2000 Stories

  • Background and aims

    2000Stories_logos_VAHCSThe 2000 Stories Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) is a landmark population based longitudinal study spanning over 30 years. The project began in 1992, when a group of approximately 2000 Year 9 students (14-15 years of age) from over 44 schools across Victoria were selected to participate. This group has been followed-up 11 times to date. Participants completed six interviews at school age (from Years 9 - 12), two interviews in young adulthood (aged around 21, and 24) and three interviews in adulthood (aged around 29, 35 and 41). The latest wave of data collection, Wave 11 in 2020-2021 focused on developing an understanding of mental and substance use disorders across the first half of life and how early-life mental health and substance use effects midlife mental health and social outcomes. This wave included measures of mental health, substance use, personality, social context, chronic pain, work stress and physical activity.

    2000Stories_logos_VIHCSMany 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. 1030 children from 665 of the original 2000 Stories participants were recruited between 2006 and 2013 to participate in the 2000 Stories: Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS). This is one of the first prospective multi-generational studies in the world to look at how a parent’s lifestyle, health and behaviour before pregnancy (including adolescence and young adulthood), as well as during and after pregnancy, might influence their child’s health and development. Since 2006, families in VIHCS have been followed up four times including during pregnancy (Wave 1), when their child was 8 weeks old (Wave 2), at one year of age (Wave 3) and at eight years of age (Wave 4). Families are now being contacted as their child turns 15 (Wave 5) to learn about their health and wellbeing as they grow up.

    2000 Stories Graph

    For this adolescent generation, there are two major questions about their risks for mental disorder: 

    • To what extent and why might their risks differ from those of their parents’ generation? 
    • How might risks related to their parents’ earlier mental health be transmitted to this generation of adolescents?  

    The overarching aim is to identify likely intervention points across the intergenerational life-course for the prevention of common mental disorders in children and adolescents.   

    Together, these studies provide one of the most comprehensive pictures of health, growth and development across the adolescent and young adult years, and how these years affect not only participants own wellbeing as adults, but that of partners and children as well. 


    VAHCS includes collaboration with University of Queensland - Centre for Youth Substance Abuse, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Bristol, University of Melbourne - Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Otago and the Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium.

    VIHCS includes collaboration with University of Melbourne - Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Deakin University - School of Psychology, University of Tasmania - Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study.


    The Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant to conduct an 11th wave with participants aged in their early forties.

    The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant to conduct the 8 year follow up of children in the family study.

    Key papers

    Olsson, C. A., Romaniuk, H., Salinger, J., Staiger, P. K., Bonomo, Y., Hulbert, C., & Patton, G. C. (2016). Drinking patterns of adolescents who develop alcohol use disorders: results from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study.  BMJ open 6(2), e010455. 

    Patton, G. C., Romaniuk, H., Spry, E., Coffey, C., Olsson, C., Doyle, L. W., ... & Brown, S. (2015). Prediction of perinatal depression from adolescence and before conception (VIHCS): 20-year prospective cohort study. The Lancet386(9996), 875-883.

    Borschmann, R., Becker, D., Coffey, C., Spry, E., Moreno-Betancur, M., Moran, P., & Patton, G. C. (2017). 20-year outcomes in adolescents who self-harm: a population-based cohort study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health1(3), 195-202. 

    Spry, E., Giallo, R., Moreno-Betancur, M., Macdonald, J., Becker, D., Borschmann, R., ... & Olsson, C. A. (2018). Preconception prediction of expectant fathers' mental health: 20-year cohort study from adolescence. BJPsych Open4(2), 58-60.

    Spry E, Olsson CA, Hearps SJC, et al. The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS): Study design of a preconception cohort from parent adolescence to offspring childhood.  Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol .2020;34(1):86-98

    Spry E, Moreno-Betancur M, Becker D, et al. Maternal mental health and infant emotional reactivity: a 20-year two-cohort study of preconception and perinatal exposures. Psychol Med. 2020;50(5):827-837

    Digital media

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