Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP) is a program of research that investigates men’s mental health and wellbeing and how it affects and is affected by family life. This includes how men prepare for and enter fatherhood; as well as how men fare when they elect to not have children or when they are unable to become fathers. MAPP includes 5 annual waves of data collection (2015-2021), and 3 COVID specific surveys (2020-2021). 


Study name  The Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP) Study 
Study abbreviation  MAPP
Current principal investigator/s  Associate Professor Jacqui Macdonald
Current project manager  Lauren Francis
Cohort representative (study contact)  Associate Professor Jacqui Macdonald
Postal address  School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway Burwood VIC 3125
Phone  +613 9244 3820 
Primary Institution  Deakin University
Collaborating Institution/s  Parent-Infant Research Institute, Austin Health; Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne; Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle
Major funding sources  Central Research Grant provided by Deakin University
Study website 
Key reference Macdonald, J. A., Francis, L. M., Skouteris, H., Youssef, G. J., Graeme, L. G., Williams, J., Fletcher, R. J., Knight, T., Milgrom, J., Di  Manno, L., Olsson, C. A. & Greenwood, C. J. (2021). Cohort profile: the Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP) Study: a longitudinal  Australian cohort study of men’s mental health and well-being at the normative age for first-time fatherhood. BMJ open, 11(7), e047909. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047909 
Study focus The Men and Parenting Pathways (MAPP) Study (N = 608) is a prospective investigation of men’s mental health and well-being across the normative age for transitioning to fatherhood. The study captures key measures of mental health, personality, coping, and psychosocial functioning including indicators of family, romantic and peer relationships, workplace stress, roles and identity, and behaviours including alcohol and other substance use. Measures are repeated across the five waves to track change over time and across major life transitions, particularly fatherhood. In 2020 a subsample (n = 286) was tracked across three supplementary surveys to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on men’s lives.  
Sampling frame The target population was Australian resident, English-speaking men, with or without children, aged 28–32 years at the time of recruitment. This age range represents the 5 years preceding the median age in Australia in 2015 for becoming a first-time father (33 years).
Year commenced 2015 – Ongoing (the main waves of data collection (Waves 1-5) and COVID-19 specific surveys (1-3) are complete, however participants have provided consent to further research and as such MAPP is still ongoing). 
Commencement sample 664 eligible participants completed Wave 1, of whom 608 consented to follow-up contact and were therefore eligible for inclusion in the ongoing sample (i.e., Waves 2-5). 
Intergenerational? No 
Imaging No
Linkage No
Biosamples? No
Ethics approvals or requirements? Ethics approval has been provided by the Faulty of Health HEAG at Deakin University (HEAG-H 192_2014, Project Title: Male psychological wellbeing during the peak age for first childbirth – The Men & Parenting Pathways (MAPP) Study). 



Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  2015 – 2017 Mean = 30.4, Range = 28-32 years old 664
2  2016 – 2018 Mean = 31.0, Range = 29-33 years old 608
3  2017 – 2019  Mean = 32.0, Range = 30-34 years old 608
4  2018 – 2020 Mean = 33.2, Range = 31-35 years old 608
5  2019 – 2021 Mean = 34.1, Range = 32-36 years old 608