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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-07985: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what information it collects on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on people.

Answered by: John Swinney 17 March 2017

The Growing up in Scotland (GUS) survey collects some information about adverse experiences in childhood and about the health and wellbeing of children. GUS is a large-scale longitudinal research study tracking the lives of thousands of children and their families from birth through to the teenage years and beyond. GUS collects information about the following types of adverse experience: parental separation, childhood bereavement of a close family member, maternal health problems, parents’ alcohol and drug use, mental disorder in the family, domestic violence, parental imprisonment, parental job-loss, parents’ (dis)engagement with their child, and slapping a child. GUS also collects information which can be used to investigate the potential impacts of childhood adversity, including data on the health of children, health behaviours, and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The longitudinal nature of GUS means it is possible to look at the relationships between adverse experiences in childhood and later outcomes.