The Mothers and their Children's Health study

- understanding disparities in health and health service utilisation among Australian families


MatCH is a new substudy of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. It is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council from 2014 to 2017.

The MatCH study aims to take a family-centred approach to advance understanding of child health and development in terms of the children in a family unit, by investigating factors with regard to:

  1. the history of maternal and family characteristics and
  2. their effects on the health and development of the children in the family.

The study will combine detailed data from the 1973-78 ALSWH Cohort with new survey data on their children to paint a picture of family health and health service use that is unparalleled, supporting a more integrated and targeted approach to the delivery of preventative and primary health care for all Australian families.   ALSWH 1973-78 Cohort summary

Women from the ALSWH 1973-78 Cohort, who have children aged under 13 years, are asked to complete a survey (online or paper) about their three youngest children.

Survey measures include diet and physical activity, health-related quality of life, illness and disability, health service use, sleep, social and emotional development, and anthropometric measures.

The survey will be repeated every two to three years (subject to funding). The study also plans to include linked data from NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy), AEDC (the Australian Early Development Census) and ACIR (the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register).