What are the CLS Cohorts Studies?

Last time we explained a little about the CLS. Today we will give a further explanation into some of the work that they do.


The cohort studies

By following the same individuals throughout their lives, cohort studies show:

  • how early life circumstances and experiences influence later outcomes
  • how an individual’s health, wealth, family, parenting, education, employment and social attitudes are linked
  • how these aspects of life vary for different people.

Through comparing the different generations in the three cohorts, CLS can chart social change and start to untangle the reasons behind it. Findings from the studies help evaluate and plan policies aimed at preventing adverse outcomes and promoting beneficial ones.

Over the years, findings from the cohort studies have contributed to their thinking in a number of different policy areas, including education and equality of opportunity; poverty and social exclusion; gender differences in pay and employment; social class differences in health; changing family structures; and anti-social behaviour.

Historically, the studies have been key sources of evidence for a number of government inquiries such as the Plowden Committee on Primary Education (1967), the Warnock Committee on Children with Special Educational Needs (1978), the Finer Committee on One Parent Families (1966-74), the Acheson Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (1998) and the Moser Committee on Adult Basic Skills (1997-99).

One study of working mothers and early child development helped shift the argument for increased maternity leave. Another study on the impact of assets, such as savings and investments on future life chances, played a major part in the development of assets-based welfare policy, including the ‘Baby Bond’.

Publications and Resources

There are thousands of published works based on the British birth cohort studies. There are also a number of resources that CLS has produced to help researchers use the data.


The online bibliography is a searchable citations database of 3,500 publications based on 1958, 1970 and millennium cohort data. The bibliography is searchable by year, author, cohort study, journal name, title and abstract.

CLS library

The CLS library contains resources produced by CLS. It includes all types of survey documentation and resources, books, briefings, reports and working papers.

You can browse the library by publication type, or search for specific resources using the main website search box included.

CLS working paper series

The CLS working paper series features analysis of the 1958, 1970 and millennium cohort data on a variety of topics, as well as explorations of key methodological challenges in longitudinal research.

If you would like to submit a piece of research for possible publication as a CLS working paper, consult the guidelines.


You can view the latest video interviews, webinar recordings and podcasts on the multimedia page.

Videos and webinars are hosted on the CLScohorts YouTube channel, while the CLS podcasts are located on their Soundcloud page.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s