Risky Behaviour SIG


SIG Leaders

List of investigators

  • Ashleigh Lin, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Brennen Mills, School of Medical & Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University
  • Dorota Doherty, Biostatistics and Research Design Unit, Women and Infants Research Foundation, University of Western Australia
  • Florian Daniel Zepf, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Western Australia
  • Karina Allen, Psychological Sciences, University of Western Australia
  • Kevin Runions, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Monique Ryan, Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia
  • Robert Tait National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University
  • Jennifer Marino, The Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne
  • Martha Hickey, The Royal Women’s Hospital, University of Melbourne
  • Rachel Skinner, Paediatrics & Child Health, Children’s Hospital, Westmead


Overview of the current data resources available in the SIG area

  • Risk behaviours: Participant use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; sexual behaviour, contraception and STI prevention behaviour
  • Individual context: Participant behaviour problems (Child Behavior Checklist) and mental health measures from age 2; childhood cognitive measures; nutrition information; growth and puberty measures; timed hormonal measurements (subset); medical history; gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Family context: Family structure and parents’ relationship; household income, parental education and employment; primary and secondary caregiver use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
  • Schooling context: Participant student conduct, teacher involvement and attitudes towards school
  • Environment: Housing quality, SEIFA, neighbourhood liveability, neighbourhood facilities and building conditions

Overview of current/recent SIG activity

We are continuing to prepare publications and grants around the subject area of health risk behaviour, including with data linkage to WADL. We have one currently enrolled PhD student, Kathleen Thompson whose PhD thesis is “Early life adverse experiences and risky sexual activity in adolescence”. She is currently conducting a systematic review on father absences in childhood and earlier age of first sexual experience among female adolescents; she is completing a paper using Raine data to examine the relationship between biological father absence at birth and risky sexual behaviour in adolescence.

Outline of SIG plans for next 5 years

If funded (NHMRC project grant and or CRE) to undertake further analysis, the Risky behavior SIG plans to undertake trajectory analysis of predictors of health risk behaviour in adolescence and young adulthood (sexual risk behaviour, substance use, injury) and outcomes in young adulthood (unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, problematic substance use patterns, injury and road crash, deliberate self harm). The Risky behavior SIG will build on the Raine Study cohort dataset through data linkage to WADL for a range of adverse health and social harms for all Raine Study participants who at least one follow up. The SIG also plans to use the outcome of these analyses to inform health and productivity economic modelling of health risk behaviour trajectories.

Brief list of potential student/early career researcher projects

  • Health risk behaviour trajectories in adolescence and young adulthood and their association with adverse health and social harms in young adulthood.
  • Please contact the Risky behaviour SIG Leaders if you are interested in a research project incorporating Risky behaviour data and they will coordinate whom to contact within the group.

List of indicative recent publications

  • Foster, S., Trapp, G., Hooper, P., Oddy, W.H., Wood, L. and Knuiman, M., 2017. Liquor landscapes: Does access to alcohol outlets influence alcohol consumption in young adults?. Health & Place, 45, pp.17-23.
  • Skinner SR, Marino JL, Rosenthal SL, Cannon J, Doherty DA, Hickey M. Accepted 29/3/2017. A prospective cohort study of childhood behaviour problems and adolescent sexual risk-taking: gender matters. Sexual Health
  • Skinner, S.R., Robinson, M., Smith, M.A., Robbins, S.C.C., Mattes, E., Cannon, J., Rosenthal, S.L., Marino, J.L., Hickey, M. and Doherty, D.A., 2015. Childhood behavior problems and age at first sexual intercourse: a prospective birth cohort study. Pediatrics, 135(2), pp.255-263.
  • Moore, S.E., Norman, R.E., Sly, P.D., Whitehouse, A.J., Zubrick, S.R. and Scott, J., 2014. Adolescent peer aggression and its association with mental health and substance use in an Australian cohort. Journal of Adolescence, 37(1), pp.11-21.
  • Trapp, G.S., Allen, K.L., O’Sullivan, T., Robinson, M., Jacoby, P. and Oddy, W.H., 2014. Energy drink consumption among young Australian adults: associations with alcohol and illicit drug use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 134, pp.30-37.
  • Trapp, G.S., Allen, K., O’sullivan, T.A., Robinson, M., Jacoby, P. and Oddy, W.H., 2014. Energy drink consumption is associated with anxiety in Australian young adult males. Depression and Anxiety, 31(5), pp.420-428.
  • Marino, J.L., Skinner, S.R., Doherty, D.A., Rosenthal, S.L., Robbins, S.C.C., Cannon, J. and Hickey, M., 2013. Age at menarche and age at first sexual intercourse: a prospective cohort study. Pediatrics, 132(6), pp.1028-1036.

List of current/recent grants

  • Skinner, Marino, et al NHMRC project grant application (under review)
    Understanding lifecourse pathways to and economic implications of health and social harms in adolescence and young adulthood: a data linkage study of the Raine cohort
  • Steinbeck, Skinner et al, Centre for Research Excellence in Adolescent Health Services (under review)