The Class of 1921 Reunited

The Class of 1921 Reunited

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen are inviting anyone born in the North of Scotland in 1921 to a social event at the Music Hall at 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 20 September.

The event has been organised by Professor Lawrence Whalley and his Mental Health team to thank almost 300 volunteers who have so far helped with an extensive research programme examining the possibility of any link between childhood IQ test scores and health later in life. The study will also reveal whether people who had a high IQ in 1932 have maintained that level.

The event is being held as an opportunity to keep the Group informed: to advise the volunteers of the study findings to date and is being held prior to the third annual wave of tests planned to being in October.

Two years ago around 100 volunteers from the 1921 birth cohort group attended a party that was held at Aberdeen’s Music Hall and preparations were made to restage the original 11-plus test that they sat at school in 1932. A year later, a Civic Reception was held, again at the Music Hall, with a turnout of 400 people. The event was held on 1 June – exactly 67 years to the day that the volunteers sat their first IQ test, and under the same instructions.

Professor Whalley explained, “In 1932 the Scottish Education Authorities carefully tested all 89,498 children born in 1921. The results of these ability tests were retained and we have compared them with physical and mental health tests of the same people 66-68 years later. We’ve already interviewed almost 300 volunteers and we expect to contact many more before completion. The tests take no longer than two hours and we try to make them enjoyable and fun for the volunteers. A research nurse interviews each volunteer, will take a small blood sample and test physical health, before a research psychologist examines individual differences in thinking and reasoning that change with age.”

Anybody from the North-East area, who attended school in Scotland in 1932 and who was born in 1921, is welcome to attend the event at the Music Hall tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 20 September). The research group is still interested to hear from anyone born in that year who has not yet been traced. Please contact Helen Lemmon, research nurse, on 01224 557374.

Further information from:

Professor Lawrence Whalley, Head of Department, Mental Health, University of Aberdeen (01224) 557479

Angela Begg, Public Relations Officer, University of Aberdeen (01224) 272960

University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email a.ramsay@admin.abdn.ac.uk.

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