In the News

A round-up of some recent appearances in the news and across the web of data held in the UK Data Service collection…

Could you be at greater risk of dementia if you walk more slowly?

Neuroscience News reports that researchers used the English Longitudinal Study of Aging and measures of older people’s walking speed. They discovered a link between older people walking more slowly and an increased risk of dementia. Anyone for a brisk walk round the park?

Original research

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Do grammar schools make a difference to pupils’ attainment?

There’s a lot of nostalgia about grammar schools (and the political will in some quarters to reintroduce them). This article in the Conversation reports on a study by Stephen Gorard, Professor of Education and Public Policy at Durham University which used the National Pupil Database. The study found that grammar schools made no significant difference to pupil attainment and suggests the effect this may have on social cohesion.

Original research

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Fancy cycling to work?

The Huffington Post made some suggestions for starting to cycle to work. They noted that according to the British Social Attitudes Survey, 2016 ‘only’ 59% of people thought that cycling on roads was “too dangerous” to try. To be fair, this was an improvement on people’s views in 2015. Happy cycling!

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Myths about growing up in poverty

Phys.org reported on research into the idea that parents in low-income families have lower aspirations. Using responses from the Growing up in Scotland longitudinal survey, Dr Morag Treanor, senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Stirling showed this not to be true, noting that

Lower-income parents are less likely to know what is possible or how to achieve it. They are also less likely to know how to support their children’s education.

Original research

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A year till Brexit – what’s the political situation in Scotland?

With the UK due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019, website The UK in a Changing Europe published an article by Professor John Curtice (Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at NatCen Social Research, as well as becoming moderately famous as a political analyst during the BBC’s coverage of the 2017 UK General Election) exploring the politics analysing the state of the politics in Scotland. Using the 2016 Scottish Social Attitudes survey, Curtice looked at whether there was a connection between voting patterns in the Brexit and Scottish independence referendums.

Originally published as part of this report.

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Who’s happier about the arrival of a little one? Mum or dad?

Researchers at  Bocconi University, Italy used the British Household Panel Survey to investigate this question. While there’s a difference depending on roles within the family and who works, it does seem like fathers get more satisfaction than mothers, which seems rather unfair given who has to go through the pain of childbirth…

Original research

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We also regularly collect news items about data held by the UK Data Service on our Scoop It! page.

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