Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people experience significantly poorer health and greater social and economic challenges to future health than other Australian young people. Yet there are major gaps in evidence and longitudinal studies highlighting health trajectories and opportunities for appropriate interventions are urgently needed. This study aims to establish and conduct the first wave of follow-up for 'the next generation', represented by a nation-wide cohort of approximately 2250 Aboriginal young people (10–24 years) from remote, rural and urban Aboriginal communities (Western Sydney, Alice Springs and Perth/Albany).
This study will quantify patterns of physical and mental health conditions, risk and protective behaviours at baseline and over time and examine the factors associated with any change in behaviour/health risk factor. Additionally, the study will explore the social and environmental context in which these young people are growing up in and establish partnerships with communities to identify factors related to positive health behaviours and the best ways to support them.
This project will provide urgently required evidence to improve outcomes for young Aboriginal people in all areas and will lay the foundations for enhanced physical and mental health in adulthood.