Long-term health and social implications of risk-taking in adolescence

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Post Doctor Researchers
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Department / Centre
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Jennifer Marino jennifer.marino@unimelb.edu.au +61383453718 Personal web page

Summary Risk-taking is normal during adolescence, but much illness and social adversity arises from risky behaviour in adolescence. We will use longitudinal cohort data linked to administrative health and social data to better understand pathways between risk-taking and negative health and social outcomes.

Project Details

Risk-taking behaviours, such as substance use, sexual risk-taking, and risky driving are a major contributor to youth mortality and morbidity. Globally, 70% of preventable deaths in adulthood are linked to long-standing patterns of behaviour originating in childhood and adolescence. However, adolescents have largely been overlooked in preventative programs worldwide, due in part to lack of longitudinal data. In this study, will demonstrate the contribution of risky behaviour to serious harms and longer-term health and societal costs over the life span, in a more comprehensive way than previously achieved. We will develop an evidence base for the costs and benefits of intervention during adolescence.

Students taking part in the project will have the opportunity to learn data analytic techniques to: identify those who experience negative health events and social harms in young adulthood; characterise gender-specific patterns of risk-taking in adolescence; and establish the predictors of these patterns in early life and childhood, in a dataset which follows the Raine (Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort) Study participants through to young adulthood. Students will also support activities to link to state and Commonwealth datasets to provide information about a broad range of health and social outcomes. Students will also work closely with the health economics team, who will construct microsimulation models to measure health expenditures and labour productivity costs of adolescent risk-taking.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Post Doctor Researchers
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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