2000 Stories is comprised of the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) and the nested intergenerational study, Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS).

The VAHCS was established in 1992, with a group of around 2000 Year 9 students (14 – 15 years of age) recruited across Victoria, Australia. The ten VAHCS surveys have created one of the most comprehensive pictures of adolescent development to date. Aspects of teenage health and behaviour investigated include mental health, personality and behaviour, school, family, and drug and alcohol use. This information has been used to improve the health of future generations by influencing policy and informing prevention programs.


Study name 2000 Stories: Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study
Study abbreviation VAHCS 
Current principal investigator/s Professor Craig Olsson
Current project manager Carolina Murphy
Cohort representative (study contact) Carolina Murphy
Postal address Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia 
Phone 1800 706 101
Primary Institution Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s The Royal Children’s Hospital 
Major funding sources National Health and Medical Research Council – NHMRC
Australian Rotary Health Mental Health of Young Australians Research Grant
Australian Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute – MCRI
Study website
Are data available outside study team? Yes. Anyone interested in collaborating on manuscripts using this data should contact the Principal Investigator or Project Manager.
Study focus The Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort (VAHCS) is an ongoing study of continuities, causes and sequelae of adolescent mental health problems and behavioural health risks.
Sampling frame

VAHCS is an eleven-wave cohort study which commenced in August 1992. At baseline, a representative sample of 2032 mid-secondary school adolescents (aged 14–15 years) across Victoria (Australia) were selected, using a two-stage cluster sampling procedure.

At stage one, 45 schools were chosen at random from a stratified frame of government, Catholic, and independent schools, with a probability proportional to the number of students in each educational sector (aged 14–15 years) in the schools in each stratum.

At stage two, a random number table was used to randomly choose one intact class within the year level from each participating school. 6 months later, a second class was randomly chosen from the same schools. One class entered the study in the latter part of the ninth school year (wave 1) and the second class 6 months later (wave two). School retention rates to year nine in Victoria in the year of initial sampling were 98%. One school did not continue beyond wave one, with a loss of 13 participants; thus, 44 schools remained in the study.

Participants were subsequently reviewed at four 6-month intervals during the teenage years (waves three to six), with four follow-up waves in young adulthood at 20–21 years (wave seven), 24–25 years (wave eight), 28–29 years (wave nine), and 34-35 years (wave ten).

Year commenced 1992
Commencement sample From a sample of 2032 students, 1943 (95.6%) participated at least once during the first six (adolescent) waves and were eligible for adult follow-up. Of these participants, 1761 (90.6%) took part at least once in the young adult phase. 
Annual attrition rate 0.6% p/a
Intergenerational? A nested intergenerational study is also ongoing: See VIHCS (The Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study)
Imaging No
Linkage National Death Index (NDI) in waves 7-10 (ages 20.7-35) 
Biosamples? Yes
Ethics approvals or requirements? All participants’ parents or guardians provided written informed consent. Before data collection, we provided the participants with details of the content of the assessment and we obtained verbal consent before completion. The data collection protocols were approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Royal Children’s Hospital (Victoria, Australia).


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  1992 14.9 (14.6-15.2) 898
2  1992 15.5 (15.2-15.7) 1727
3  1993 15.9 (15.6-16.1) 1697
4  1994 16.4 (16.1-16.6) 1628
5  1994 16.8 (16.5-17.1) 1575
6  1995 17.4 (17.1-17.6) 1530
7  1998  20.7 (20.4-20.9) 1601
8  2001-2003 24.1 (23.7-24.4) 1520
9  2006-2008 29.1 (28.7-29.4) 1501
10  2012-2014 35.1 (34.6-35.4)


11  2019-2021 42.6