We first invited you to participate in the Mothers and their Children's Health (MatCH) substudy back in 2016. Five years on, information about your parenting experiences and your children's health, development, and environment, has contributed to:
- 22 research papers published in national and international journals
- Newspapers, radio, and TV coverage of topics including children's screen time, perinatal mental health, play equipment, babies' first food, breastfeeding, and premature birth
- A submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia
What next for MatCH?
The MatCH substudy was funded through a Project Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia. For the past five years, our MatCH project researchers had exclusive access to the information you provided. We’re excited to announce that in late 2021, MatCH data will be added to ALSWH so it’s available to the broader community of researchers. Data sharing encourages collaboration between researchers which can lead to important new findings, making the best use of the data which you have so generously contributed. As always, your privacy remains our priority. Researchers will never be given identifying information about you or your family. Researchers wishing to use data from the MatCH substudy will be subject to the same privacy policies as those using ALSWH data.
What do the MatCH research findings mean for you?
In this newsletter, we would like to share some of the most recent MatCH research findings with you. You can see the full list of MatCH research papers and presentations here. As parents, we do the best we can with the knowledge and resources available to us. Keep in mind that at an individual level, the health and behavioural impacts (positive and negative) that we find are small. But, at a population health level – for example across the entire next generation of Australian children – small changes could make a noticeable difference. These findings will also help to improve the information, support and services available for young women in the future. We think that’s a legacy to be proud of!