EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Mothers’ and Young People’s Study
The Mothers’ and Young People’s Study is an Australian prospective cohort study initially designed to investigate women's health after childbirth. Over time our focus has expanded to include investigation of children and young people’s health and wellbeing, and the extent to which mothers' and children's health are inextricably linked.
The study has collected detailed information on maternal and child health from pregnancy to age 10. It is one of the few pregnancy cohort studies with prospectively collected data on common maternal health problems and repeated measurement of exposure to intimate partner violence spanning the period from early pregnancy to 10 years postpartum. Evidence from the study has already highlighted the importance of ongoing primary care and support for mothers tailored to social context and extending well beyond the perinatal period.
We are currently implementing a nested sub-study following up mothers and adolescent children in the study at age 15 to 17 years to examine social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and adolescent mental health and wellbeing.
In late 2021, we hope to commence follow-up of all mothers and young people in the cohort as the young people reach 18 years of age.
The study aims to improve understanding of social and obstetric factors influencing maternal and child health. The information collected is used to inform policy and practice in maternity care, early childhood services and primary health care.
Prospective pregnancy cohort of over 1500 first-time mothers and their first-born children.
In the early years of the study the main focus was on women's health and recovery after childbirth. Women taking part in the study completed questionnaires and telephone interviews in early and late pregnancy, and at three, six, nine, 12 and 18 months postpartum. The study was then extended to include follow-up at four and ten years postpartum. Over 800 women in the study have also been followed up after second and subsequent births.
Data have been collected on common maternal physical and psychological health problems, including incontinence, sexual health problems, depression, anxiety and intimate partner violence, and on a range of child health and developmental outcomes. We have also collected information regarding the social context of women and children, and changing life circumstances as the children grow up.