The Children’s Attention Project (CAP), commenced in 2011, is a prospective longitudinal study of almost 500 children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) recruited from Grade 1 (mean age: 7) classes across socio-economically diverse primary schools in Melbourne, Australia.  The study aims to map the course of ADHD symptoms from childhood into adolescence and to identify risk and protective factors associated with differential outcomes.  The study’s examination of a broad range of risk and protective factors and ADHD-related outcomes has the potential to inform novel strategies for intervention and prevention. To date, the cohort has been followed across 4 waves from age 7 to 13 and is ongoing.

The Neuroimaging of the Children’s Attention Project (NICAP) sub-study is a comprehensive longitudinal multimodal neuroimaging study of approximately 200 children with and without ADHD from CAP.  NICAP’s primary aims are to determine how brain structure and function change with age in children with and without ADHD, and whether different trajectories of brain development are associated with variations in outcomes including persistence of ADHD, and academic, cognitive, social and mental health outcomes.  Establishing which brain regions are associated with differential clinical outcomes may allow us to improve predictions about the course of ADHD. NICAP commenced its 3 year follow-up in 2018 and will continue into 2019.


Study name Children’s Attention Project (CAP) including Neuroimaging of CAP Substudy (NICAP)
Study abbreviation CAP / NICAP
Current principal investigator/s Dr Emma Sciberras (CAP) & Dr Tim Silk (NICAP) 
Current project manager Ms Alisha Gulenc
Cohort representative (study contact) Ms Alisha Gulenc
Postal address Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville VIC 3052
Phone +613 8341 6363
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s Deakin University and La Trobe University
Major funding sources NHMRC (100852; 1065895)
Study website
Key reference Sciberras E, Efron D, Schilpzand L, Anderson V, Jongeling B, Hazell P, Ukoumunne O, Nicholson J. The Children’s Attention Project: A community-based longitudinal study of children with ADHD and non-ADHD controls. BMC Psychiatry 2013; 13:18
Silk TJ, Genc S., Anderson V, Efron D, Hazell P, Nicholson JM, Kean M, Malpas CB, Sciberras E, Developmental brain trajectories in children with ADHD and controls: a longitudinal neuroimaging study. BMC psychiatry 2016; 16(1).
Are data available outside study team? Only on request
Study focus Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; A range of outcomes: mental health, academic, family and child well-being, quality of life
Sampling frame Grade 1 children with and without ADHD
Year commenced 2011
Commencement sample 497 
Intergenerational? No 
Imaging Yes 
Linkage NAPLAN, Medicare/PBS, School Entry Health Questionnaire, Australian Early Development Index 
Biosamples? Saliva (tube)
Ethics approvals or requirements? Informed written consent – Approved by the RCH HREC (31056; 34071) and Department of Education and Training (2011_001095)


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  2011-2012 7.3 years (range 6.4-8.7 years) 497
2  2013-2014 8.9 years (range 7.7-10.2 years) 493
3  2014-2016 10.5 years (range 9.3-12.7 years) 481