Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Truth about growing up in Scotland

Families across the country are helping to lift the lid on the reality of growing up in Scotland today.

Eight thousand youngsters and their parents are taking part in a major Executive-funded study – Growing Up in Scotland – which tracks families’ experiences, including attitudes towards children’s services, pregnancy and birth, childcare, parenting, health and education.

In one of the largest studies ever done in Scotland, the youngsters’ lives are being followed from infancy to adolescence. The results will help to shape future services for children and families.

Among the findings from the first overview report, published today, are:

Around a fifth of the sample lived in a lone parent household
Most children have regular contact with grandparents and four per cent of youngsters had five or more grandparents – showing the growing significance of step families
Around two thirds of mothers said they had originally intended to breastfeed their child and, of these, 90 per cent actually did
Around 60 per cent of children had been breastfed with older mothers, those with a degree-education, in couple families, living in less deprived areas or in higher income households likely to breastfeed for longer
60 per cent of mothers experienced a normal delivery with the sample child, while around a quarter had a Caesarean section. Older mothers were more likely to have a Caesarean and less likely to have a normal delivery than younger mothers
Around seven out of ten first-time mothers said they had attended ante-natal classes. The vast majority found these classes to be very or fairly useful
Around a fifth of toddlers and 14 per cent of babies had received in-patient hospital treatment as a result of accident or illness
Deputy Education Minister Robert Brown said:

“We want all youngsters to get the best possible start in life. That’s why it’s vital that the right services and support are available, where and when they need them.

“This is the first Scottish-focussed large-scale study of early years and children’s services. The information will help ensure that future generations grow up in safe, supportive environments and have every opportunity to realise their full potential.

“Growing Up in Scotland will follow these youngsters into their teenage years, giving us valuable information about all aspects of children’s services.”


The Growing Up in Scotland survey was commissioned in 2003 and the research is being undertaken by the Scottish Centre for Social Research in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh.

Growing Up in Scotland is tracking 5,000 babies (born between June 2004 and May 2005) and 3,000 toddlers (born between June 2002 and May 2003) through childhood and into their teens. Families were carefully selected to ensure the survey represents Scotland’s urban/rural and economic backgrounds. All council areas are represented.

Trained social survey interviewers have conducted interviews initially with parents, but children are likely to be asked for their views as they reach an appropriate age.
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source-Scottish Executive

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