Adolescent Development Study

Project Details

The ADS is a prospective longitudinal study that aims to address core questions regarding biological and environmental risk factors for the development of depression and other psychopathologies with common onset during adolescence. The study began in 2003 and involved the recruitment of ~250 early adolescents, selected to be at varying levels of risk for psychopathology based on their temperament. Participants were comprehensively assessed at ages 12, 14, 16 and 19 years using a multi-method multi-source battery of validated measures of psychopathology, brain structure/function, temperament, family processes, genetics, endocrine function and family history of psychopathology. The ADS plans to reassess participants in their mid-twenties.


A/Prof Sarah Whittle, Investigator
Dr Julian Simmons, Investigator
Dr Orli Schwartz, Investigator
Prof Nick Allen, Investigator
Dr Paul Dudgeon, Investigator
Prof Christos Pantelis Investigator
Prof Dan Lubman, Investigator
Prof Stephen Wood, Investigator
Prof Murat Yucel, Investigator
Prof Andrew Chanen, Investigator


  • Orygen, Centre for Youth Mental Health
  • Monash University


  • ARC
  • Colonial Foundation
  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
  • The University of Melbourne

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

Over 60 publications. A selection includes:

Baker, S. T., Lubman, D. I., Yücel, M., Allen, N. B., Whittle, S., Fulcher, B. D., Zalesky, A. & Fornito, A. (2015). Developmental Changes in Brain Network Hub Connectivity in Late Adolescence. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(24), 9078-9087.

Ganella, D., Allen, N.B., Simmons, J.G., Schwartz, O., Kim, J.H., Sheeber, L., Whittle, S. (2015). Early life stress alters pituitary growth during adolescence - A longitudinal study. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 53: 185-194.

K Little, CA Olsson, S Whittle, GJ Youssef, ML Byrne, JG Simmons, M Yücel, DL Foley, NB Allen (2014). Association between serotonin transporter genotype, brain structure and adolescent-onset major depressive disorder: a longitudinal prospective study. Translational Psychiatry, 4(9): e445.

Whittle. S., Lichter, R., Dennison, M., Vijayakumar, N., Schwartz, O., Byrne, M., Simmons, J.G., Yücel, M., Pantelis, C., McGorry, P., & Allen, N.B. (2014). Structural brain development and depression onset during adolescence: a longitudinal, prospective study. American Journal of Psychiatry , 171(5): 564-571.

Vijayakumar, N., Whittle. S., Yücel, M., Dennison, M., Simmons, J.G., & Allen, N.B. (2014). Development of temperamental effortful control mediates the relationship between maturation of the prefrontal cortex and psychopathology during adolescence: a 4-year longitudinal study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience , 9: 30-43.

Research Group

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre Research

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre