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Christchurch Health and Development Study group photo

Left to right: Grace Walker, Geri McLeod, Martin Kennedy, Bridget Kinnersley, John Horwood, Janet Spittlehouse, Joe Boden, Bhuban Dhakal , James Foulds.
Not pictured: Emeritus Professor David M Fergusson.

The Christchurch Health and Development Study ( CHDS ) has been in existence for over 40 years. During this time we have followed the health, education, and life progress of a group of 1,265 children born in the Christchurch (New Zealand) urban region in mid-1977.

The cohort has been studied from infancy into childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Data gathered over the course of the study now comprises some 50 million characters of information, with which the study has published over 500 scientific papers, reports, books and book chapters describing the life history of the CHDS cohort.

In 2019, we completed our participant interviews for their 40-year assessment.


logo - hrcHealth Research Council of New Zealand


UNITE study

We're working with some awesome colleagues on the UNITE (Understanding the Neurocognitive Impact of Trauma Exposure) Study – a 2-year, Christchurch-based project which will involve around 200 participants from our cohort.

So, why are we doing this? Well, as you probably know, the Canterbury earthquake sequence caused considerable stress to many who experienced it, and previous research has shown a significant amount of 'earthquake brain' (cognitive problems involving memory, attention, organisation, etc.) is caused as a result. This is obviously not a great headspace to be in so we're keen to understand 'earthquake brain' better so we can develop treatments and strategies to help psychological recovery from natural disasters.

Eligible participants will be asked to come in for a one-off assessment. This will involve a questionnaire, interview, cognitive function tests – the usual stuff.

Thank you so much to everyone who's taken/taking part. Please get in touch if you have any questions:


We're always researching and writing – check out our publications page to find out more:

Christchurch Health and Development Study Publications

News feed

Take a look at other items of CHDS News


If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch:


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