Site search
Back to listing

Aberdeen Children of the 1950s (ACONF)

About the cohort

The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study is a population-based resource for the study of biological and social influences on health across the life-course and between generations. Comprising of almost all people born in Aberdeen, Scotland between 1950 and 1956, this cohort is based on 12,150 children (born to 9,422 mothers, and including many siblings) who took part in the Aberdeen Child Development Survey, a cross-sectional study of learning disability in December 1962.

All children in primary years three through seven in Aberdeen were given a battery of reading tests, and they and their teachers were surveyed on their family, friendships, personality and behaviour. These data were permanently linked to: mother’s pregnancy and their birth records; scores from IQ tests at ages 7, 9 and 11; school medical records; home valuation; and neighbourhood data from the 1961 census. A subset of mothers gave structured interviews in 1964 when the children were in primary school and in 1986 when they were in their early thirties.

When the participants were in their forties, 99% (12,013) were traced, and their childhood records were linked to hospital and mental health admissions, maternity records, cancer registers, and death records. Two-thirds of those alive and in the UK (7183) completed a wide-ranging postal survey.

National Records Scotland now hold study member identifiers on the population spine, allowing linkage between study data and all Scottish morbidity and mortality records and prescribing databases. The study has been made available as a research database with the NHS Health Research Authority (number 11/S0802/6).

A detailed data dictionary and original descriptions of the study are available on the website, Children of the 1950s.


Core funders

  • Medical Research Council
  • ESRC


Website: Children of the 1950s

Principal Investigator: Professor Phil Hannaford


Children of the 1950s
Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health
Aberdeen Maternity Hospital
Cornhill Road
Aberdeen AB25 2ZL


Page last updated: 7 Jan 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 10,000-19,999
  • Age: 0 to 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 39, 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Respiratory, Reproductive
  • Psychological: Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Finances, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Marital status