Our research

The Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED) aims to promote emotional health from conception to young adulthood and into the next generation. SEED recognises the seminal role that experiences in early emotional life have on social development, that every age and stage matters in building wellbeing, and that confidence in holding both positive and painful emotion is essential to felt security, exploration and personal growth across the life course.

Our governance model

SEED is governed by a team of experts who bring together life course, clinical and public health research and practice to describe the major milestones in emotional life, advise on the most effective approaches to intervening at the earliest opportunities in troubled pathways, and engage systems for translating this knowledge broadly.

What we do

SEED Research is organised into three research themes

  1. What Matters in shaping emotional and social developmental across the early life course?

  2. What Works to promote emotional security and connection in children and young people?

  3. What Translates into sustainable prevention, treatment and health promotion programs?

Organised across three developmental streams

  1. First 2000 days: Intergenerational-Early Childhood (0-5 years)

  2. First 5000 days: Childhood to Adolescence Stream (0-13 years)

  3. First 10,000 days: Adolescence to Young Adulthood Stream (0-27 years)


SEED is committed to conducting high quality research across the continuum of care; Prevention: universal, selective, indicated; Intervention/Treatment: Case identification, treatment for known disorders and Continuing care/Maintenance: Compliance with long-term treatment to reduce relapse and recurrence, after care (including rehabilitation).

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Conceptual Framework

SEED research streams work closely with SEED research themes to define developmentally appropriate indicators of emotional security at each age and stage (What Matters), to advise of developmentally appropriate interventions for promoting emotional security (What Works) , and to inform developmentally integrated intervention delivery systems based on indicators and interventions (What Matters).

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SEED holds a vision for comprehensive monitoring and intervention from infancy to adulthood. SEED Life course Sciences hosts some of Australia’s oldest longitudinal studies and is using these data to define key indicators of emotional growth at each age and stage.

SEED Intervention Sciences is compiling an evidence based list of interventions that address key emotional growth indicators at each age and stage. SEED Translation Sciences is working to implement indicators and intervention within education and health service systems.

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