Intergenerational-Early Childhood

The Intergenerational-Early Childhood era is a broad and vastly significant era for human life course development. It contains two connected stories about personal and interpersonal growth.

The first is of the young adult’s transition to becoming a care-giving parent. The second is about the subsequent social and emotional growth of their offspring, from infancy through the pre-school years. Navigating the transition to parenthood poses a broad range of developmental challenges, which have well-being implications for both adult and offspring. Understanding what creates a well developing pathway for young adults and their offspring is at the heart of our research. In particular, our focus is on young adult’s growing capacity to care in intimate relationships, and as a parent, and the translation of these capacities into their young child’s ability to develop secure attachments.


Jennifer McIntosh - Co Leader
Gery Karantzas - Co Leader


James Aloni
Sharyn Bant
Michelle Benstead
Felicity Bigelow
Zoe Bloore
Anna Booth
Susan Chesterman
Sasha Davies
Peter Enticott
Kiira Gavralas
Christopher Greenwood
Emily Irwin
Rebecca Knapp
Juwon Lee
Michelle Macvean
Emma Marshall
Mariel McClure
Ellie Mullins
Craig Olsson
Jessica Opie
Melissa O'Shea
Bengiani Pizzirani
Daniel Romano
Si Yun (Evelyn) Tan

MAC Lab (The Melbourne Attachment & Caregiving Laboratory)

The Melbourne Attachment and Caregiving Laboratory (MAC Lab) is based within the Australian Temperament Project - Generation 3 Study (see Lifecourse and Surveillance). The MAC Lab, directed by Prof. McIntosh, is an Australian affiliate of the internationally renowned Mary Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic. It is a unique and a highly prestigious partnership. The MAC Lab is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council.

The aims of MAC Lab are threefold:

  1. to build capacity in attachment-based research within the Asia–Pacific region
  2. to enable robust studies of attachment in longitudinal studies and clinical trials
  3. to enable clinical application of principles of attachment theory, with a particular focus on Circle of Security and related interventions.

SoAR Lab

The SoAR Lab focuses on understanding the underlying systems that regulate the way that people interact in their relationships. Drawing on some of the major theories in social psychology and personality, our lab studies relationships across the entire span of adulthood (including the transition to young adulthood). Our laboratory aims to gain insight into the processes that govern the functioning of close relationships and their outcomes.

Focus areas

The Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study

This is a longitudinal-based study of social-emotional development following offspring born to a 30-year population. The MAC lab coordinates observational assessments of parental caregiving and infant attachment at 1 and 4 years postpartum.

The Earliest Indicators of Infant Social and Emotional Development Project

A project conducting a comprehensive systematic review of all major indicators of early social and emotional growth. The aim is to create a perinatal measure that could be used in obstetric and early childhood settings.