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  • Author or Editor: George C Patton x
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The Australian New Zealand Intergenerational Cohort Consortium (ANZ-ICC) brings together three of the longest running intergenerational cohort studies in Australia and New Zealand to examine the extent to which preconception parental life histories (from infancy to parenthood) predict next generation early health and development. The aims are threefold: (1) to describe pathways of advantage that strengthen emotional health and well-being from one generation to the next, (2) to describe pathways of disadvantage that perpetuate cycles of emotional and behavioural problems across generations, and (3) to identify modifiable factors capable of breaking intergenerational cycles. The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study has followed 1,943 young Australians from adolescence to adulthood across ten waves since 1992, and 1,030 offspring from pregnancy to early childhood since 2006. The Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study has followed 2,443 young Australians from infancy to adulthood across 15 waves since 1983, and 1170 offspring from pregnancy to early childhood since 2012. The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study Parenting Study has followed 1,037 young New Zealanders across 15 waves since 1972, and 730 offspring in early childhood since 1994. Cross-cohort replication analyses will be conducted for common preconception exposures and next generation offspring outcomes, while integrated data analysis of pooled data will be used for rare exposures and outcomes. The ANZ-ICC represents a unique collaboration that bridges the disciplines of lifecourse epidemiology, biostatistics, developmental psychology and psychiatry, to study the role of parental preconception exposures on next generation health and development.

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Background:

Risk-taking behaviours are a major contributor to youth morbidity and mortality. Vulnerability to these negative outcomes is constructed from individual behaviour including risk-taking, and from social context, ecological determinants, early life experience, developmental capacity and mental health, contributing to a state of higher risk. However, although risk-taking is part of normal adolescent development, there is no systematic way to distinguish young people with a high probability of serious adverse outcomes, hindering the capacity to screen and intervene. This study aims to explore the association between risk behaviours/states in adolescence and negative health, social and economic outcomes through young adulthood.

Methods:

The Raine Study is a prospective cohort study which recruited pregnant women in 1989–91, in Perth, Western Australia. The offspring cohort (N = 2,868) was followed up at regular intervals from 1 to 27 years of age. These data will be linked to State government health and welfare administrative data.

We will empirically examine relationships across multiple domains of risk (for example, substance use, sexual behaviour, driving) with health and social outcomes (for instance, road-crash injury, educational underachievement). Microsimulation models will measure the impact of risk-taking on educational attainment and labour force outcomes.

Discussion:

Comprehensive preventive child health programmes and policy prioritise a healthy start to life. This is the first linkage study focusing on adolescence to adopt a multi-domain approach, and to integrate health economic modelling. This approach captures a more complete picture of health and social impacts of risk behaviour/​states in adolescence and young adulthood.

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