The age 14 survey of MCS (2015)

The Millennium Cohort Study surveyed the cohort members and their families in 2015 when the young people were aged around 14. Interviews were conducted with 11,726 families. Age 14 is a significant age for a number of reasons, but primarily because it is a period when children are in between childhood and adulthood, when many trajectories are still possible, but many will also be influenced by the choices and behaviours they engage in at this age. This survey will, for example, have the potential to dramatically extend our understanding of risk behaviours and antecedents and their (positive and negative) later life consequences.

Data from the Age 14 data collection is available to download from the UK Data Service.

The Age 14 sweep was the most ambitious sweep of MCS so far. It was again a household based survey that collected information from parents, as well as from the cohort members themselves. It combined both interviewer administered and self-completion instruments that built on best practice and technological developments, as well as direct measurements of young people's physical growth, and assessments of both young people and their parents' cognitive ability. It also collected saliva for DNA sampling from both cohort members and resident parents and cohort members were asked to wear an activity monitor and complete a time use record to measure daily activity. 

Core areas for data collection included:

  • physical measurements;
  • assessments of cognitive ability (from cohort members and resident parents);
  • saliva for DNA collection (from cohort members and resident parents);
  • measures of socio-economic background;
  • measures of risk behaviours and experiences of victimisation;
  • measures of peer and family relationships;
  • measures of independence and autonomy;
  • sporting and cultural participation;
  • ethnicity and identity;
  • consumption and financial awareness;
  • personality traits and values;
  • measures of daily activity and ‘time use’;
  • measures of well-being and satisfaction;
  • measures of school experience and educational and occupational aspirations.

CLS consulted a wide group of stakeholders on what should be included in the age 14 survey. For more information on the consultation process, visit the MCS6 consultation page.