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Emeritus Professor David M. Fergusson

Emeritus Professor,
Christchurch Health and Development Study

David FergussonBA (Well) PhD (Otago), FRSNZ, FNZPS (hon), FRACP (hon)

Emeritus Professor David Fergusson is the founder of the Christchurch Health and Development Study, a 35 year study of a birth cohort of 1265 children born in the Christchurch region in mid-1977.

Research into this cohort has produced over 435 published books, reports and scientific articles that span a wide range of disciplines including: psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, paediatrics, health economics and sociology.

In addition, he is a director and evaluator on the Board of the Early Start Project, a Christchurch-based family support programme.

His principal research interests lie in the design analysis and interpretation of correlational data. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Psychological Society in 2006, and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2007. In 2006, he was awarded the Christchurch School of Medicine Gold Medal for Research Excellence, and in 2010 was awarded the University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal.

David retired from the University of Otago in August 2015. He is currently a Consultant for the Ministry of Social Development.

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Publications

McLeod, G. F. H., Horwood, L. J., & Fergusson, D. M. (2016). Adolescent depression, adult mental health and psychosocial outcomes at 30 and 35 years. Psychological Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0033291715002950

Mangin, D., Dowson, C., Fergusson, D., & Wells, E. (2015). Does iron deficiency without anemia in infancy affect long term developmental outcomes? Prospective 6 year cohort study. Proceedings of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) 43rd Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.napcrg.org/Conferences

Silins, E., Horwood, L. J., Fergusson, D., Patton, G., Olsson, C., Hutchinson, D., … Mattick, R. P. (2015). Adolescent substance use and specificity of association with educational attainment in young adulthood. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 156, (pp. e205-3205). doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.07.551

McLeod, G. F. H., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Carter, F. A. (2015). Adiposity and psychosocial outcomes at ages 30 and 35. Proceedings of the Obesity Summit. Barnet, UK: EuroSciCon. Retrieved from https://www.regonline.co.uk/builder/site/tab2.aspx?EventID=1538135

Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Mulder, R. T. (2015). The role of peri-traumatic stress and disruption distress in predicting post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to a natural disaster. BJPsych Open, 1(1), 81-86. doi: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.001180

Authored Book - Research

Sturrock, F., Gray, D., Fergusson, D., Horwood, J., & Smits, C. (2014). Incredible years: Follow up study: Long-term follow-up of the New Zealand Incredible Years Pilot Study. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development, 33p.

Sturrock, F., Gray, D., Church, J., Fergusson, D., Horwood, J., Poulton, R., … McGovern, J. (2013). Incredible years: Pilot study: Evaluation report. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development, 94p.

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Journal - Research Article

McLeod, G. F. H., Horwood, L. J., & Fergusson, D. M. (2016). Adolescent depression, adult mental health and psychosocial outcomes at 30 and 35 years. Psychological Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0033291715002950

Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2015). Outcomes for children and families following unplanned pregnancy: Findings from a longitudinal birth cohort. Child Indicators Research, 8(2), 389-402. doi: 10.1007/s12187-014-9241-y

Davis, J. M., Searles, V. B., Anderson, N., Keeney, J., Raznahan, A., Horwood, L. J., Fergusson, D. M., Kennedy, M. A., … Sikela, J. M. (2015). DUF1220 copy number is linearly associated with increased cognitive function as measured by total IQ and mathematical aptitude scores. Human Genetics, 134(1), 67-75. doi: 10.1007/s00439-014-1489-2

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., Horwood, L. J., & Mulder, R. T. (2015). Perceptions of distress and positive consequences following exposure to a major disaster amongst a well-studied cohort. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(4), 351-359. doi: 10.1177/0004867414560652

Badiani, A., Boden, J. M., De Pirro, S., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Harold, G. T. (2015). Tobacco smoking and cannabis use in a longitudinal birth cohort: Evidence of reciprocal causal relationships. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 150, 69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.02.015

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., Horwood, L. J., Swain, N. R., Chapple, S., & Poulton, R. (2015). Life satisfaction and mental health problems (18 to 35 years). Psychological Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/s0033291715000422

Ramrakha, S., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Dalgard, F., Ambler, A., Kokaua, J., Milne, B. J., Poulton, R. (2015). Cumulative mental health consequences of acne: 23-year follow-up in a general population birth cohort study. British Journal of Dermatology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/bjd.13786

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2015). Psychosocial sequelae of cannabis use and implications for policy: Findings from the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00127-015-1070-x

Adkins, D. E., Clark, S. L., Copeland, W. E., Kennedy, M., Conway, K., Angold, A., … Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., … Costello, E. J. (2015). Genome-wide meta-analysis of longitudinal alcohol consumption across youth and early adulthood. Twin Research & Human Genetics, 18(4), 335-347. doi: 10.1017/thg.2015.36

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2015). From evidence to policy: Findings from the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 48(3), 386-408. doi: 10.1177/0004865815589827

Morris, R. W., Taylor, A. E., Fluharty, M. E., Bjørngaard, J. H., Åsvold, B. O., Gabrielsen, M. E., … Horwood, J., Fergusson, D. M., Kennedy, M. A., … Sattar, N. (2015). Heavier smoking may lead to a relative increase in waist circumference: Evidence for a causal relationship from a Mendelian randomisation meta-analysis: The CARTA consortium. BMJ Open, 5(8), e008808. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008808

McLeod, G. F. H., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Carter, F. A. (2015). Adiposity and psychosocial outcomes at ages 30 and 35. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00127-015-1101-7

Silins, E., Fergusson, D. M., Patton, G. C., Horwood, L. J., Olssen, C. A., Hutchinson, D. M., … for the Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium. (2015). Adolescent substance use and educational attainment: An integrative data analysis comparing cannabis and alcohol from three Australasian cohorts. Drug & Alcohol Dependence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.034

Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Mulder, R. T. (2015). The role of peri-traumatic stress and disruption distress in predicting post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to a natural disaster. BJPsych Open, 1(1), 81-86. doi: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.001180

Lees, D. G., & Fergusson, D. M. (2015). A study to assess the acceptability of adding Home Parent Support along with the Incredible Years® parent programme. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 44(1), 40-44.

Gibb, S. J., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Boden, J. M. (2014). The effects of parenthood on workforce participation and income for men and women. Journal of Family & Economic Issues, 35(1), 14-26. doi: 10.1007/s10834-013-9353-4

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Parental separation/divorce in childhood and partnership outcomes at age 30. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 55(4), 352-360. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12107

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Bullying in childhood, externalizing behaviors, and adult offending: Evidence from a 30-year study. Journal of School Violence, 13(1), 146-164. doi: 10.1080/15388220.2013.840642

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Unemployment and psychosocial outcomes to age 30: A fixed-effects regression analysis. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(8), 735-742. doi: 10.1177/0004867414525840

Marie, D., Fergusson, D. M., & Boden, J. M. (2014). Childhood socio-economic status and ethnic disparities in psychosocial outcomes in New Zealand. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(7), 672-680. doi: 10.1177/0004867414525839

Gibb, S. J., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Boden, J. M. (2014). Early motherhood and long-term economic outcomes: Findings from a 30-year longitudinal study. Journal of Research on Adolescence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jora.12122

Jodczyk, S., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Pearson, J. F., & Kennedy, M. A. (2014). No association between mean telomere length and life stress observed in a 30 year birth cohort. PLoS ONE, 9(5), e97102. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097102

McLeod, G. F. H., Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Childhood physical punishment or maltreatment and partnership outcomes at age 30. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(3), 307-315. doi: 10.1037/h0099807

Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Associations between exposure to stressful life events and alcohol use disorder in a longitudinal birth cohort studied to age 30. Drug & Alcohol Dependence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.06.010

Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Boden, J. M., & Mulder, R. T. (2014). Impact of a major disaster on the mental health of a well-studied cohort. JAMA Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.652

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Breast feeding, infant growth, and body mass index at 30 and 35 years. Paediatric & Perinatal Epidemiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12144

Silins, E., Horwood, L. J., Patton, G., Fergusson, D. M., Olsson, C. A., Hutchinson, D. M., … for the Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium. (2014). Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis. Lancet Psychiatry, 1(4), 286-293. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70307-4

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Leaving school without qualifications and mental health problems to age 30. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00127-014-0971-4

Taylor, A. E., Morris, R. W., Fluharty, M. E., Bjorngaard, J. H., Åsvold, B. O., Gabrielsen, M. E., … Horwood, J., Fergusson, D. M., Kennedy, M. A., … Sattar, N. (2014). Stratification by smoking status reveals a direct association of CHRNA5-A3-B4 genotype with body mass index in never smokers. PLoS Genetics, 10(12), e1004799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004799

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2013). Nine-year follow-up of a home-visitation program: A randomized trial. Pediatrics, 131(2), 297-303. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-1612

Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Stanley, L. (2013). A preliminary evaluation of the Incredible Years Teacher programme. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 42(2), 51-56.

Fergusson, D. M., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2013). Childhood self-control and adult outcomes: Results from a 30-year longitudinal study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(7), 709-717. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2013.04.008

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., & Horwood, L. J. (2013). Childhood sexual abuse and adult developmental outcomes: Findings from a 30-year longitudinal study in New Zealand. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(9), 664-674. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.03.013

Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Boden, J. M. (2013). Does abortion reduce the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy? A re-appraisal of the evidence. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(9), 819-827. doi: 10.1177/0004867413484597

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Journal - Research Other

Fergusson, D. M., & Boden, J. M. (2015). Commentary on Hall (2015): The health effects of recreational cannabis use. Addiction, 110(1), 36-37. doi: 10.1111/add.12758

Hutchinson, D. M., Silins, E., Mattick, R. P., Patton, G. C., Fergusson, D. M., Hayatbakhsh, R., … Horwood, L. J., for the Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium. (2015). How can data harmonisation benefit mental health research? An example of the Cannabis Cohorts Research Consortium [Viewpoint]. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(4), 317-323. doi: 10.1177/0004867415571169

Fergusson, D. M., Hall, W., Boden, J. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2015). Rethinking cigarette smoking, cannabis use, and psychosis [Comment]. Lancet Psychiatry, 2(7), 581-582. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00208-4

Fergusson, D. M., & Boden, J. M. (2015). Exploring issues arising from survey non-response [Commentary]. Addiction, 110(9), 1513-1514. doi: 10.1111/add.12968

Lees, D. G., Fergusson, D. M., Frampton, C. M., & Merry, S. N. (2014). A pilot study to evaluate the efficacy of adding a structured home visiting intervention to improve outcomes for high-risk families attending the Incredible Years Parent Programme: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 15, 66. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-66

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

McLeod, G. F. H., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Carter, F. A. (2015). Adiposity and psychosocial outcomes at ages 30 and 35. Proceedings of the Obesity Summit. Barnet, UK: EuroSciCon. Retrieved from https://www.regonline.co.uk/builder/site/tab2.aspx?EventID=1538135

Silins, E., Horwood, L. J., Fergusson, D., Patton, G., Olsson, C., Hutchinson, D., … Mattick, R. P. (2015). Adolescent substance use and specificity of association with educational attainment in young adulthood. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 156, (pp. e205-3205). doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.07.551

Mangin, D., Dowson, C., Fergusson, D., & Wells, E. (2015). Does iron deficiency without anemia in infancy affect long term developmental outcomes? Prospective 6 year cohort study. Proceedings of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) 43rd Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.napcrg.org/Conferences

Jodczyk, S., Pearson, J. F., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Spittlehouse, J. K., Joyce, P. R., Hampton, M. B., Kennedy, M. A. (2014). Association between telomere length and life stress in two New Zealand cohorts. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1396). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/127-1396/6180/content.pdf

Boden, J. M., Fergusson, D. M., & Horwood, L. J. (2014). Associations between exposure to life stress and alcohol use disorder in a longitudinal birth cohort studied to age 30. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38(Suppl. 1), (pp. 339A). doi: 10.1111/acer.12452

Maes, H. H., Peterson, R. E., Eaves, L. J., Silberg, J. L., Adkins, D. E., Clark, S. L., … Kennedy, M., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., … Costello, E. J. (2014). A genome-wide meta-analytic study of smoking behavior in adolescents. Proceedings of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) 20th Annual Meeting., (pp. 159). SRNT. Retrieved from http://www.srnt.org/conferences/past/index.cfm

Silins, E., Olsson, C., Horwood, L. J., Hutchinson, D., Patton, G., Fergusson, D., … Mattick, R. (2014). Early onset cannabis use and young adult outcomes: An integrative data analysis of three Australasian cohorts. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 140, (pp. e208-e209). doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.580

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Fergusson, D. (2015, September). The prevention, treatment and management of child adolescent conduct disorder. Invited speaker at the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists New Zealand Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

Fergusson, D. M., McLeod, G. F. H., Tau, T. M., & Macfarlane, A. H. (2014). Māori educational achievement in the Christchurch Health and Development Study. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury Ngāi Tahu Research Centre. 58p.

Advisory Group on Conduct Problems, including Fergusson, D., & Poulton, R. (2013). Conduct problems: Adolescent report. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Social Development. 132p.

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Other Research Output

Fergusson, D. (2015, August). CHDS findings from 35 years of research. University of Otago Festschrift for David Fergusson. Christchurch, New Zealand. [Public Lecture].

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