Childhood Mental Health Research
‘Breaking the intergenerational cycle of mental disorder: A longitudinal study of the social determinants of childhood psychosocial adjustment problems’
Deakin University, VIC
“This research will help to specify the timing and patterns of risk in early childhood that impact children’s mental health in middle childhood.”
Dr Hutchinson’s major research interest is in understanding the developmental origins of mental and behavioural disorders. She has worked as a Clinical Psychologist specialising in pregnancy, postnatal adjustment, and child development. She has a particular interest in understanding the causes and consequences of alcohol and other substance use exposure on development.
Dr Hutchinson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED), School of Psychology, Deakin University. She has published over 80 articles, reviews and reports, and has co-led grants to the value of over $9 million, including funding from the NHMRC and the ARC.
The Triple B Pregnancy Cohort Study (Triple B) is an NHMRC funded population-based perinatal cohort that commenced in 2010 and has followed over 1,600 parents and their offspring from pregnancy through to the first year of life, across 6-waves of observations, including three trimesters of pregnancy, birth, 8-weeks and 12-months postpartum. We are now undertaking an 8-year follow-up of offspring born to the cohort with the aim of identifying seminal developmental processes that create risk for later socio-emotional, behavioural, cognitive and educational outcomes in middle childhood.
The study has detailed measures on critical risk exposures in mothers and partners (typically fathers) across the first 1,000 days of life; these include parent mental health disorder, substance misuse and inter-partner conflict and abuse. The cohort is uniquely positioned to address key questions about how early life psychosocial (and biological) exposures at each trimester in pregnancy and through the first year of life shape later development in childhood, including: mood and behaviour (internalising and externalising problems), cognition and social competence (executive function and parent/peer relationship problems), education and learning (school achievement and adjustment problems).
Co-Investigators: Prof Craig Olsson, Dr George Youssef, Prof Richard Mattick, Prof Steve Allsop, Prof Elizabeth Elliott, Prof Jakob Najman, A/Prof Peter Enticott and Prof Jennifer McIntosh