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The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study

  • Background and aims

    CATS_study_logoThe Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) is a unique longitudinal study following over 1200 children as they transition through adolescence. The study began in 2012 when children were in Grade 3 (8-9 years old) and attending primary schools in metropolitan Melbourne.

    Data collection takes place annually and comprises student, parent and teacher (primary school only) questionnaires completed online, over the phone or on paper. An eighth wave of data collection was successfully completed in 2019 with a participation rate of 78%. We are currently in our ninth wave, with the majority of participants in Year 11 (16-17 years of age).

    The focus of the study is on health and emotional development through the middle years of school. CATS is interested in the experiences of students and their families, their changing social contexts as they move into secondary school, and the biological changes of puberty.

    CATS will provide the most comprehensive overview of the association between pubertal development and the major health problems that become prevalent in early adolescence. The information collected as part of this large study will help us identify when and how to promote the best health and emotional adjustment in pre-teens.

    Key Papers

    Bayer, J. K., Mundy, L., Stokes, I., Hearps, S., Allen, N., & Patton, G. (2018). Bullying, mental health and friendship in Australian primary school children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health

    Mundy, L. K., Canterford, L., Tucker, D., Bayer, J., Romaniuk, H., Sawyer, S., ... & Patton, G. (2017). Academic performance in primary school children with common emotional and behavioral problemsJournal of School Health87(8), 593-601. 

    Mundy, L. K., Canterford, L., Kosola, S., Degenhardt, L., Allen, N. B., & Patton, G. C. (2017). Peer victimization and academic performance in primary school children. Academic pediatrics, 17(8), 830-836.

    Mundy, L. K., Canterford, L., Olds, T., Allen, N. B., & Patton, G. C. (2017). The association between electronic media and emotional and behavioral problems in late childhoodAcademic pediatrics17(6), 620-624.

    Mundy, L. K., Romaniuk, H., Canterford, L., Hearps, S., Viner, R. M., Bayer, J. K., Simmons, J. G., Carlin, J. B., Allen, N. B., & Patton, G. C. (2015). Adrenarche and the emotional and behavioral problems of late childhood. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57(6), 608-616. (IF 3.612).

    Mundy, L., Simmons, J., Allen, N.B., Viner, R., Bayer, J. K., Olds, T. S., Williams, J., Olsson, C., Romaniuk,H., Mensah, F., Sawyer, S., Degenhardt, L., Alati, R., Wake, M., Jacka, F. N.,& Patton, G. C. (2013). Study protocol: the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS). BMC Pediatrics, 13, 160. (IF 2.21).

    Key reports

    Mundy L, Raniti M, Husin H, Canterford L, Allan E, O’Connell M, Patton G (2019) Mental health in the middle years of childhood: consequences for later mental disorders and educational attainment. Melbourne: Victorian Department of Education and Training.

    Evans-Whipp, T., Mundy, L., Canterford, L., Patton, G. (2018) T he Effects on Schooling Outcomes of Early Developmental Vulnerabilities in Children, Canberra: Australian Government Department of Education and Training

    Evans-Whipp, T., Mundy, L., Canterford, L., Patton, G. (2018) Student Wellbeing, Engagement and Learning across the Middle Years, Canberra: Australian Government Department of Education and Training

    Deery, A., Mundy, L., Hardiman, K., Patton G. (2016) Readiness for Secondary School: The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS). Report prepared for the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

    Collaborators

    CATS is a collaborative study between the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

    Funding

    Funding for the CATS study has been provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); the Invergowrie Foundation; The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Foundation; Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET); Australian Government Department of Education and Training; Australian Rotary Health.

    Further information and digital media

    Further information about the CATS study can be found on the  CATS website.

    You can also follow the CATS study on Facebook and Instagram.