Alcohol use and mental health problems among young people

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Alcohol use and mental health problems are key contributors to burden of disease in young people. Both alcohol use and mental health problems are most likely to emerge during this period of life and have the capacity to cause additive harm when they co-occur, yet there has been limited prospective research carefully documenting and disentangling the trajectories and relationships between emerging patterns of alcohol use and mental health problems. This PhD will use an internationally renowned cohort of almost 2,000 young people and their parents, which has had excellent retention, followed from early adolescence (starting in 2010) into their early 20s (in 2020). The candidate will examine the following using data from adolescence and young adulthood:
1. Association between social anxiety and alcohol use;
2. Association between depression and alcohol use;
3. Association between aggression and alcohol use; and
4. Interplay between depression, anxiety, and aggression in predicting alcohol use.

Candidates must demonstrate their capability and enthusiasm for carrying out high quality research, using a combination of qualifications, experience, and outputs. The ideal candidate will have excellent time-management and organisational skills, with the initiative to coordinate communications between supervisors and project collaborators. Excellence in literacy, along with a strong understanding of statistical methods would be highly valued. The candidate must express a commitment to the use of resources provided to help develop their professional careers, and to be actively engaged with knowledge-exchange activities.

Supervisory team
Michael
Farrell

Medicine
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Amy
Peacock

Medicine
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Richard
Mattick

Medicine
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
michael.farrell@unsw.edu.au