Associate Professor Benjamin Edwards

Associate Professor of Child and Youth Development and Longitudinal Studies

Professor Ben Edwards is a Senior Fellow at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. He is Principal Investigator of GENERATION, a new decade long study following over 15,000 students as they transition to life beyond school. He is Director of the ANU partnership with Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) subnational project that has collected detailed data on government policy responses to the pandemic.

I have a PhD in Psychology from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology).

Prior to working at the ANU I was Executive Manager, Longitudinal Studies at the Australian Institute of Family Studies where I led the design of Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and established and led the development of the first national longitudinal study of refugees - Building a New Life in Australia.

I am an expert in longitudinal studies of child and youth development, linkage of administrative data to surveys and longitudinal studies of disadvantaged groups such as refugees. I am a Scientific Advisor to Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth, Ten to Men, and a new longitudinal of children in the Philippines. Internationally, Ben is an Executive member of the Society of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS) and established the Refugees across the Lifecourse Group.

Nationally he is a recognised leader in social policy issues on children and youth. His work has highlighted:

  • the challenges in the implementation of three year old preschool;
  • the intergenerational impacts of traumatic events on children and youth and
  • best practice in area based initiatives to address disadvantage.

He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of Social Issues.

Ben routinely advises Federal and State government departments and works with international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UNFPA.

Research interests

Children and youth: understanding the role of families, education systems (ECEC, schools, TAFE and university), neighbourhoods and communities

Advancing longitudinal studies of human development through novel methodologies and data linkage.

Understanding the impact of natural disasters on children and youth and factors that contribute to resilience.

    Evaluation of government programs for disadvantaged children: particularly area based initiatives;

    Carers: caring for a family member with a disability; and

    The intergenerational impacts of trauma (in refugees families or offspring of war veterans)

    • Dumuid, D, Olds, T, Lange, K et al. 2022, 'Goldilocks Days: optimising children's time use for health and well-being', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 301-308.
    • Abbasi Shavazi, A, Biddle, N, Edwards, B et al. 2022, 'Observed effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the life satisfaction, psychological distress and loneliness of Australian carers and non-carers', International Journal of Care and Caring, vol. 6, no. 1-2, pp. 179-209.
    • Sollis, K, Biddle, N, Edwards, B et al. 2021, 'COVID-19 Survey Participation and Wellbeing: A Survey Experiment', Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 179-187.
    • Dumuid, D, Wake, M, Burgner, D et al. 2021, 'Balancing time use for children’s fitness and adiposity: Evidence to inform 24-hour guidelines for sleep, sedentary time and physical activity', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 16, no. 1 , pp. 1-15.
    • Macdonald, J, Greenwood, C, Letcher, P et al. 2021, 'Parent and Peer Attachments in Adolescence and Paternal Postpartum Mental Health: Findings From the ATP Generation 3 Study', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, pp. 1-11.
    • Ng, E, Wake, M, Olds, T et al. 2021, 'Equivalence curves for healthy lifestyle choices', Pediatrics (English edition), vol. 147, no. 4.
    • Edwards, B, Gray, M & Borja, J 2021, 'Measuring Natural Hazard-Related Disasters through Self-Reports', International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, vol. 12, pp. 540-552.
    • Shearer, N, Gillespie, A, Olds, T et al. 2021, 'Insights into adolescent well-being from computerised analysis of written language', Acta Paediatrica, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 1880-1889.
    • Edwards, B, Gray, M & Borja, J 2021, 'The influence of natural disasters on violence, mental health, food insecurity, and stunting in the Philippines: Findings from a nationally representative cohort', SSM - Population Health, vol. 15.
    • Bryant, R, Edwards, B, Creamer, M et al. 2021, 'Prolonged grief in refugees, parenting behaviour and children's mental health', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 55, no. 9, pp. 863-873.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2021, Change in vaccine willingness in Australia: August 2020 to January 2021.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2021, Vaccine willingness and concerns in Australia: August 2020 to April 2021.
    • Curchin, K & Edwards, B 2021, 'Introduction to the Special Issue on Big Data and Social Policy in Australia', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 132-142.
    • Falster, K, Hanly, M, Edwards, B et al. 2020, 'Preschool attendance and developmental outcomes at
      age five in Indigenous and non-Indigenous children:
      a population-based cohort study of 100 357 Australian
      children', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. 371-379.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Tracking outcomes during the COVID-19
      pandemic (August 2020) Divergence within Australia.
    • Letcher, P, Greenwood, C, Romaniuk, H et al. 2020, 'Adolescent and young adult mental health problems and infant offspring behavior: Findings from a prospective intergenerational cohort study', Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 272, pp. 521-528.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 period: May 2020.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Mental health and relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Initial impacts of COVID-19 on mental health in Australia.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, COVID-19 and mortgage and rental payments: May 2020.
    • Sollis, K, Biddle, N, Edwards, B et al. 2020, Improved wellbeing or distress? Measuring the impacts of participation in a COVID-19 survey on participant wellbeing.
    • Bryant, R, Edwards, B, Creamer, M et al. 2020, 'A population study of prolonged grief in refugees', Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, vol. 29, no. e44, pp. 1-7.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Public attitudes on vaccine distribution.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Hardship, distress, and resilience: The initial impacts of COVID-19 in Australia.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Data trust and data privacy in the COVID-19 period.
    • Edwards, B, Biddle, N, Gray, M et al. 2020, 'Working paper: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance: Correlates in a nationally representative longitudinal survey of the Australian population', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 16, no. 3.
    • Biddle, N, Edwards, B, Gray, M et al. 2020, Experience and views on education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Clifford, S, Davies, S, Wake, M et al. 2019, 'Child Health CheckPoint: cohort summary and methodology of a physical health and biospecimen module for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children', BMJ Open, vol. 9, no. Suppl 3.
    • Nickerson, A, Hadzi-Pavlovic, D, Edwards, B et al. 2019, 'Identifying distinctive psychological symptom profiles among a nationally representative sample of refugees resettled in Australia', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 53, no. 9, pp. 908-919.
    • Hanly, M, Edwards, B, Goldfeld, S et al. 2019, 'School starting age and child development in a state-wide, population-level cohort of children in their first year of school in New South Wales, Australia', Early Childhood Research Quarterly, vol. 48, pp. 325-340.
    • Edwards, B, Forrest, W, Vassallo, S et al. 2019, 'Depression and anxiety in adolescent and young adult offenders: A longitudinal study from 13 to 32 years using the Australian Temperament Project', Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 62, pp. 87-93.
    • Nickerson, A, Liddell, B, Keegan, D et al. 2019, 'Longitudinal association between trust, psychological symptoms and community engagement in resettled refugees', Psychological Medicine, vol. 49, no. 10, pp. 1661-1669.
    • Wang, J, Quach, J, Sung, V et al. 2019, 'Academic, behavioural and quality of life outcomes of slight to mild hearing loss in late childhood: A population-based study', Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 104, no. 11, pp. 1056-1063.
    • Liu, R, Wake, M, Grobler, A et al. 2019, 'Cross-sectional associations between Ideal Cardiovascular Health scores and vascular phenotypes in 11- to 12-year-olds and their parents: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children', International Journal of Cardiology, vol. 277, pp. 258-265.
    • Edwards, B, Gray, M & Hunter, B 2019, 'The social and economic impacts of drought', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 22-31.
    • Lau, W, Silove, D, Edwards, B et al. 2018, 'Adjustment of refugee children and adolescents in Australia: outcomes from wave three of the Building a New Life in Australia study', BMC Medicine, vol. 16, no. 157.
    • Edwards, B & Yu, M 2018, 'The influence of child care on the behavior problems of children of teenage mothers', Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 94, pp. 96-104.
    • Osborn, W, Simm, P, Olds, T et al. 2018, 'Bone health, activity and sedentariness at age 11-12 years: Cross-sectional Australian population-derived study', Bone, vol. 112, pp. 153-160pp.
    • Edwards, B, Smart, D, de Maio, J et al. 2018, 'Cohort Profile: Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA): the longitudinal study of humanitarian migrants', International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 9pp.
    • Forrest, W, Edwards, B & Daraganova, G 2018, 'The intergenerational consequences of war: anxiety, depression, suicidality, and mental health among the children of war veterans', International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 1060-1067pp.
    • Bryant, R, Edwards, B, Creamer, M et al. 2018, 'The effect of post-traumatic stress disorder on refugees' parenting and their children's mental health: a cohort study', The Lancet Public Health, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. E249-E258.
    • Edwards, B, Gray, M & Hunter, B 2018, 'The social and economic impacts of drought', Australian Journal of Social Issues, 53(4): 1–10. DOI: 10.1002/ajs4.52 .
    • Biddle, N & Edwards, B 2017, The Characteristics and Potential Effects of the Schools that Indigenous Australians Attend.
    • Wong, M, Olds, T, Gold, L et al. 2017, 'Time-Use Patterns and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adolescents', Pediatrics (English edition), vol. 140, no. 1, pp. 9pp.
    • Doidge, J, Edwards, B, Higgins, D et al. 2017, 'Adverse childhood experiences, non-response and loss to follow-up: Findings from a prospective birth cohort and recommendations for addressing missing data', Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 382-400pp.
    • Liu, R, Mensah, F, Carlin, J et al. 2017, 'Socioeconomic Position Is Associated With Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Mid-Childhood: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children', American Heart Association, Journal, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 1-16.
    • Doidge, J, Higgins, D, Delfabbro, P et al. 2017, 'Economic predictors of child maltreatment in an Australian population-based birth cohort', Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 72, pp. 14-25pp.
    • Miller, P, Butler, E, Richardson, B et al. 2016, 'Relationships between problematic alcohol consumption and delinquent behaviour from adolescence to young adulthood', Drug and Alcohol Review, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 317-325.
    • Vassallo, S, Lahausse, J & Edwards, B 2016, 'Factors affecting stability and change in risky driving from late adolescence to the late twenties', Accident Analysis and Prevention, vol. 88, pp. 77-87pp.
    • Vassallo, S, Edwards, B & Forrest, W 2016, 'Childhood behavior problems and fighting in early adulthood: What factors are protective?', Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 45, pp. 85-93.
    • Jenkinson, R, Silbert, M, de Maio, J et al. 2016, 'Settlement experiences of recently arrived humanitarian migrants: Building a New Life in Australia-Wave 1', Family Matters, no. 97, pp. 82-82.
    • Forrest, W, Edwards, B & Vassallo, S 2014, 'Individual differences in the concordance of self-reports and official records', Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 305-315pp.
    • Vassallo, S, Edwards, B, Renda, J et al. 2014, 'Bullying in Early Adolescence and Antisocial Behavior and Depression Six Years Later: What Are the Protective Factors?', Journal of School Violence, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 100-124pp.
    • Renda, J, Vassallo, S & Edwards, B 2011, 'Bullying in early adolescence and its association with anti-social behaviour, criminality and violence 6 and 10 years later', Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 117-127pp.