Born in Bradford’s Age of Wonder cohort: protocol for adolescent data collection

Publication authors

Katy A. Shire, Alex Newsham, Atif Rahman, Dan Mason, David Ryan, Deborah A. Lawlor, Gail Opio-Te, Hannah Nutting, Jane West, John Pickavance, Josie Dickerson, Kate E. Pickett, Laura Lennon, Lydia Gunning, Mark Mon-Williams, Sean Smith, Simon Gilbody, Sufyan Dogra, Theresa Walsh, Rosemary McEachan, John Wright



Adolescence and transition into adulthood are periods shaping life-long mental health, cardiometabolic risk, and inequalities. However, they are poorly studied and understood. By extending and expanding the Born in Bradford (BiB) cohort study through this period using innovative, co-produced approaches to collect and analyse data, we aim to understand better the interplay of factors that influence health and wellbeing, and inform/evaluate interventions to improve them and reduce inequalities.


BiB Age of Wonder (AoW) is a large, whole city cohort that will capture the contemporary lived experience amongst multi-ethnic adolescents progressing into young adulthood. We will collect repeated data from existing BiB participants and their peers (N~30,000 adolescents). The protocol for the first phase of the quantitative methods, involving survey measurements and health assessments in mainstream secondary schools is described here. We describe the co-production behind these methods, and lessons learned from the first year of data collection.

Plain Language Summary

Born in Bradford have been following the health and wellbeing of over 13,000 Bradford children since they were born. This group of children are now in their teenage years – a time that is crucial for their future mental and physical health. Age of Wonder aims to capture this journey through adolescence and early adulthood with up to 30,000 young people in Bradford over 7 years. In the first phase of this project, data collection is taking part in secondary schools in Bradford. This protocol describes how this data collection is currently being carried out in the schools. Young people aged 12-15 are being asked to complete questionnaires, covering topics such as mental and physical health. These topics have been designed with groups of young people, schools and other partners, to make sure we are capturing data on the things most important to young people. Those in Year 9 (13-14 years old), are also asked to take part in physical health measurements such as height, weight, blood pressure and a blood sample, as well as computer-based assessments of cognition (memory), movement and language. There have been a number of lessons learned from the first full year of data collection, such as how to make the research as easy as possible for schools to take part in when they have so many competing demands on their time.