To review research developments on childhood adversity in the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) since 2001.
Narrative overview of the published work of the CHDS since 2001 in the context of research methods.
The CHDS research has continued to evolve as the cohort has aged. A clear focus has remained on the measurement of outcomes associated with psychosocial risk factors over the life course. This focus has allowed the CHDS to examine the linkages between exposure to adversity in childhood and later mental health, psychosocial and occupational outcomes across the life span to middle adulthood. The CHDS has many strengths, including prospective measurement of a broad and deep set of constructs, the use of multiple informants for data, and a range of statistical approaches suited to repeated measures longitudinal data. The CHDS has pioneered new approaches to the study of human development over the lifespan, which has been instrumental in investigating childhood adversity.
The CHDS continues to provide unique information from a population cohort that has been studied for more than four decades. Future research will include examination of factors that mitigate the effects of childhood adversity and enhance resilience.