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PROF George Patton


  • Global epidemiology of adolescent health
  • Psychiatric epidemiologist with expertise in population based longitudinal studies of adolescent health and community based intervention trials



  • George Patton is the Professor of Adolescent Health Research with the University of Melbourne. He is a Senior Principal Research Fellow with NH&MRC. His group has undertaken studies ranging from the sociological to biological. They include the Gatehouse Project, a trial of promoting social inclusion in Victorian schools, the development of large scale surveys to document patterns of child and youth development and leading long-term cohort studies of adolescent health and development. He has advised WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank and the UN on adolescent health and development and has chaired AIHWs advisory groups on 'A picture of Australia's children' and 'Young Australians, their health and well-being'. He has over 300 publications that include over 200 peer reviewed papers.

    Research focus
    George Patton's research is focussed on the interface of epidemiology with the biological sciences on the one hand social sciences on the other. They include the following:
    1. Long-term longitudinal studies such as 'The Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study' a major international study addressing many aspects of adolescent health and its consequences later in life. This study has ranged from risk factors for chronic disease in later life (tobacco use, alcohol and illicit drug use, obesity), mental health and sexual and reproductive health. Other long term studies include the International Youth Development Study, a major international cohort with a focus on social determinants of health during the adolescent years and the National Longitudinal Study of Male Health.
    2. Study of the effects of adolescent health and lifestyle on the health and well-being of offspring. This is an internationally unique study of over 1000 babies born to parents who participated in a cohort study from the teens.
    3. The CATS study of the effect of puberty on patterns of health, emotional well-being and health risk. This large community based study is commenci   


Member of

  • Department of Health, UK.. This ongoing consultancy is focussed on the UK's intent to establish Centres of Excellence in Adolescent Health 2005 -
  • WHO Geneva. Member of Technical Steering Committee for Dept of Child and Adolescent Health 2005 -
  • AHMAC. Member Consultative Committee to the National Committee for the Review of Alcohol Advertising 2004 -
  • Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.. Strategic research committee (2004/5) 2004 -
  • Beyond Blue. Consultant 2004 -
  • National Committee for the Review of Alcohol Advertising. Member 2004 -
  • National Drug Foundation. National Drug and Alcohol Prevention Awards 2004 -
  • Queensland University of Technology,. Population Health Workforce and Research Capacity 2004 -
  • Victorian Premier's Drug Prevention Council. Member Intelligence Gathering Advisory 2004 -
  • Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.. Interim steering group member 2003 -
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Chair of the Advisory Committee on Child and Youth Health Indicators 2002 -
  • Human Services Victoria. Health Minister's Youth Suicide Advisory Committee (1996) 1994 -
  • Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Prevention of eating disorders in young women 1994 -
  • Expert Committee to the Parliamentary Secretary for Health. One of five experts call to advise the Commonwealth on Cannabis Policy 2006
  • National Campaign on Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use. One of two external experts called to advise on the development of a national media campaign 2006
  • Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee - Victoria. Inquiry into Strategies to Reduce Harmful Alcohol Consumption 2005
  • Telstra Foundation. Strategic Research Directions Planning 2005
  • Flashpoints and Signposts. Pathways to success and well-being for Australia's young people. Research reference panel. 2004 - 2005
  • Dept of Health and Aged Care. Special adviser to mental health branch on strategies for the prevention of depression in adolescence. 1995 - 2005
  • National Dept of Health and Ageing. Member of Advisory Committee for the National Co-morbidity Communication Initiative 2004
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Research directions in child health research 2004
  • National Expert Advisory Council on Illicit Drugs (NEACID). Member 2000 - 2004
  • House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Community Affairs. Round Table for the Inquiry into Substance Abuse in Australian Communities 2002
  • WHO Geneva. Member of the advisory group around work with marginalised youth 2002
  • Gov't of Singapore, Health Promotion Board. Development of a National Adolescent Health Survey 2001 - 2002
  • World Health Organisation (WHO), Department of Child and Adolescent Health. Member of the technical advisory group on international survey work in adolescence 2001 - 2002
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Advisory. Committee Member 1999 - 2002
  • National Health and Medical Research Council. Risk factors for Adolescent Depression'. 1995 - 2002
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Cottrell Conference organising committee (2001) 2001
  • Victorian Department of Education. Turning the Tide Reference Group 1999 - 2000
  • Dept of Health and Aged Care. Review panel on the drafting of the second national mental health strategy 1997 - 1998
  • AHMAC. Member Health of Young Australians, AHMAC working group 1997
  • National Dept of Health and Family Services. Member of advisory panel for the National Mental Health Survey. Child and Adolescent Section 1994 - 1996
  • National Dept of Health and Family Services. Member of advisory panel for the development of casemix funding for CAMHS 1995
  • National Dept of Health and Family Services. Member of the reviewing panel for the National Goals and Targets for Mental Health 1994 - 1995
  • New South Wales Summit on Alcohol Abuse. Member 2003 - 0200


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • FRANZCP, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 1993
  • MD, University of Melbourne 1990
  • MRCPsych, Royal College of Psychiatrists 1983
  • MBBS, University of Melbourne 1978

Awards and honors

  • Visiting Professor in Adolescent Health Research, Society for Adolescent Medicine, USA and International, 2007
  • Excellence in Health Promotion Reseach, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2001
  • Innovation in Public Health Research 2000,, Department of Human Services, Division of Public Health, 2000
  • Health Services Achievement Awards 1997, The Mental Health Services Conference of Australian and New Zealand, 1997
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 1993
  • Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1984



Available for supervision

  • Y