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The impact of disability on the lives of young children: Analysis of growing up in Scotland data

This research project was commissioned by Scottish Government Children and Families Analysis with the objective of undertaking an in-depth analysis of data from the Growing Up in Scotland study (GUS) to examine the circumstances and outcomes of children living with a disability in Scotland. The overall aim of this analysis was to explore the impact of disability on the child, their parents and the wider family unit.

GUS is an important longitudinal research project aimed at tracking the lives of several cohorts of Scottish children through the early years and beyond. The study is funded by the Scottish Government and carried out by ScotCen Social Research. GUS launched in 2005 with two cohorts of children – around 3000 born in 2002/03 (the child cohort) and around 5000 born in 2004/05 (the first birth cohort). A further cohort of 6000 children born in 2010/11 (the second birth cohort) was recruited to the study in 2011. Each sample is nationally representative of all children born in Scotland in the corresponding year.

This report presents analysis of data on the children and families in the first birth cohort. Data was first collected on this cohort when the child was aged 10 months old. The children and their families were then followed via annual ‘sweeps’ of data collection until the child was aged 6 (in 2011/12). The data included here refers to the point at which the children were aged 10 months, three years old and five years old.

Paul Bradshaw
Julia Hall
ScotCen Social Research