MCS age 17 survey consultation

Following the summer consultation and the consultative conference held in November of last year, we have developed draft questionnaires for the parents and the young person (see downloads right). We are now consulting on these drafts and welcome your comments and feedback.

These first drafts were created by a team of survey experts and a scientific advisory board who reviewed the contributions and comments from the summer consultation and the consultative conference. 

We now hope to identify the key priorities and the most appropriate instruments in order to best measure the life experiences of these 17-year-olds. 

We are bound by some practical limitations regarding the number and nature of questions we are able to ask our study members, due to issues related to respondent burden and financial cost.

Based on our current estimates we believe we need to reduce this first draft of the young person questionnaire by around one half, making the decisions about which questions to include and the priorities of the study all the more important.

We hope to include a self-completion parent questionnaire which builds on that from previous sweeps; but is substantially shorter than at previous sweeps as much of the focus has now moved to the child.

We would welcome your views on the content, balance of coverage and balance between the parent and child instruments

How to give your feedback

We ask that you review these documents and send feedback about the content of the questionnaire, key priorities and instruments by 5pm on Friday 16 September 2016. When providing feedback please provide its question number and question name and send this to Emma Nixon [] with ‘MCS7 Questionnaire Feedback’ as the subject of the email.

Further information on the survey themes and the scientific advisory group can be found below.

The MCS7 scientific advisory group:

  • Louise Arsenault (King's College, London)
  • Paul Gregg (University of Bath)                             
  • Helen Sweeting (University of Glasgow)           
  • Chris Taylor (Cardiff University)                       
  • Russell Viner (UCL Institute of Child Health)

Acting Principal Investigator of the MCS is Dr Morag Henderson with Professor Heather Joshi as senior support.

Principal Investigator (maternity leave) is Professor Emla Fitzsimons.

The Age 17 survey contains three broad themes:

  1. Activities and daily life: The behaviour of young adults and the activities they are engaged in (such as education, training, work, relationships, risky behaviours and social media, exercise/diet and cultural participation) will be important to measure well. For the first time diverging activities (not just school) will be crucial to capture
  2. Socio-emotional development: Having well-validated, state-of-the-art measures of non-cognitive/socio-emotional  characteristics (such as personality, motivation, decision-making and mental health and wellbeing) is critical
  3. Cognitive development: Having objectively measured, well-validated measures of cognition covering domains (such as crystallised skills, fluid intelligence, numeracy and executive function) is vital

The questionnaire will cover the content for the face-to-face interview with the cohort member. View the content covered in the MCS6 age 14 survey here.

Please also note the following in relation to the age 17 survey content:

  • We will collect objective measures of physical development (height, weight, body fat)
  • There is currently no funding for interviewing parents. We welcome your thoughts on the value of  interviewing parents, and any information you consider crucial to collect from them at this stage of the cohort members’ lives
  • We plan to collect consent to various data linkages, suggestions as to specific linkages will be considered.

Provisional timetable:
  • Launch consultation - 30 June 2015
  • Consultation closes - 11 September 2015
  • Registration for the consultative conference - 14 September 2015
  • Scientific Consultation Meeting - 16 November 2015
  • Consultation on first draft of Questionnaire - Spring/summer 2016
  • Piloting - Spring/summer 2017
  • Fieldwork starts - January 2018
  • Fieldwork ends - December 2018
  • Data deposit at UKDS - Late 2019
Contact us

If you have any questions about the MCS7 consultation, please contact Kate Smith at