Previous funding from Australian Rotary Health has paved the way for further research in an important longitudinal cohort study, focussing on young people and drinking.

Professor Richard Mattick from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre was awarded a $1,127,690 project grant from the NHMRC recently, adding five more years to the study that began in 2011.

With initial support from an Australian Rotary Health Mental Health Research Grant, Professor Mattick recruited 1,810 children aged 13, and plans to monitor the same children and their parents until the age of 23, when risky drinking behaviours become obvious.

Already the study has found that providing alcohol to any child under 18 increases the likelihood of drinking later. Children who obtain alcohol from people other than their parents are also three times more likely to binge drink by 15 or 16.

“This success [of obtaining further funding] would not have occurred without Australian Rotary Health support over the past three years especially,” Professor Mattick said.

“By following this same cohort until after the legal age of drinking and into early adulthood we will be able to assess the development of alcohol use disorders, other harms, and aggression at an age when drinking is much more common and behaviours more entrenched.”

A research paper on the cohort study has been accepted by highly prestigious journal The Lancet Public Health, and is due for publication in 2018.