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Video and slides available: Examining cognition within and across longitudinal studies: Introducing CLOSER’s online cognitive measures guide

This webinar showcased CLOSER’s new online guide to the cognitive measures available in five British birth cohorts. A recording of the session and presentation slides are available below.

About the webinar

The British birth cohorts contain a wealth of information on cognition over the life course and across different generations. Indeed, these longitudinal studies have been tracking the cognitive ability of the population for decades.

As part of a CLOSER project assessing and harmonising cognitive measures in British cohort studies, researchers Vanessa Moulton and Eoin McElroy produced a comprehensive guide documenting the 180 measures used to assess diverse aspects of cognition within and across the following five longitudinal studies:

  • the MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD);
  • the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS);
  • the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70);
  • the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
  • the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)

Explore the online cognitive measures guide

Led by Vanessa Moulton and Eoin McElroy, this webinar explored how and what was documented as part of the cognitive measures guide, as well as the approach the researchers took to retrospectively harmonise these measures.

Vanessa and Eoin highlighted key learnings and gave examples of exploring the measurement equivalence of identical or conceptually similar tests that were administered within cohorts over time, or across cohorts when assessments overlapped in terms of the age of participants.

Download the presentation slides (PDF)

About the CLOSER project

The main aims of this project were to:

  1. document all of the measures of cognitive ability that have been administered using a consistent format
  2. explore the feasibility of retrospectively harmonising (i.e. recoding/manipulating) this data in order to make it comparable across cohorts and within cohorts over time.

About the speakers

Vanessa Moulton is a Senior Research Associate at the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies. Her research interests include using longitudinal and secondary data analysis to examine early life course on children’s and adult mental health, cognition and socio-economic outcomes.

Eoin McElroy is a Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, University of Leicester. Eoin’s work focuses mainly on the structure and measurement of mental health and cognitive ability across the life course.


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