Identifying new targets for primary school mental health interventions using population data

This project uses the framework provided by the NSW Child Development Study to evaluate the extent to which existing school-based interventions for mental health and behavioural problems:

  1. modify the expression of risk profiles for psychotic, mood, and behavioural disorders in middle childhood (when children are aged 11 years), and
  2. influence the population distribution (prevalence) of these risk-profiles according to implementation of school-based interventions across the state of NSW.

The project partnered with KidsMatter Primary and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to undertake a Survey of School Promotion of Emotional and Social Health in 2015, to undertake a survey of school-based mental health programs and interventions, to determine whether the delivery of these programs modifies the expression of mental health risk profiles across early and middle childhood at the population level.

This project leverages data from the NSW Child Development Study, a longitudinal study of a state-wide population of children (N=~87,000) and their parents, for whom successive waves of record linkage across multiple government departments (e.g., health, justice, child protection and education), are combined with information from teacher- and child-reported cross-sectional surveys completed at ages 5 and 11 years respectively.

This project has received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC Project Grant 1058652; 2014-17).

Current Staff: Dr Fakrul Islam (Biostatistician); Mr Luke Duffy (Administrative Assistant).