Lifecourse Sciences

This research theme underpins all research conducted across SEED and is founded on our world-class longitudinal studies of social-emotional development. It supports research into the developmental origins of mental health and disorder, within and across generations.

Our aim

  1. Maintain and further world-class longitudinal studies of socio-emotional development, including Australia's longest running study emotional development now spanning 4 decades and 3 generations.

  2. Produce and maintain a register of ‘developmental indicators’ which mark major milestones in social and emotional development from infancy to young adulthood.

  3. Link to major longitudinal consortiums run through the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (23 Victorian cohorts, 20,000 participants) and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (35 Australasian cohorts, 35,000 participants).

  4. Support new approaches to longitudinal research (e.g. nested attachment studies, micro-longitudinal designs), the use of new technologies in longitudinal research (neurosonography, Smartphone experience sampling), and seed-funding for new longitudinal studies

Major studies

Australian Temperament Project (ATP)

The Australian Temperament Project is one of longest running studies of socio-emotional development in Australia. The study is based on a representative sample of over 2000 Australian children born in the state of Victoria, between September 1982 and January 1983. Since then, parents (Generation 1) and their offspring (Generation 2) have been followed for over 30 years (15 waves) across childhood, adolescence and into adult life.

The ATP Generation 3 Study builds on the foundations of the ATP by following over 1000 cohort offspring (Generation 3) from late pregnancy to 4 years of age (5 waves). The study assesses parental emotional health, the parent-child relationship (including observational assessments of infant attachment and parental caregiving behaviour), and offspring social and emotional development. The study has also been set-up to study biological (epigenetic) processes linking generations.

Visit the Australian Temperament Project website

Learn about our NHMRC & ARC funding for ATP

The Triple B Study

The Triple B Study (Bumps, Babies and Beyond) provides one of the richest pictures of development across the antenatal and early postnatal periods in Australia. The study is based on a near-representative sample of around 1600 families and captures mother, partner and offspring health and development in Trimester 1, 2 and 3, at birth, and at 8 weeks and 1 year postpartum. Importantly, the project has a key focus on examining the impacts of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in pregnant women and their partners during the prenatal period on infant development and family functioning.

Visit the BBB website

Learn more about our grants

International Youth Development Study (IYDS)

The International Youth Development Study (IYDS) began in 2002 and has been repeatedly funded by the NHMRC and NIH.

This is a long-term study that looks at the development of healthy and problem behaviours among young people in Victoria, Australia; Mumbai, India; and Washington, United States.

The IYDS is one of the first studies designed to examine whether or not differences in Australian, American and Indian cultures and schools affect youth development.

Visit the International Youth Development Study website

Learn more about our grants

Australian Centre on Quality of Life

The Australian Centre on Quality of Life (ACQOL) was established by Emeritus Professor Bob Cummins to conduct world-class research on subjective wellbeing.

The centre hosts three complementary lines of longitudinal research:

  • a 10-year study of subjective wellbeing using the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index
  • a micro-longitudinal study of adolescent wellbeing (A Week in the Life of a Teen)
  • a smartphone app to deliver precision psychological intervention at a time of greatest need based on continuous sampling of mood.

Visit the Australian Centre on Quality of Life website

Learn more about our grants

Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP)

Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP) is a program of research investigating men and family life. MAPP's flagship study is a 5-year longitudinal examination of the mental health, wellbeing and experiences of 600 men entering the peak age for first-time fatherhood (33 years). MAPP assessments include aspirations, expectations and experiences of family life, alongside indicators of psychological distress (e.g. stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, anger, substance use), social functioning (e.g. peer connections, romantic relationships, work life) and psychological wellbeing (e.g. role identity, coping, mastery).

Visit the Men and Parenting Pathways website

Learn more about our grants