NEW: AQUA at 6

What is AQUA at 6?

The children in in AQUA study will be turning six during 2018 and 2019. We have received funding to follow their development as they start their long journey through school. We are calling this the AQUA Early School Years Follow-up or AQUA at 6 for short.

We know that many aspects of the mother's pregnancy, the child's early health and their family environment influence a child's learning and behaviour, especially in the early years. We did not find any developmental problems at age 2 years related to alcohol use in pregnancy in the many children we assessed. However, early development is not always a good predictor of later development. It is critical that we assess this unique group of children again now they have started school.

This is a time when children develop complex social, academic and physical abilities. For example, they learn to fit in with their peers and a classroom routine, and literacy and numeracy skills mature.

The purpose of AQUA at 6 is to gather detailed information on 6-7 year old children about how they are coping with these new demands on their development. We will again be looking at whether occasional, low or moderate alcohol consumption in pregnancy is associated with any problems in the health and development of young children. For this, the children will de doing assessments with a psychologist, who looks at the child's thinking, reactions, learning, early academic achievement, communication and body movement.

We are also interested in the facial development of the children and will be taking 3D photographs and we have funds to take MRI scans of a subset of children to investigate possible brain characteristics.

Where can I find out more?

More information about AQUA at 6 is available in the Participant Information Pamphlet.

More information about the MRI scans is available here.

If you would like to contact a member of the AQUA at 6 team, please call Sophie on 03 8341 6370 or send us an email to

Prof Peter AndersonPrincipal InvestigatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Jane HallidayChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Elizabeth ElliottChief InvestgatorChildren's Hospital Westmead
Prof Tony PeningtonChief InvestgatorRoyal Children's Hospital
A/Prof Deanne ThompsonChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Evi MuggliChief Investgator & Project ManagerMurdoch Children's Research Institute
A/Prof Alicia SpittleChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Della ForsterChief InvestgatorLaTrobe University
Dr Sharon LewisChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Stephen HearpsChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Sophie GibsonProject OfficerMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Ngoc NguyenPsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Siobhan JamesPsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Whitney RosePsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Philippa PymanPhD studentMonash University