Welcome to the 2000 Stories Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study and Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study
The 2000 Stories: Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) is a landmark longitudinal study spanning over 20 years. The project began in 1992, when a group of around 2000 Year 9 students (14-15 years of age) were selected to participate. Our participants completed six interviews at school age (from Years 9 - 12), and three interviews in young adulthood (aged around 21, 24 and 29). Thanks to the support of our dedicated participants, we recently completed our tenth round of interviews as our participants turned 35.
How the study is helping to improve the health of young Australians
The first six surveys alone created one of the most comprehensive pictures of adolescent development 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.
2000 Stories: The next generation
Many of our original 2000 stories participants have now had children of their own, creating the unique opportunity to explore the ways in which the health of one generation may be related to the next. The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS) was launched in 2006 and aims understand the processes that might influence many aspects of health and wellbeing across generations. It is one of the first longitudinal studies of childhood psychosocial development to be embedded within an existing longitudinal study of parent psychosocial development.
Between 2006 and 2014 we recruited 1026 children from 728 of our original 2000 stories participants. We interviewed parents three times: during the pregnancy, around 8 weeks after birth, and again at the time of the child’s first birthday. 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.
We would like to thank the participants who gave their time to this part of the study – we know that it was a busy period in life and your input was greatly appreciated. We look forward to learning more about your experiences in the years to come.
Childhood Phase: 2015 and Beyond
In 2015, the 2000 Stories team launched an exciting new phase of our family study; the Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS). As part of the earlier VIHCS study, we spoke with a number of families when their children were babies. Our current focus is to follow up with these same families now that their children are around eight-years old to learn more about their health and wellbeing as they are growing up. Our aim is examine how the health of one generation may relate to the health of the next generation. Eligible participants are invited to attend a short interview at either the Royal Children’s Hospital or at their own home, where you and your child will complete a survey about yourselves. We hope that the information we collect during this stage of our study will significantly improve our understanding of how to best promote the health and wellbeing of the next generation of Australians.
Victorian Perinatal Data Collection
The Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPDC), as part of the Victorian Department of Health, began in 1982. The VPDC collects information from the birth records of all mothers and their babies born in Victoria, with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing. By providing your consent, you have allowed us to access some of the information held by the VPDC in order to better enhance our understanding of how the health of parents during adolescence and adulthood relates to the health of children during pregnancy and birth.
In November 2013, our team was awarded a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which has enabled us to develop the next phase of the 2000 stories: Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study. Many excellent studies Australia-wide applied for NHMRC grant funding from the Australian Government, so this award is an incredible achievement and reflects the importance of this research and its potential to inform public health policy.