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Cohort Acronym
Add Health

Cohort type
General population-based cohort


Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 1994-95 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 20745  
Estimated Current Sample Size 10,000 to 19,999 
Age at Recruitment 7-12   
Gender Male and Female 

The original purpose of the Add Health study was to help understand the causes of adolescent health and health behaviour with special emphasis on the effects of multiple contexts of adolescent life.

The cohort was then followed through their transition to adulthood and research turned to understanding the determinants and consequences of developmental and health trajectories from adolescence into adulthood.

Add Health combines longitudinal survey data on respondents’ social, economic, psychological and physical well-being with contextual data on the family, neighbourhood, community, school, friendships, peer groups, and romantic relationships, providing unique opportunities to study how social environments and behaviours in adolescence are linked to health and achievement outcomes in young adulthood. The fourth wave of interviews expanded the collection of biological data in Add Health to understand the social, behavioural, and biological linkages in health trajectories as the Add Health cohort ages through adulthood, and the fifth wave of data collection continues this biological data expansion (2016-2018).

Last update – 03/02/2017

Country United Kingdom 
Contact details
Institution name University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Principal Investiator (PI) Professor Kathleen Mullan Harris 
Contact email Email: [email protected] Project Co-ordinator Email: [email protected] and [email protected] PI Email: [email protected] 
Contact phone number  
Address Add Health
Carolina Population Center
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 8120
206 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 
Funders (Core support) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Cancer Institute
National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS
National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Institute on Aging
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Science Foundation
Office of AIDS Research, NIH
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH
Office of the Director, NIH
Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DHHS
Office of Minority Health, Office of Public Health and Science, DHHS
Office of Population Affairs, DHHS
Office of Research on Women's Health, NIH
MacArthur Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: Behaviour, Cognitive function, Mental health, Neurological
Funtional rating: Individual psychological
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Reproductive
Biological samples: Blood, Other, Saliva, Urine
Genotyping: Gene screening
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: N/A
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Family circumstances, Housing and accommodation, Income and finances, Informal support, Marital status, Occupation and employment
Health service utilisation: Formal health and social care service utilisation including private care
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