Information for participants and FAQ

Resources for students and families

We know that families and students can sometimes experience difficulty in their lives. We have included some helpful support services if you would like some additional support or information.

Resources for parents
Resources for students

Taking measurements at home for CATS

In the video below, a member of the CATS team will show you how to the DIY measuremnts at home. We also have a a written version of the instructions. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us on (03) 9345 6732 or email us at cats@mcri.edu.au

Participating in iCATS?

iCATS is an extension of the larger Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS).The iCATS study is investigating the relationships between health and puberty by looking at brain development. iCATS collected information from 120 children who took part in CATS, as well as brain images of 100 of these children!  

If you'd like any further information, please contact us at one of the numbers below.

SMS:          0405 581 085
Phone:       (03) 8344 1845 or 0405 581 085
Email:        i-cats@unimelb.edu.au

Watch a video of a brain scan here!

Frequently Asked Questions

During the transition from childhood to adolescence we know that there is an increase in many common health problems and these problems often persist into adulthood. These include depression and anxiety, substance use, antisocial behaviours, eating disorders and poorer academic outcomes. For some children it is during these years that disengagement from school becomes a major problem too. The CATS study will be looking at the emotional and behavioural problems that emerge at this time as well as modifiable factors that may be a target for prevention and intervention. We are interested in the factors that promote healthy development during this time and our ultimate goal is to make these formative years a positive time for parents and children. 

Yes, the CATS study has been approved by the Royal Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee. The study has also been approved by the DEECD (the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) and the Catholic Education Office Melbourne.

Each participant in our study, including teachers, students and parents, are assigned a unique ID. All of your answers will be kept confidential and stored against this ID, and your identifying information will be kept separately. Only senior members of the research team will be able to match participant names with the ID numbers, if it is necessary to do so. All electronic data will be stored on the MCRI server, which only those staff working directly on the project will be able to access. Any paper files will be stored in locked cabinets, which include your questionnaires. In any publications/presentations, information will be presented in such a way that no individuals or schools can be identified. Teachers will not actively assist in student data collection to maintain participants’ privacy. 

Participants of the study will receive a summary of the overall project results. The summary will be for all participants and we will not provide individual results. Keep up to date with CATS study news by liking our page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cats.study.12) and Instagram (cats.study) or visiting our news and publications page.

The password is CATS. It isn't case-sensitive, so cats will work too.

If you are having other difficulties accessing the questionnaire, please contact the CATS at cats@mcri.edu.au or call 03 9345 6732.

CATS will be continuing over the next few years, so it’s really important that we have your updated contact details. If you move or change your contact details, please contact us on (03) 9345 6732 or email new details to cats@mcri.edu.au.

As the CATS Study is a longitudinal study, we will be collecting information about students and their families for five years. If for some reason we are unable to contact you on your listed numbers or email address, we ask that you provide us with the details of someone who will always know how to contact you. This could be your partner, other family member or a close friend. This information will only be used to get in touch with you, and will not be part of the research project in any way. To update your alternative contact person, please email cats@mcri.edu.au or call (03) 9345 6732.

In Grades 3, 5 and 6 we collected a small sample of saliva from your child. This will allow us to see if the hormonal changes of puberty have begun. These hormones are present in all children of late primary-school age. The saliva sample is collected in a small plastic tube and full instructions are provided by our qualified research team. The tubes are labelled with a unique ID number- no names are stored with the sample. If you have consented for a sample of your child's saliva to be stored, the sample will be kept at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. If you would like to know more about this process contact the CATS team.

For questions relating to our student questionnaire, click here