The Dunedin Study - DMHDRU

Family Health History Study

The Family Health History Study began in 2003 and finished in January 2006. Just under 1900 interviews were completed and over 90% of Dunedin Study members’ parents (and some aunts and uncles) were interviewed. The purpose of this study was to find out about the health of the family of the Dunedin Study members. The  Leader of this Study was Professor Terrie Moffitt .

What participation in the Study involved

A research interviewer visited the participants in their home. The interview lasted for about two hours and covered a variety of topics about the participants and their family members. Interview topics included:

1.  Questions about life in general, including:

  • Name, date of birth, marital status and living arrangements, e.g. whether the participant rented or owned their home, and how many people lived with them
  • Education level and jobs held
  • Retirement or plans for retirement
  • Household finances, and superannuation plans
  • Religious or spiritual beliefs

2.  Questions about physical health, including:

  • A range of possible health problems that may have been experienced, such as heart attacks, angina, strokes, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancers, dental problems and headaches
  • Height, weight, exercise participation and smoking
  • Alcohol consumption over the lifecourse and use of illegal drugs
  • Women’s menopause, fertility treatment and hormone replacement therapy

3.  Questions about the physical health of family members, including the participant’s parents, children, and spouse/partner.

4.  Questions about emotional health during the participant’s life, and any emotional difficulties that may have been experienced, such as depression.

5.  Questions about the participant’s family members’ emotional health.

6.  Questions about the participant’s views on life and the people important to them, including:

  • Attitudes to life generally
  • Family members and friends who provide support
  • Relationship with partner or spouse
  • Experience of being a grandparent, or whether the participant is looking forward to becoming a grandparent