two groups of children at age 3 years. Booking for this free event will open in early August through the GUS website. If you have received this newsletter you will receive an invitation to the event, which will be of interest to anyone working with and for young children and their families in Scotland.


Birth Cohort 1 - Primary 6
Two-thirds of our Birth Cohort 1 families took part in an interview when the children were in their first term of Primary 6. The remaining third will be visited by one of our interviewers from September this year, again during the first term of P6. Parents and children will be asked to take part in questionnaires. For the first time we are also collecting data from teachers to find out how the children are doing at school.    

Now we are 5 - Birth Cohort 2
The age 5 interviews with our Birth Cohort 2 are currently underway. Families are being visited approximately 6 weeks before their child's 5th birthday. As well as the parent interview, parents and children will have their height and weight measured, and the children will take part in exercises to look at their cognitive abilities.

New publications
Journal articles and reports using GUS data:
Fathers in the early years: how do they balance their work and family life? The Scottish Government
A report of key findings and recommendations from research exploring how working fathers in Scotland with children aged under 5 years balance work and family life.

The effects of financial vulnerability and mothers’ emotional distress on child social, emotional and behavioural well-being: a structural equation model Treanor, M in Sociology
Child wellbeing is negatively associated with family financial vulnerability both directly and indirectly through maternal emotional distress.

Social assets, low income and child social, emotional and behavioural wellbeing Treanor, M in Families, Relationships and Societies
High levels of support from family and friends can mediate the negative impact of persistently low income on children's social, emotional and behavioural development.

Exploring the social, emotional and behavioural development of preschool children: is Glasgow different? Marryat, L; Thompson, L; Minnis, H and Wilson, P in International Journal for Equity in Health
Children in Glasgow are significantly more likely to live in areas of high deprivation than children in other parts of Scotland, yet no difference was found in relation to the mental health of preschool-aged children in the Glasgow City Council area.

Mothers’ perceived proximity to green space is associated with TV viewing time in children: The Growing Up in Scotland study Aggio, D; Smith, L; Fisher, A & Hamer, M in Preventive Medicine Volume 70 January 2015.
Children (aged 6 years) with mothers perceiving to live further from green/open spaces watch more TV. They also have worse mental and general health.


(Studying Physical Activity in Children's Environments Across Scotland) The SPACES project is being carried out by researchers at the University of Glasgow and will involve the children in our Birth Cohort 1 wearing activity monitors and GPS devices for 8 days to find out how active they are and crucially, where they are most active. The project aims to understand more about the physical activity levels of children in Scotland and about how local environments influence activity levels. This will help to suggest ways to increase activity to levels that will influence the health of our children. The data collection runs from June 2015 to early 2016. If you are a Birth Cohort 1 family we urge you to get involved - your child's participation would be extremely appreciated (and fun!) For more information please see the project website.

New web pages for children
Check out our new web pages  aimed at the children taking part in the study. The pages include a fun on-line quiz and may also be of interest to other children and young people. Please take a look and let us know what you think using the feedback form on the site. 

Are you hosting a local event?
We are very keen that the findings from GUS reach a wide range of audiences across Scotland. If you are running a local event and would like someone to come along to talk about GUS or to exhibit our research findings please contact

GUS Data
The data from Birth Cohort Sweeps 1-6 and Birth Cohort 2 Sweep 1 are available from the UK Data Archive. Materials to support the use of the data are available here. Mothers and children in Birth Cohort 1 and our Child Cohort have had their details linked to administrative health data held by NHS Information Services Division. This includes information about pregnancy and birth, pre-school child health surveillance, hospital admissions and dental health covering the period from birth to age 6. The dataset will be available to access soon via the Scottish Health Informatics Programme (SHIP). Any researcher wishing to use the data will require Safe Researcher accreditation. For more information on Safe Researcher training contact ADLS.

Are you using GUS findings or data? Please let us know
It is very important for us to demonstrate that people are using GUS findings to inform their work. If you have used the findings in any way - for example, in a funding application or in support of change to policy or practice, or if you have analysed the data, please let us know by e-mailing Thanks to those of you who completed our recent stakeholders impact survey. This provided valuable information about how you are using GUS research findings to inform your work.

Upcoming Events

International Family Daycare Organisation Conference (IFDCO) hosted by SCMA and Children in Scotland 22-25 July, Edinburgh

Materials and videos from the Parenting Across Scotland 2015 Conference 'Creating loving relationships' now available

The Scottish Government is consulting with parents about their proposals to increase free Early Learning and Childcare provision to 1140 hours per year. If you are the parent of a 3 or 4 year old, please complete this survey.

Other research and reports
An Independent Review of the Scottish Early Learning and Childcare Workforce and the Out of School Care Workforce Scottish Government June 2015

How Young People's Participation in School Supports Achievement and Attainment Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People February 2015

ScotPHO Health and Wellbeing profiles June 2015

Updated outcomes framework for Scotland's National Parenting Strategy NHS Health Scotland May 2015

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Contact us:
Lesley Kelly, GUS Dissemination Officer, CRFR, University of Edinburgh,
Paul Bradshaw, Research Director, ScotCen Social Research,
Liz Levy, GUS Project Manager, Scottish Government,

Copyright © 2015 Growing Up in Scotland, All rights reserved.