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ALSPAC – Age 8.5 – TEA-Ch Sky Search

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 8.5 sweep (Focus@8) using the Sky Search measure of selective attention and motor control from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch).

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.

Measures:Selective attention
Mental speed
Visual scanning
CHC:Gs (Processing Speed)
Gps (Psychomotor Speed)
Gv (Visual Processing)
Gsm (Short-Term Memory)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; pen and paper
Procedure:The child was presented with an array of non-identical and identical spaceships, and was tasked with circling pairs of identical spaceships as quickly as possible, whilst trying to avoid any errors. The interviewer provided a demonstration, and the child worked through a practice sheet before commencing the test. After the practice sheet, the child was presented with a larger sheet and asked to do the same (20 identical pairs). The above task was then repeated, without the non-identical pairs of ships. The aim was to identify how quickly the child could complete the task, in order to control for motor performance.
Link to questionnaire: (opens in new tab)
Scoring:Three summary scores are provided:
i. unadjusted score: time taken (in seconds) for the search task divided by the number of spaceship pairs correctly circled
ii. motor score: time in seconds for the motor task divided by number of correct pairs
iii. The adjusted score is calculated by subtracting the motor score from the unadjusted score, thus controlling for motor speed
iv. A normative score is also available, however the ALSPAC codebook recommends this is used with caution, as the original sample used to create the normative scores was small (N = ~100)
Item-level variable(s):f8at003 - f8at061
Total score/derived variable(s):f8at061, f8at062, f8at065
Descriptives:Unadjusted scoreMotor scoreAdjusted score
N = 7,249N = 7,219N = 7,184
Range = 1.94 - 48.33Range = 0.35 - 7Range = -4.05 - 46.58
Mean = 6.58Mean = 1.37Mean = 5.20
SD = 2.07SD = 0.46SD = 1.92
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Age of participants:Mean = 103.82 months, SD = 3.92, Range = 89 - 127
Other sweep and/or cohort:ALSPAC – Age 11.5 – TEA-Ch Sky Search
Source:Robertson, I. H., Ward, T., Ridgeway, V., & Nimmo-Smith, I. (1996). The structure of normal human attention: The Test of Everyday Attention. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2(6), 525-534.
Manly, T., Anderson, V., Nimmo-Smith, I., Turner, A., Watson, P., & Robertson, I. H. (2001). The differential assessment of children's attention: The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch), normative sample and ADHD performance. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 42(8), 1065-1081.
Technical resources:Heaton, S. C., Reader, S. K., Preston, A. S., Fennell, E. B., Puyana, O. E., Gill, N., & Johnson, J. H. (2001). The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch): Patterns of performance in children with ADHD and clinical controls. Child Neuropsychology, 7(4), 251-264.
Reference examples:Chandramouli, L., Steer, C. D., Ellis, M., & Emond, A. M. (2009). Effects of early childhood lead exposure on academic performance and behaviour of school age children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 94(11), 844-8.
Odd, D. E., Emond, A., & Whitelaw, A. (2012). Long-term cognitive outcomes of infants born moderately and late preterm. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 54(8), 704-709.

For the named items in the table above, links are provided to their corresponding content on CLOSER Discovery. Where a variable range is provided, full variable lists can be accessed through the ‘Variable Groups’ tab on the linked Discovery page.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.