On 4th June 1947, as part of the Scottish Mental Survey, every Scottish schoolchild born in 1936 sat the same test of mental ability: the Moray House Test. In 1997, Professor Lawrence Whalley discovered the Scottish Mental Survey test records at the Scottish Council for Research in Education in Edinburgh and began to trace people who had sat the test in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen University has followed all of the children born in Aberdeen in 1921, 1936 (see Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936) and 1950-1956 (see Aberdeen Children of the 1950s) as they grow and age.
Collectively these groups are known as the ABERDEEN BIRTH COHORTS, and have helped to advance our understanding of aging well.
Over the years, researchers have linked the results from these tests to health and social information.
The linked data has been used to answer questions like:
Does being born very small affect mental health later in life?
Is the risk of dementia related to childhood intelligence?
What influences quality of life in old-age?
Participants born in 1921 and 1936 have been invited back for a wide variety of studies at the University. Similar research is being started for the Children of the 1950’s group.