2000 Stories

Research area: Population Health > Adolescent Health | Status: Active

2000 Stories: Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) and Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS)

The study investigates mental and physical health problems and risk behaviours in the adolescent to young adulthood transition, and whether pre-conception factors can predict child and parental outcomes into childhood in the next generation.
The study investigates mental and physical health problems and risk behaviours in the adolescent to young adulthood transition, and whether pre-conception factors can predict child and parental outcomes into childhood in the next generation.

Overview

2000Stories logos VIHCS VAHCS

The 2000 Stories: Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) is a landmark longitudinal study spanning over 29 years. The project began in 1992, when a group of approx. 2000 Year 9 students across Victoria (14-15 years of age) were selected to take part. Our participants have so far completed six interviews at school age (from Years 9-12), and five interviews in adulthood (aged around 21, 24, 29, 35 and 42). 

The first six surveys alone created one of the most comprehensive pictures of adolescent development in the world to date. We looked at many aspects of teenage health and behaviour, including mental health, personality and behaviour, school, family, and drug and alcohol use. This information has been used to improve the health of future generations by influencing policy and informing prevention programs. More recently, we have focussed on how teenage experiences, health and lifestyles may affect physical and emotional health in adulthood and in the next generation. Our findings have helped bring global attention to the important role of adolescence in shaping future health.

Many of our original 2000 stories participants have now had children of their own, creating the unique opportunity to explore how the health of one generation may be related to the next. The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS) launched in 2006 and aims to understand the processes that might influence many aspects of health and wellbeing across generations. VIHCS looks at the processes of social and psychological development in childhood. It is one of the first studies in the world to embed a study of child development within an existing longitudinal study of parent psychosocial development. 

Between 2006 and 2014, we recruited 1,030 children from 665 of our original 2000 stories participants. We interviewed parents four times: during pregnancy, two months after birth, at their child’s first birthday, and as their child turned eight years old. During these interviews, we learnt about our participants’ experiences of becoming a parent, including the social, emotional and lifestyle changes that take place with this transition; and about the health and wellbeing of their children as they grow up.

From 2022, we will again contact our participants as their children turn 15 years old for the fifth wave of VIHCS. This will be an exciting opportunity to check in with our VIHCS kids at the same age as their parents were when they began taking part in the study.

We hope that the information collected during this stage of the study will significantly improve our understanding of how to best promote the health and wellbeing of the next generation of Australians

child in hospital

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