Christchurch Health and Development Study: Overview of 40 Years of Findings

Emeritus Professor David Fergusson is the founder of the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS), a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 children born in the Christchurch region in mid-1977.

This presentation provided an overview of the CHDS over the period 1977 - 2015.

The cohort have been studied on 23 occasions from birth to age 35, and the study has produced over 450 papers and reports describing the health and development of the cohort over their life course. This body of work was illustrated by a number of examples spanning the period of the study, including:

  • The effects of parental smoking on childhood respiratory illness
  • The impacts of low level lead exposure on cognitive development and behaviour
  • The effects of childhood sexual abuse on educational achievement and psycho-social adjustment
  • The impacts of adolescent cannabis use on educational achievement and mental health
  • The effects of the Canterbury Earthquakes on the psychological wellbeing of cohort members exposed to the quakes
  • The development of the Early Start home-visiting programme


Dowload the presentation slides (pdf 1.8 mB)

Click the play button to hear the audio from the seminar.


Nau Mai Meeting Room, Ground Floor, Te Puni Kōkiri House, 143 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Event date: 
7 December 2015
Event Type: 
Superu events
Last update: 24 Mar 2016