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Mental health

About the research

Full project title: Harmonisation of mental health measures in British birth cohorts

Woman sitting on a hill looking out over a view of fields and woodsThis project aims to harmonise existing mental health measures over the life course in five British birth cohorts. Across the CLOSER studies, the measures of mental health that have been collected vary across the different studies and within the same study over time.

Using the documentation put together in other CLOSER research to maximise the take-up of mental health measures from UK cohorts and longitudinal studies, this project will identify mental health measures in the different studies and investigate their measurement properties, before harmonising these so that they can be compared across time and study. These harmonised measures will allow the project to investigate and compare the development of psychological distress over the life course in different generations, as well as test whether mental health is improving or declining in more recently born cohorts that are expected to live longer.

Professor George Ploubidis

Research lead

Professor George Ploubidis (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL)

Studies used

Research outputs

  • Dataset of derived mental health measures and harmonised items – now available to download from the UK Data Service
  • A user guide to accompany the harmonised dataset – available to download from the UK Data Service

CLOSER resource report

CLOSER workshop

CLOSER Seminar: Harmonising mental health measurements from the British birth cohorts – George B Ploubidis



  • Coming soon: Academic paper focusing on between cohort comparisons of the development of mental health symptoms over the life course.

Read about other CLOSER data harmonisation projects.