On 1st June 1932, as part of the Scottish Mental Survey, 87,498 Scottish schoolchildren born in 1921 sat the same test of mental ability: the Moray House Test. In 1997, the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh began to search for men and women still living in Scotland who took part in these tests.
On 1st June 1998, about 80 individuals gathered in the Aberdeen Music Hall to re-sit the test exactly 66 years later. Participants were followed-up 5 times over a 10 year period.
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.