The NSW Child Development Study (NSW-CDS) is a longitudinal study of child mental health and wellbeing that uses a population cohort of children who were assessed with the Australian Early Development Census in 2009 and/or the Middle Childhood Survey in 2015. The NSW-CDS aims to map patterns of resilience and vulnerability for later mental health problems, education, work, and other outcomes into adolescence and adulthood. 

The study is led by Professor Melissa Green (UNSW) and conducted in collaboration with other researchers at the University of New South Wales, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, University of Adelaide, University of Western Australia, University of Otago and in partnership with Government agencies including the NSW Department of Education, NSW Ministry of Health, and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

Our goals

The NSW-CDS is intended to provide much needed information to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Australian children. To maximise resilience and build mental capacity during critical years of development, the study’s findings will be useful to schools, governments, and other organisations to inform policy development. As a result, the study aims to provide resources that will support better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all Australian children.

Research strengths

By assessing a population cohort, the NSW-CDS can provide unique information about the needs of all children, including those with rare conditions. The research will  inform mental health promotion programs relevant to all children (i.e., universal programs), as well as indicated interventions that target children who are vulnerable to particular health or other (e.g., educational, social) outcomes.

Our results

The investigators and partner organisations of the NSW-CDS are committed to ensuring that the results of the study are communicated in a range of formats to relevant stakeholders and policy makers, for maximum benefit to the community and future generations of Australians. This includes:

  • scientific reports for publication, conference and community presentations 

  • policy briefs 

  • website communications.  

Our close ties with Government partners enable us to present findings directly to relevant government representatives and policy makers.  

Please see our publicly available reports, publications and policy briefs.

Our experts

Director of Research, School of Clinical Medicine Melissa Green
Director of Research, School of Clinical Medicine
Chair of Forensic Mental Health Kimberlie Dean
Chair of Forensic Mental Health
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Postdoctoral Research Fellow



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Doctor of Philosophy

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Doctor of Philosophy