A longitudinal study funded by Australian Rotary Health has the potential to answer some of our biggest questions about parental influence on a child’s development.

The Triple B Pregnancy Cohort Study, previously funded by the NHMRC, has followed over 1,600 parents and their offspring from pregnancy through to the first year of life.

Now, 8 years later, Australian Rotary Health is providing funding for a follow-up study of the offspring from the same cohort.

Mental Health Research Grant recipient Dr Delyse Hutchinson from Deakin University says that the aim is to identify important developmental processes that create risk for later socio-economical, behavioural, cognitive and educational outcomes in middle school.

“This research will help to specify the timing and patterns of risk in early childhood that impact children’s mental health in middle childhood,” Delyse said.

“This will provide valuable information to intervention and prevention efforts by highlighting what issues should be targeted and at what developmental age.”

With such a rich data set already, Delyse and her team are particularly interested in examining some of the key factors again that were measured as part of earlier Triple B studies.

These include the impact of parental substance use and mental health during pregnancy on children’s longer-term development, and the important role of fathers during this period in supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

“Our current follow up with families, now that children are aged 8 years old, is providing new insight into our understanding of the early origins of psychosocial disorder.”

“Results will inform models of screening, prevention, and practice about how to break the cycle of mental disorder,” Delyse said.

We look forward to learning more about the results from this study.


Media contact: Jessica Cooper – (02) 8837 1900 or jessica@arh.org.au