fbpx Triple B: Bumps, babies and beyond - Wave III pilot follow-up of preschoolers | NDARC - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Triple B: Bumps, babies and beyond - Wave III pilot follow-up of preschoolers

image - Triple B 280 0
Date Commenced:
Project Supporters:

Australian Rotary Health Research Fund/Mental Health of Young Australian Research

Drug Type:
Project Members: 
image - 1314150062 Hutchinson Delyse 12
Visiting Senior Fellow
Ph 50148
image - Richard Mattick
Honorary Professor
Ph 02 9385 0333
image - Lucy Burns Square 0
Honorary Associate Professor
Ph 02 9385 0258
image - 1314149988 Gomez Maria 06
Ms Maria Gomez
Research Assistant
image - Judy Wilson Square
Dr Judy Wilson
Research Fellow
image - 1333430116 Sarah May Brann 280
Miss Sarah Brann
Administrative Assistant
image - 1314679244 Chiara Bucello 04
Mrs Chiara Stone
Senior Research Officer
image - 1314679432 Ingrid Honan 01
Research Assistant
Ph 02 93850382
Miss Clare McCormack
Research Assistant
image - 1333428552 Hannah Fiedler 280
Ms Hannah Fiedler
Research Assistant
image - 1354252184 Danya Braunstein Square
Ms Danya Braunstein
Research Assistant
image - Larissa Rossen 2015 Square
Dr Larissa Rossen
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Project Main Description: 

The Triple B study (Bumps, Babies and Beyond) is a large NHMRC-funded birth cohort study which examines the effects of substance use in pregnant women and their partners during the prenatal period on infant development and family functioning. The study presently follows families from pregnancy through to infant age 12 months.The objective of Wave III is to examine family functioning and child development when the children reach three years of age. The Triple B study presents a unique and important opportunity to follow the longer-term health and development of approximately 1600 families as the children enter the preschool years – a critical time for development.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Professor Stephen Allsop (National Drug and Alcohol Research Institute, Curtin University)

Professor Ann Sanson (University of Melbourne)

Professor Jake Najman (Queensland Alcohol and Drug Research and Education Centre)

Dr Susan Jacobs (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)

Dr Craig Olsson (Murdoch Children's Research Institute)

Dr Fiona Shand (Black Dog Institute, UNSW)


The overall objective of this project was to pilot a third wave of the Triple B birth cohort study to examine family functioning and child development in families of preschool age children.

Specifically, the aims of the project were to: 

  • Pilot the research methodology for a new assessment wave of the Triple B study when the children reach three years of age
  • Examine the outcomes for an existing cohort of families participating in the Triple B study over a longer timeframe, via interview, survey and developmental assessment
  • Pilot an attachment component of the study to learn more about factors which influence the development of healthy relationships
  • Test the feasibility of following up families affected by substance use in a longitudinal study
  • Establish a protocol for applying for additional Category One funding from NHMRC to follow up the larger pregnancy cohort
Design and Method: 

Mothers and their partners were interviewed and surveyed, and the children took part in a gold standard developmental assessment battery. Mothers and partners were also asked to participate in a well-established observational procedure measuring child attachment security. Data on child health and well-being were also collected from external sources, such as teachers and carers where relevant.


Seventy-two families participated in the pilot study.


Data has been presented at the Australiasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) conference and the NDARC Annual Symposium 2014.

A paper is in preparation for submission to a peer review journal. 


Extension of the Triple B study to preschool age improved knowledge of the longitudinal course of the effects of substance use exposure in utero and during early childhood. The results will inform the NHMRC guidelines for the use of alcohol and other drugs pre-conception, in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This will guide public health policy and education for substance use in Australia. 

Drug Type: 
Project Status: 
Year Completed: