Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit
Impact Case Studies
Impact Case Studies give snap-shot examples of how LS data is informing policy and practice changes in both the academic and wider contexts. If you have used LS data and would like to tell us more about the impact of your research, please contact the helpdesk.
Neighborhood Crime and Psychotropic Medications: A Longitudinal Data Linkage Study of 130,000 Scottish Adults
Baranyi, G, Cherrie, M., Curtis, S., Dibben, C., Pearce, J. (2020) 17 August 2020. Impact Case Study [SLS]
This study examines how local crime is associated with newly prescribed psychotropic medications in a large longitudinal sample of Scottish adults. It explores how area-level socioeconomic disadvantage changes this relationship and tests whether different types of psychiatric conditions were more sensitive to varying crime levels.
Data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study, a 5.3% sample of the population, were linked with police-recorded crime in 2011 for residential locality and with psychotropic medications from 2009 to 2014, extracted from the prescription data set of National Health Service Scotland. After excluding individuals with ongoing medication, new (or restarting) prescriptions for 3 main types of psychotropic drugs: antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics were linked to the SLS members in the study (129, 945 adults) and the sample was followed for 5.5 years.
In the main analyses, 3 models were presented for the 3 medication groups with crime as the main predictor of interest. Model 1 controlled for sex and age; Model 2: individual covariates (ethnicity, social status etc); and Model 3: area level income deprivation.
Consequences and risk factors of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
Feng, Z., Everington, D., Ralston, K., Dibben, C., Raab, G. & Graham, E. (2017) CALLS Hub Impact Case Study 3. 17 March 2017. [SLS][CALLS]
The proportion of 16-19 year olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is a key measure which feeds into the Scottish Government’s ‘Opportunities for All’ policy. The research project sought to explore the phenomena of NEETs, and to understand both the causes and the consequences of being NEET. The Scottish Longitudinal Study was used, looking at individuals aged 16-19 years at each census point between 1991 and 2011. The results showed a ‘scarring effect’ of having been NEET in terms of health and socioeconomic outcomes. This effect persisted even for those NEET individuals who later engaged in employment and education. Various individual, family, education and area-level factors were found to predict becoming NEET. The findings have been used to inform various Scottish Government briefings, policies, measures and work with Local Authorities.
Education and Social Stratification: The role of subject choices in secondary education on further education studies and labour market outcomes
Iannelli, C. & Klein, M. (2016) CALLS Hub Impact Case Study 2. 11 November 2016. [SLS][CALLS]
Previous research by Iannelli et al (2016) found that subject choice in upper secondary school was a key factor in explaining social inequalities in participation in higher education. Using the Scottish Longitudinal Study and its linked SQA education data allowed the researchers to explore whether this effect begins earlier in secondary school. The analyses found strong social inequalities in subject choice at S3/S4, with children from lower socio- economic backgrounds significantly less likely to choose subjects key for entry to university. Subject choice at this early stage was the strongest predictor of subsequent choices at 5th and 6th year. The results indicate that children from poorer backgrounds begin making choices early on in their secondary school career which may prevent them from moving into higher education. The findings have generated considerably interest from both practice and policy, and fed into the recommendations of the Scottish Government’s Widening Access Commission.
Growing Up and Growing Old in Scotland: housing transitions and changing living arrangements for young and older adults, 1991-2011
Graham, E., Fiori, F. & Feng, Z. (2016) SLS Impact Case Study 2. 3 December 2015. [SLS]
Other information: There have been recent declines in residential mobility among both young and older adults in Scotland. More young adults lived with their parents and fewer older adults moved house during the 2000s compared with the 1990s. Although higher education remained an advantage, parental background became a more important influence on the likelihood of becoming a homeowner during the 2000s. Among older adults, changes in household size due to widowhood, divorce or children leaving home were the main triggers for moving to a smaller house.
With young adults staying in the parental home for longer and the increasing residential immobility of older adults whose children are living with them, changing intergenerational interdependencies could have important implications for Scotland’s housing market.
The findings have been disseminated to both academic and non-academic audiences. A workshop was held in June 2015, with invited participants including representatives from NRS, ONS and the Scottish Government.
Flexible ageing: new ways to measure the diverse experience of population ageing in Scotland, using the Scottish Longitudinal Study
Spijker, J. & MacInnes, J. (2015) SLS Impact Case Study 1. 5 November 2015. [SLS]
Other information: Although population has become a core policy concern, the debate is often flawed by poor definitions of ‘old age’. The Scottish Longitudinal Study was used to test a new measure of ageing, the Real Elderly Dependency Ratio (REDR) on various demographic groups. ‘Elderly’ was defined as those with remaining life expectancy of less than 15 years instead of 65+ and rather than taking those of working age as the population who sustains them, only actual workers were classed as such. By taking into account the changing patterns of employment and old-age mortality, results showed that the REDR defines the burden of an ageing population more accurately than existing measures. Following publication in the BMJ, the results were widely disseminated internationally. This led to opportunities to speak directly to both Westminster and Scottish Governments, think tanks and other public and third-sector organisations.
Tenure Change in Scotland: a comparison between 1991-2001 and 2001-2006 – Jan Freeke (SLS Project 2007_009)
Cox, F. & Freeke, J. (2013) CALLS Hub Impact Case Study 1. [SLS][CALLS]
Other information: Towards the end of the last decade, Councils in the Glasgow conurbation faced a new situation, as the rate of housing tenure change had changed considerably since around 2000. Glasgow City Council undertook a review of social tenure change over the period 1991-2006 as a basis for understanding these changes and predicting likely future patterns. Data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study and from the Scottish Household Survey enabled their researchers to explore the effects of demographics on tenure flows, and revealed the effects of affordability on the flow from social renting to owner occupation, particularly for young people and those in social rented housing. These results fed into the research evidence base for key local strategic housing policies for Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.