8. MUSP in the media

This page contains links to media articles related to the MUSP project.

Faculty of Medicine News - 9 March 2022

Young people who stop using cannabis or amphetamines before becoming adults experience life success at the same levels of those who have never used drugs, according to a University of Queensland study. Read this news item here Life success remains high despite adolescent drug use   - Faculty of Medicine - University of Queensland (uq.edu.au). The research paper is published in the journal Addiction Research & TheoryDOI: 10.1080/16066359.2022.2032679   

Faculty of Medicine News - 7 June 2018

Associate Professor James Scott recognised for his contribution to psychiatric research. 


UQMedicine Magazine - Summer 2017

Recognition for Emeritus Professor Jake Najman as one of the best research projects 2016. 


Your Health in Mind - 5 May 2017

RANZCP - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Childhood maltreatment linked to cannabis abuse

10 of the Best - NHMRC Research Projects 2016  (download PDF - 1.4mb)

The MUSP project is the second project listed on pages 4-5 with title "Forty years of mental health research".

UQ Contact Magazine - Winter 2015

"Is Behaviour in the Family?"


Townsville Bulletin - 09/10/2013

The Tropikids Longitudinal Study (based on the MUSP project) will follow the health of children born in North Queensland.

Link to article


 Finding participants lost to study

ABC 612 Local Radio - 11 December 2012

Pregnancy loss and mental health

ABC LifeMatters - 10 August 2011

Long-Time Cannabis Use Associated With Psychosis

Wake-up call for teen pot smokers
Sydney Morning Herald  - 28 Feb 2010

Weight gain during pregnancy associated with long-term obesity for mothers

Eating for two could condemn new mothers to life of obesity

Early puberty leads to increased aggression in women

Obesity link to mothers

Pregnancy loss affects young women
ABC Science - 15 December 2008

Kids of overweight mums have higher risk

Adult obesity linked to mum

Sex abuse leads to obesity
The Courier Mail - 3 October 2007

Link Between Drinking During Pregnancy And Offspring's Risk Of Alcohol Disorders In Early Adulthood
Medical News Today - 6 September 2006

Kids may inherit parental smoking habits
The Age - 24 July 2006

Teens Turn To Cannabis After Parental Separation
Medical News Today - 6 April 2006

Pregnant smokers risk fat teens
Sydney Morning Herald  - 21 June 2006

Siblings bad habits brush off
EurekAlert! - 13 January 2006

Family meals cut teenage fatness
EurekAlert! - 1 November  2005

Fat kids can bounce back to normal blood pressure
Medical News Today - 17 August 2005
Kids follow unhealthy role models - parents
PHYSORG.COM - 4 April 2005

Health lessons learned from 21-year scientific study
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - TV  Transcript - 13 January 2005 


(Summaries from UQ Mediaclips)


Study on genetics and environmental factors on mental illness / ABC2 National; ABC1 National; ABC1 Brisbane; ABC1 Canberra - ABC TV

An Australian study has been documenting the lives of 4000 women and their children over 30 years. In the latest phase, research is focusing on what role genetics and environmental factors have on mental illness.


New study on pregnancy and obesity - Mums’ weight won’t go away / City North News / Quest Newspapers / Sunshine Coast Daily

Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are more likely to be overweight or obese 21 years later. That is the revelation uncovered in a recent UQ study. Led by Dr Abdullah Mamun, from UQ’s School of Population Health, the study is published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Aggression linked to early puberty / The Australian / Sydney Morning Herald / Courier Mail / Herald Sun (Melbourne) / ABC Radio Sunshine Coast Daily / Web / West Australian  / Canberra Times /

Girls who go through puberty before their 12th birthdays are more aggressive and more likely to steal, fight and take drugs than their later-blooming friends. A UQ study has found that girls who experience puberty early are significantly more aggressive than their later developing peers by age 14. Lead author and sociologist Professor Jake Najman comments.

JULY 2009

Study on mothers who experience depression and anxiety  / ABC 612 Brisbane/ ABC Radio /

UQ researchers have found mothers are more likely to experience depression and anxiety when their children are adolescents than after childbirth. The university surveyed more than 7000 mothers with children born at Brisbane’s mater Hospital in the 1980s. Dr Belinda Lloyd of the UQ, says the study showed children were not negatively affected by their mothers’ anti-natal or post-natal depression. Duration: 0:36

MAY 2009

Obesity link to difficult children  / Sunday Mail / Sunday Territorian / Sunday Tasmanian

Children with behavioural problems are more likely to be overweight when they become adults, according to a study presented at an international conference in Brisbane last week. A UQ study examined whether behavioural problems in childhood and adolescents are associated with young adults’ body mass index (BMI) and obesity.

APRIL 2009

Study outlines mental health issues / ABC 612 Brisbane; ABC Western Qld Longreach

A study in which lives of 8000 Australians tracked over 20 years for physical and mental issues. Prof Jake Najman of UQs School of Social Science comments. Duration: 22:23

Ballooning mums-to-be may be generating obese young adults / Channel 9 TV /Courier Mail / Northern Territory News / Gympie Times

Women who gain too much weight in pregnancy may be setting their children up for obesity in early adulthood, a study has found. UQ sociologist Jake Najman, who was involved in the study comments.


Drug risk after pregnancy loss  / Courer Mail

Women who have an abortion are three times more likely to develop a drug or alcohol addiction and 30 per cent more likely to have mental disorders. UQ’s researcher Kaeleen Dingle comments.


Anxiety, depression in mothers increase as children grow up / Courier Mail

A study that has tracked women and their babies since the early 1980s has found anxiety and depression in the mothers have progressively increased as the children have grown older. Social scientist Jake Najman, of the UQ’s School of Population Health comments.

MARCH 2008

20 Year study on Australian families / ABC 774 Melbourne; ABC Coast FM Gold Coast; ABC Radio

Jake Najman, Professor at the UQ joins the program to discuss the research - where more than 8,000 Aust’n families have been monitored for more than 20 years. Najman will continue the study after receiving further funding and outlines the findings from the study. Najman has very little data from the fathers as initial funding only allowed for the mothers to be interviewed. Study being done in conjunction with the UQ and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. Duration: 18:23


Misery and New Age spiritualism / Courier Mail; Townsville Bulletin; Cairns Post; Newcastle Herald; Canberra Times

Young people who embrace trendy, self-focused spiritualism are more anxious and depressed than those who believe in God or reject religion altogether, a survey shows. Study author Dr Rosemary Aird, a population health researcher at the University of Queensland comments.


Abortion link with alcohol and drugs / Courier Mail; Advertiser (Adelaide); Bendigo Advertiser; Gatton Lockyer Brisbane Valley Star; 2CC Canberra

Young women who have abortions are more likely to drink heavily and abuse hard drugs, a study has found. Queensland researchers have told an international conference they have found a clear link. Researcher Kaeleen Dingle from the University of Queensland comments.


Sex abuse link to weight in later life / Courier Mail

A UQ study has found women who have been severely sexually abused as children are twice as likely to be overweight by age 21 than their peers. But more research is needed to understand why. Lead researcher Abdullah Al Mamun of the UQ comments.


Binge eating link to rape / Border Mail; Newcastle Herald; Western Advocate;  Sun Herald (Sydney); The Daily Telegraph

Girls who have been raped are more likely to become overweight than other young women, according to a study that strengthens links between sexual abuse and binge eating. Research by the University of Queensland has found that female victims of childhood sexual abuse are 85 per cent more likely to be overweight by the age of 21.

APRIL 2007

Take time for a family meal / Courier Mail; Herald Sun (Melbourne); The Daily Telegraph - 4-4-2007

The family meal has a strong connection to the way we learn about food. The Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy showed that adolescents who regularly sat down to eat dinner with their family were less likely to be overweight than teenagers who did so infrequently.

Study clear on cannabis use / Townsville Bulletin; Launceston Examiner; Cairns Post; Armidale Express; Daily Advertiser;  Triple J Radio; ABC Tropical Qld Radio; ABC Radio Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts; 612 ABC Brisbane Radio; Sunshine Win TV - 5-4-2007
Kids high over new dads / Sun Herald (Sydney)
Divorce and Dope / Sydney Morning Herald-Health & Science

Dr Reza Hayatbakhsh, a researcher at the UQ`s School of Population Health, found children whose mothers married, divorced, became widowed, single of changed to a de facto relationship often turned to cannabis.


UQ Family Study / ABC Radio 612 Brisbane 29-1-2007

... a study which involved 8000 Brisbane families, monitored for 21 years. Prof Jake Najman from the UQ`s School of population health explains the study, which is similar to the seven-up experiment and says they originally looked at all mothers giving birth between 1981 and 1983 at the Mater Mothers` Hospital in Brisbane. Prof Najman says a similar study was undertaken in the 1930s in the US and is still ongoing. Prof Najman talks about children who have become drug users and says the study found those children `disproportionately` had mental health problems, the advantage of this study is that it can be determined whether the mental health problems occurred before or after the drug use began. Prof Najman says the research is very broad and his own interest is in family health, the survey showing roughly one in three families have a martial breakdown. Prof Majman says they compared arguing couples who stayed together with couples who divorced and couples who were harmonious. The research found the worst option for a child`s emotional health was to stay in a family where the parents argued and fought and the outcome was that it was better to divorce for the sake of the children. He says children of broken homes overall presented more mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Prof Najman says they are now looking into illicit drug use by children who experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Prof Najman says they continue to work with doctors at the Mater. Duration: 9:04


Womb addiction link / Courier-Mail (Brisbane)

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are setting their children up to become dependent on cigarettes themselves in adulthood, a Queensland study suggests. More than 2500 children, enrolled in the Mater- University of Queensland study of pregnant mothers and their babies in the 1980s, were surveyed when they turned 21.

Pregnant smokers pass habit to children: study / Canberra Times; Herald Sun (Melbourne); Daily Advertiser; Geelong Advertiser; News Mail; Northern Star; Daily Examiner; Fraser Coast Chronicle; Daily Mercury; Gladstone Observer; Townsville Bulletin; Queensland Times (Ipswich); The Chronicle (Toowoomba); West Australian; B105 Brisbane Radio; 2LM Lismore Radio; Curtis FM Perth Radio
Trigger to addiction: Smoking gun for pregnancy / Newcastle Herald; Launceston Examiner
Mothers who light up bear smoking kids / Northern Daily Leader
Don`t puff while pregnant / Midstate Observer
Pregnant smokers pass it on / St George & Sutherland Shire Leader
Mums program smokers / Sunday Mail Brisbane
Addiction passed on from mothers  / Burnie Advocate

Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are almost three times more likely to take up the habit when they are teenagers, Australian research shows. The research, published in the British journal Tobacco Control, has tracked 4500 Brisbane children since 1981 to assess their smoking patterns. The team from Mater Hospital and the University of Queensland led by Abdullah Mamun found that the proportion of children who took up regular smoking was significantly greater among those whose mothers had smoked.


Alcohol problem can start in womb / The Australian

Women who have three or more alcoholic drinks even once in early pregnancy could more than double the risk of their child developing alcohol problems later in life. The findings by researcher from the UQ used data from more than 7200 pregnant women in Brisbane who had been recruited from a study in pregnancy outcomes from 1981 to 1984. Professor Jake Najman from the UQ School of Social Science comments.


Smoking survey: Family problems linked to dirty habit / Gold Coast Sun

Dr Fran O`Callaghan from Griffith University`s Psychological Health Research Centre, says the likelihood of a teenager becoming a smoker can be predicted by a range of parental and family problems. Dr O`Callaghan and colleagues from the Mater and the UQ recently carried out research on about 4500 children.

Queensland study of pregnancy / ABC Radio 612 Brisbane

Madonna King talks about a Queensland study of pregnancy conducted by Dr Fran O`Callaghan from Griffith University with the Mater Hospital and University of Queensland that monitored over 4000 children. Interviewees: Dr Fran O`Callaghan, Griffith University Duration: 5:46

JULY 2006

Mum's the word over smoking / Ballarat Courier
Smoking mums pass on habit / Newcastle Herald
Maternal smoking study / Burnie Advocate
Kids at risk from smoking mothers / Launceston Examiner
Smoking Mums harm kids /  News Mail (Bundaberg)

Children`s whose mothers smoked during late pregnancy are more likely to take up the habit as teenagers, Australian researchers found. Dr Fran O`Callaghan, from Griffith University`s Psychological Health Research Centre, and colleagues from the Mater Hospital and the UQ, looked at outcomes of about 4500 children of mothers enrolled in the long-term Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy.


Pregnant smokers risk fat teens / Sydney Morning Herald; 2GB (Sydney) Radio; 2UE (Sydney) Radio
More bad news for smokers / Central Coast Sun Weekly
Smoking link to obesity / Australian Financial Review
Research into smoking whilst pregnant / ABC Tropical North (Mackay) Radio

A UQ survey of more than 3000 14-year-olds born in Brisbane in the early 1980s, found smoking mothers` children were 30 per cent more likely to be overweight, said research leader Abdullah Al Mamun, a population health expert.

APRIL 2006

Smoking boosts asthma risk / Maitland Mercury; Newcastle Herald; Western Advocate; Advertiser (Adelaide); The Daily Telegraph
Inutero smoking boosts girls` asthma risk /  Gympie Times; Launceston Examiner; Northern Daily Leader;
Asthma more likely in kids of smokers / Northern Territory News

Girls whose mothers smoked heavily during pregnancy are more likely to have asthma symptoms at age 14, an Australian study shows. However, the researchers found no such link between a mother`s smoking and boys` asthma risk. Dr Rosa Alati of the University of Queensland comments.


Siblings lead the way in teen vices / Sun Herald (Sydney)

Siblings hold more power than friends or parents when it comes to teenage drinking and smoking, a study by UQ and the University of Washington has revealed.

Siblings bad habits brush off / Riverlands News; Armidale Express Extra
Tobacco, alcohol use linked to influence of older siblings / Courier-Mail (Brisbane); Ipswich Advertiser; NBC News KSDK & Ch5 Cincinnati online;  ABC Newcastle; Canberra 2CC
Sibling link to drugs / Adelaide Advertiser; Advertiser (Adelaide); Perth 6PR Radio
Siblings in drug link / Armidale Express Extra; Westside News - (Suburban, Brisbane)

Professor Jake Najman comments on latest Mater University of Queensland study of Pregnancy result which show teenage smoking and drinking is influenced by older siblings.


Table beats telly for teens` healthy eating / The Australian

A researcher, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun from UQ`s School of Population Health, said regular family meals could reduce snacking and make for healthier food and social habits for teenagers.

Talking point / Redland Times

University of Queensland researchers working on the world`s longest health study found teens who ate regularly with their family were less likely to be overweight. The lead researcher Dr Abdullah Al Mamun from UQ`s School of Population Health, said regular family meals could reduce snacking and make for healthier food and social habits.

Good health sitting down / Herald Sun (Melbourne)
Family meal deal: Eating together helps make teenagers healthier / Gatton Lockyer Brisbane Valley Star; Sunshine Coast Daily
Family Fare / Brisbane`s Child

Teenagers who eat regularly with their family are less likely to be overweight, a UQ study has found. Mentions research head, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun.

Alcohol disorder shock - Study links mums' habits to teen risk / Bendigo Advertiser; Border Mail; Launceston Examiner
Mum a drunk? Children may follow / Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga)
Teens drink if mothers depressed, study finds / Townsville Bulletin

Researchers from the UQ collected information from more than 2500 mothers and their children as part of a 21-year study, which has become known as the Mater University Study of Pregnancy (MUSP).

Parents to blame for drunk kids / Northern Rivers Echo; Brisbane 4MMM Radio News
Boozing mums turn teens into drunks / Border Mail
Teen alcoholism from mums / Launceston Examiner
Teens turn to alcohol / Sun Herald (Sydney); The Sunday Telegraph (NSW)
Family habits set problem / Reporter North; Gatton Lockyer Brisbane Valley Star

New research has been done into teen drinking by the University of Queensland. Dr Rosa Alati (School of Population Health) at the University of Queensland found that children of depressed mothers who drank regularly had a greater risk of developing alcohol disorders.


Shedding puppy fat key to low blood pressure / Armidale Express
Fat loss keeps pressure off / Sun Herald (Sydney); Sunday Herald Sun; Sunday Mail; The Sunday Telegraph (NSW); Sunday Times

Overweight children who can shed their puppy fat by age 14 can expect lower blood pressure, according to a University of Queensland study. Lead researcher, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun from UQ`s School of Population Health found children who were overweight at both ages or at age 14, had average blood pressure rates as high as 117 mm Hg (millimetres mercury).

JULY 2005

Supersized across the generations / Readers Digest

A UQ and Brisbane`s Mater Hospital joint study measured the body mass of almost 3000 kids at birth, age five and 14. Researchers found at least one overweight parent tipped the scales towards the likelihood of unhealthy weight gain in the children.

JUNE 2005

Young and depressed? Research questions role of social environment / Sunshine Coast Daily
Kids tougher than believed / Townsville Bulletin; Adelaide Advertiser; Canberra Times
Child depression not environmental: study / Launceston Examiner
Environment not a major factor in child depression / Sunraysia Daily (Mildura)

A child`s social environment may only have a small effect on whether young children become depressed, new research by UQ shows. Comments by UQ`s Prof Jake Najman (School of Social Science).

Children born with depression / Advertiser (Adelaide); The Mercury (Hobart); Courier Mail
Children born with the blues - Depression drug link / Sunday Telegraph (Sydney)

Children with a low birth weight or those who are exposed to drugs or toxins while in the womb are more likely to suffer depression. An Australian study has found biological factors contribute more to childhood depression than traumatic events such as family breakdown. UQ`s Professor Jake Najman (School of Social Science) conducted the research.

Life Matters: Study on childhood depression / Radio National - ABC Radio

McCrossin interviews UQ`s Professor Jake Najman (Social Science) about a study into childhood depression. Prof. Najman says it is a study that has been going for almost 30 years but this particular paper looks at the early elements of depression in very young children. He explains that they are asking what is the evidence that children as young as five get depression and can we understand the kinds of things that produce that depression. Audience: 59,700

Depression - Drinking factor / Courier Mail (Brisbane)

Work done by Dr Rosa Alati, a research fellow from The University of Queensland`s School of Population Health, and colleagues from UQ and the University of Bristol, showed women who have more than 15 drinks a week have an increased risk of experiencing mental illness.

Research links heavy drinking and increased mental health risk / Brisbane 4RN Radio News; 612 ABC Brisbane Radio News; ABC TV
Health report - Bad News / Sun Herald (Sydney)

Dr Rosa Alati from the University of Queensland`s School of Population Health has found that women who drink 15 standard alcoholic drinks a week are more likely to experience common mental illness.

Heavy drinking linked to mental health risk / Northern Miner

Work done by Dr Rosa Alati, a research fellow from the UQ`s School of Population Health and colleagues from UQ and the University of Bristol, showed women who have more than 15 drinks a week have an increased risk of experiencing mental illness.

MAY 2005

Food fight / The Sunday Telegraph (NSW) Body & Soul

Actions speak louder than works so set your kids a good example with your eating habits. Mentions a new study by the UQ in association with the Mater Hospital in Brisbane confirms that parental eating habits and weight are directly reflected in children and that overweight toddlers are much more likely to grow into overweight teenagers.

APRIL 2005

Fat? Blame your parents / Gold Coast Mail; Tweed Mail
Role model for health / Northern Miner
The Health Report: Growing up and out- just like mum and dad / Sunday Herald Sun

Overweight parents are more likely to have overweight children. Project`s lead researcher, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, from the UQ`s School of Population Health, said the results, published in the International Journal of Obesity, meant there was a need for early intervention and education.

Overweight kids struggle to slim / Gladstone Observer

Overweight children are more likely to grow up to be overweight adults, according to a local naturopath. Mentions a study by the UQ and the Brisbane Mater Hospital found if children were overweight at five-years-old, they were more likely to stay fat at 14-years-old.

Family fat sets at five / Courier Mail (Brisbane)
You are what your parents make you eat / Armidale Express; Dalby Herald
Study confirms parental obesity link / Mandurah Coastal Times
Kids follow unhealthy role models / Maitland Mercury;  Daily Liberal; Western Sun; Tamborine Times
Fighting fat figures / Westside News (Suburban, Brisbane)
First five years to blame / City North News (Brisbane)

Parents are more likely to have fat children if they do not learn healthy living by age five. These results are part the world`s longest-running health studies, the Mater-UQ Study of Pregnancy.

MARCH 2005

Grey matter of baby size carried into later life / Sydney Morning Herald

Researchers from Britain have found a positive correlation between heavy infants and high intelligence in childhood. Professor of medical sociology at the UQ and study co-author Jake Najman says there`s a whole literature which is blossoming which links what happens in pregnancy with the subsequent health and development of a person.


Unhappy marriages / Adelaide 5AA  Radio interview

Interview with Prof Jake Najman (Sch of Social Science) at the UQ who discusses unhappy marriages that are continued for the sake of the children. Najman says their study took 14 years and followed mothers and their children from birth and looked at the way a changing marriage impacted on the mental health of a child. He says the vast majority of children from a broken marriage come out all right.


In childhood depression, not the usual subjects / New York Times - 14 June 2005 / Page 6