Adolescence to Young Adulthood

This stream focuses on a poorly understood but critical developmental period that marks the transition from adolescence to young adult life.

For many, new relationships, new freedoms, and new opportunities for self-discovery will support internal integration of positive and painful emotion, and clarification of values necessary for secure social connection. For others, unresolved experiences of social disconnection and painful emotion from prior periods will converge to make this one of the most risky transitions in the early life course, across which rates of violence, drug use and mental disorder peak in prevalence and cause greatest harm. We focus on the earliest opportunities to promote emotional regulation and social connection across emerging adulthood. We also host a specialist Research Centre (The Centre for Drug, Alcohol and Addiction Research) that specifically addresses problems related to drug use and other addictive behaviours in young people.


Peter Miller
Petra Staiger

Specialist centres

The Deakin Centre for Drug, Alcohol and Addiction Research (CEDAAR)

The Deakin Centre for Drug, Alcohol and Addiction Research (CEDAAR) is a Specialist Research Centre that conducts research into the psychological, biological, socio-political, and clinical aspects of Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) use, related behaviour, and consequent harm. Our program is a specialist research centre of the Deakin Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED), as we look to understand many of the problems associated with substance and related harms from a developmentally informed perspective.

Australian Centre on Quality of Life (ACQOL)

The Australian Centre on Quality of Life (ACQOL) is a Specialist Research Centre that conducts leading research around quality of life measurement across the life course. ACQOL collaborates with SEED around the development of population indicators of wellbeing from infancy to adulthood. This is part of a larger 'Comprehensive Monitoring and Intervention Project' and builds on the internationally recognised Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, for which an Adolescent Index already exists and adaptations for Early and Middle Childhood are underway.

Comprehensive Monitoring

The population research program within this stream is focused on prevention of antisocial behaviour and violence and the development of a Young Adult Developmental Index as part a larger ‘Comprehensive Monitoring and Intervention Project’ being undertaken with the Department of Education Victoria (Australian Early Development Census), the Social Research Centre (Australian National University), and the University of British Columbia.

Violence Prevention Program

The aims of this work are threefold:

  1. prevention of interpersonal violence in public spaces

  2. the association between alcohol and drugs on family violence

  3. the treatment and management of high risk violent offenders.

Researchers in this area have expertise in understanding the developmental origins of violence, the maintenance of violent behaviour across adolescence and into early adulthood, and the evaluation of interventions designed to prevent violence in those identified as at risk and known perpetrators. This group has established strong connections in Geelong, where (alcohol-related) violence rates are high.

Young Adult Development Index (YADI)

The aims of this work are threefold:

  1. define developmentally appropriate indicators of emotional growth relevant to the period of 19-28 years of age

  2. link these to developmentally targeted interventions that address risk and promote wellbeing

  3. implement comprehensive monitoring and intervention through developmentally integrated clinical, educational and public health Services

The YADI will be developed within leading Australian longitudinal datasets running through SEED, the Melbourne Children’s Campus, and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.


As part of our commitment to bringing SEED research into the lives of families, young people and those working with families and young people we have compiled a list of seminal resources that present and reinforce central messages around promoting emotional health from infancy to adulthood. We have organised resources within SEED research streams for easy access to age appropriate material. Within each age group we have further group resources into books, animations, webtalks, major reports.

Learn more about our resources