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Handling attrition and non-response in the 1970 British Cohort Study

Mostafa, T; Wiggins, D; (2014) Handling attrition and non-response in the 1970 British Cohort Study. (CLS Working Papers 2014/2). Institute of Education, University of London: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) is a continuing multi-purpose, multidisciplinary longitudinal study based on a sample of over 17,000 babies born in England, Wales and Scotland in 1970. The study has collected detailed information from the cohort members on various aspects of their lives, including their family circumstances at birth, education, employment, housing and partnership histories. There have been nine sweeps of data collection so far: at birth and at ages 5, 10, 16, 26, 30, 34, 38 and most recently age 42 (2012). This paper studies the extent of attrition in BCS70 and how it affects sample composition over time. We examine the determinants of response then construct inverse probability weights. In the last section, we use a simulation study to illustrate the effectiveness of weights and imputations in dealing with unit non-response and item missingness respectively. Our findings show that when the predictive power of the response models is weak, the efficacy of non-response weights is undermined. Further, multiple imputations are effective in reducing the bias resulting from item missingness when the magnitude of the bias is high and the imputation models are well specified.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Handling attrition and non-response in the 1970 British Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://cls.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/C...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: BCS70, imputation, weights, item non-response, unit non-response, attrition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10023946
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