Education and Policy

Educational resources

Understanding the Middle Years Podcast

In this podcast for the Student Wellbeing Hub, Professor George Patton of CATS discusses the importance of the the middle years for health and emotional development. Click here to listen.

Dunn, A. (2017) The New Puberty. Melbourne University Press. Melbourne, Australia.

'The New Puberty' explores the big challenges and complex questions for school-aged children growing up in today's world. Amanda Dunn uses evidence-based research and input from the experts to lend a helping hand to young people and their parents, during this complicated stage of life.

Fact Sheet: Transitioning from childhood to adolescence

The CATS study, in conjunction with the Response Ability initiative, have produced a fact sheet about supporting students in the transition between childhood and adolescence.

The Student Wellbeing Hub

The Student Wellbeing Hub is a comprehensive online resource compiled by the Department of Education with the help of academics and experts, for the use of parents, teachers and students across Australia.

Participants and Parents

The Truth About CATS

Want to know what CATS is all about? In the video above, our special reporter Katy Rummage visits the Murdoch Children's Research Institute at The Royal Children's Hospital to find out the truth about CATS.

Taking measurements at home

In the video above, we will show you how to do the DIY (do-it-yourself) measurements at home. We also have a written version of the instructions. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us on (03) 9345 6732 or email us at [email protected].

Support Services

We know that young people can sometimes experience difficulty in their lives. We have included some helpful support services if you would like some additional support or information.

Parenting in the age of coronavirus


This podcast series by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, discusses the challenges parents are facing, and explores how parents can best support themselves and their children. Professor George Patton and Dr Lisa Mundy provide tips on positive change, creating new routines and dealing with disruption in school. Listen on:
Spotify - Apple Podcasts - MCRI Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you take a saliva sample? remove

In Grades 3, 5 and 6 we collected a small sample of saliva from CATS participants. This allowed us to see if the hormonal changes of puberty had begun. These hormones involved in puberty are present in all children of late primary-school age and upwards. We collected another sample in Year 11 once most CATS participants had reached later stages of puberty.

If you would like to know more about this process please contact the CATS team.

What is iCATS and how is it different from CATS? remove

iCATS is an extension of CATS. The iCATS team are investigating the relationships between health and puberty by looking at brain development. iCATS collects information and takes images of the brain from 120 students who take part.

If you’d like any further information you can get in touch with the iCATS team:

SMS - 0405 581 085 | Phone - (03) 8344 1845 or 0405 581 085 | Email - [email protected]

I’m no longer living in the family home. How can I still be involved in the study? remove

We would love for you to stay involved in CATS. Our participants have all kinds of living arrangements. We are happy to work with you to find the best way for you to take part. For example, we can email you an online link, send your questionnaire to another address, or send it through your school, workplace or training provider.

Please email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 9345 6732.

I’m having trouble with my questionnaire. Where can I get help? remove

If you're stuck on the password page, the password to all questionnaires is your date of birth written as dd-mm-yyyy.

If this doesn't answer your question, feel free to call us on (03) 9345 6732, SMS on 0410 636 104 or email us at [email protected].

I’m a student. Can I do my research project with CATS? remove

Yes! CATS takes on students from several different courses, although places are limited. If you're interested in a studentship, please get in touch with Carolina Murphy [email protected].

I want to contact the CATS team. When are they available? remove

You can reach the team Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Call, text or email us!

If we don’t pick up, leave a message and we’ll get right back to you.

I am no longer a student. Can I still participate in the study? remove

Yes! CATS is interested in the development of all young people, regardless of what career or pathway you choose.

I am a researcher. Can we collaborate? remove

If you are a researcher and interested to collaborate with the CATS team please get in touch with Carolina Murphy.

How do I update my contact details? remove

If you have recently moved or have changed your contact details, please let us know by either calling (03) 9345 6732, sending an email to [email protected], or you can click here to update your details online.

Does CATS have ethics approval? remove

Yes, CATS has ethics approval from the Royal Children’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any concerns and/or complaints about the project, the way it is being conducted or your rights as a research participant, and would like to speak to someone independent of the project, please contact: Director, Research Ethics & Governance, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne on (03) 9345 5044.

Are my answers private? remove

Yes. All of the data we collect from you are saved with an ID number, not your name. Only our research team have access to it, and when we use it we only see your ID number so can't tell who it came from. We present all of our findings in a way that no individual person or school can be identified.