The Australian Temperament Project (ATP) is one of Australia’s oldest longitudinal studies of social-emotional development that has followed a representative sample of over 2000 infants and their parents from 4 months (1983) to over 30 years of age. The study has collected detailed age-appropriate survey data on temperament, internalising (depression/anxiety), externalising (violence and addiction) and positive developmental outcomes over 16 waves. Parents, infant welfare nurses, teachers and young people (from 11-12 years) completed questionnaires.

In 2011, we commenced recruitment of cohort offspring with follow-ups in pregnancy (T3), birth, 8 weeks, 12 months and 4 years of age, combining population surveys with in-depth clinical observations on a broad range of constructs including parent mental health and caregiving, and infant behaviour and attachment security. Bringing together data across three generations, the ATP now provides a rare opportunity to address key questions about how the experiences of one generation may affect the next, from grandparent to parent to child.




Year 1983 1984 1985 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1995 1996 1998 2000 2002 2006 2010
Wave 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Age 4-8 mths 1-2 yrs 2-3 yrs 3-4 yrs 5-6 yrs 7-8 yrs 9-10 yrs 11-12 yrs 12-13 yrs 13-14 yrs 15-16 yrs 17-18 yrs 19-20 yrs 23-24 yrs 27-28 yrs
# 2443 2226 2234 2286 1785 1874 1799 1743 1661 1661 1666 1650 1580 1580 1701
Identifiers
Demographics
Education
General health
Mental health Mental health
Nutrition Nutrition
Parenting Parenting
Relationships Relationships Relationships
Reproductive health and pregnancy
Respiratory health Respiratory health
Substance use Substance use
Temperament and personality

Study Summary
Study name Australian Temperament Project
Study abbreviation ATP
Current principal investigator/s Professor Craig Olsson – ATP Scientific Director
Current project manager Dr Primrose Letcher
Primary Institution The Royal Children’s Hospital (The Department of Paediatrics)
Collaborating Institution/s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
University of Melbourne
Deakin University
Australian Institute of Family Studies
LaTrobe University
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council
Australian Research Council
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
R.E. Ross Trust
Crime Prevention Victoria
RACV
TAC
Study website www.rch.org.au/cah/research/atp/
www.aifs.gov.au/atp/
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Vassallo, S. and Sanson, A. (Eds.). (2013). The Australian Temperament Project: The first 30 years. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies
www.aifs.gov.au/atp/pubs/reports/first30years/index.html
Are data available to others outside study team? All data requests to be submitted through ATP Publications team. Occasionally we work with external collaborators to study a particular issue. ATP team members remain closely involved and only de-identified data is provided
Study focus (e.g. social development) Young people’s psychosocial development from infancy to adulthood, investigating the contribution of individual (including temperament and behaviour), family, peer and broader environmental factors to adjustment and wellbeing
Sampling frame Families with a 4-8 month old child who attended local urban or rural maternal and child health centres in one of twenty LGA areas in Victoria between 22nd April and 6th of May 1983
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Intergenerational longitudinal cohort study (3 generations)
Year commenced 1983
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) 2443 families
Average participation rate 70-80%
Annual attrition rate 1%
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? Yes, 3 generations
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? No
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? No
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? Buccal (generation 2)
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)?
This project only (Specific consent)
Future research related to this project (Extended consent)
Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
1 1983 4-8 months 2443
2 1984 1-2 years / 18-24 months 2226
3 1985 2-3 years / 32-36 months 2234
4 1986 3-4 years 2286
5 1988 5-6 years 1785
6 1990 7-8 years 1874
7 1992 9-10 years 1799
8 1994 11-12 years 1743
9 1995 12-13 years 1661
10 1996 13-14 years 1670
11 1998 15-16 years 1666
12 2000 17-18 years 1650
13 2002 19-20 years 1580
14 2006 23-24 years 1505
15 2010 27-28 years 1701
16 2014 31-32 years 1701
Study Summary
Study name Australian Temperament Project: Generation 3 Cohort Study
Study abbreviation ATPG3
Current principal investigator/s Professor Craig Olsson – ATP Scientific Director
Current project manager Dr Primrose Letcher
Primary Institution The Royal Children’s Hospital (The Department of Paediatrics)
Collaborating Institution/s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
University of Melbourne
Deakin University
Australian Institute of Family Studies
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council
Australian Research Council
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Study website www.rch.org.au/cah/research/atp/
www.aifs.gov.au/atp/
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Vassallo, S. and Sanson, A. (Eds.). (2013). The Australian Temperament Project: The first 30 years. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies
www.aifs.gov.au/atp/pubs/reports/first30years/index.html
Protocol poster can be downloaded here (PPT)
Are data available to others outside study team? All data requests to be submitted through ATP Publications team. Occasionally we work with external collaborators to study a particular issue. ATP team members remain closely involved and only de-identified data is provided
Study focus (e.g. social development) To examine transgenerational (pre-conception) determinants of infant mental health, attachment and wellbeing
Sampling frame ATP participants who are pregnant (or partner is pregnant) or have a child aged 11-18 months old
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Intergenerational longitudinal cohort study (3 generations), with sub-studies
Year commenced 2011
Ongoing recruitment? Yes
Current sample (N) 714 children assessed at Wave 4 (12 months), from 504 families (as of October 2016)
Target sample (N) Whole cohort: 1200 children assessed at Wave 4 (12 months)
Sub-studies: 250 (attachment), 100 (neurosonography)
Annual recruitment rate 120 for whole cohort
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? Yes, 3 generations
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? Foetal ultrasound on a 100 participant sub-sample during third trimester of pregnancy
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? Victorian Perinatal Data Collection – consent to link, linkage yet to occur
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? Buccal/saliva, hair
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)?
Consent is obtained to collect data at each wave. Participants are advised that their de-identified data may be shared with individuals or consortia. Participants are asked to provide consent to their child providing a cheek swab that will be held indefinitely (unless they request for it to be destroyed) and used in future ethically approved research projects related to this project. Additionally, they are asked to nominate if they they wish to be contacted if researchers would like to use their child’s DNA sample for research beyond that related to social and emotional development.
Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
1 2011 – ongoing 32 weeks gestation Target 800 (whole cohort); 100 (neurosonography)
2 2011 – ongoing Birth Target 1000 (whole cohort)
3 2011 – ongoing 8 weeks Target 250 (whole cohort)
4 2011 – ongoing 12 months Target 1200 (whole cohort); 250 (attachment)
5 2015 – ongoing 48 months Target 1200 (whole cohort); 250 (attachment)

Scientific Director

Professor Craig Olsson

Ph: +61 3 9345 6250
Email: craig.olsson@rch.org.au

Project Manager

Dr Primrose Letcher

Postal Address

Australian Temperament Project: Generation 3
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Royal Children’s Hospital
Parkville Victoria, 3052