Welcome to the website for study members of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development
The MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) is the longest-running study of its kind in the world.
It began as a maternity survey, run by Dr James Douglas, of mothers who gave birth in England, Wales and Scotland in one week in March 1946. The survey then turned to the babies themselves, who have been followed ever since; through infancy, through school, into adulthood, across midlife, and now into later life.
The study has always addressed wide-ranging questions of relevance for policy as well as for science: from development to ageing; from physical health to mental health; from home and school to work, retirement and daily activities; and from emerging personality and temperament to adult hopes and life assessments.
The study members, the ‘Douglas children’, are the story. By contributing to the study all of their lives, their investment has allowed the study to become what is often referred to as a jewel, a priceless and powerful source of knowledge about the ways in which experiences earlier in life can affect later life outcomes. The MRC has funded the study since 1962 and continues to do so because it is regarded as a national scientific asset.
CLOSER launches series of educational animations
CLOSER has created five bite-size animations to teach non-experts the basics of longitudinal studies.
Funded by the ESRC, the animations are designed to raise awareness of the use and value of longitudinal research, and the fundamental elements of study design.
Mapped to key sections of CLOSER’s online educational resource, the Learning Hub, the animations aim to educate, inform and entertain those new to longitudinal studies, including students and early-career researchers.
The five animations cover the following topics:
- Longitudinal studies: an overview,
- Types of longitudinal studies,
- Data collection tools,
- Using longitudinal data for research.
Invitations for the 2-year follow-up are being sent out.
More information can be found under Data Collection
- Access information about the history of the study and the legacy of Dr James Douglas
- Access information about current research that may be of particular interest to study members
- Access information about future plans for NSHD
- Access information about the impact of the study
- Access information about information security
- View the birthday card gallery
- Contact the study team or update your contact details