Professor Benjamin Edwards

BA (Honours Psychology), PhD (Psychology)
Professor of Child and Youth Development and Longitudinal Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Developmental Psychology And Ageing 170102
  • Psychological Methodology, Design And Analysis 170110
  • Family And Household Studies 160301
  • Early Childhood Education (Excl. Maori) 130102
  • Social Policy 160512
  • Sociology Of Education 390203
  • Applied And Developmental Psychology 5201
  • Criminology Not Elsewhere Classified 440299

Research interests

Children and youth: understanding the role of families, education systems (ECEC, schools, TAFE and university),  neighbourhoods and communities

Advancing longitudinal studies of human development through novel methodologies and data linkage.

Understanding the impact of natural disasters on children and youth and factors that contribute to resilience. 

Evaluation of government programs for disadvantaged children: particularly area based initiatives;

Carers: caring for a family member with a disability; and

The intergenerational impacts of trauma (in refugees families or offspring of war veterans)


Professor Ben Edwards is a Senior Fellow at the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. He is Principal Investigator of GENERATION, a new decade long study following over 15,000 students as they transition to life beyond school.  He is Director of the ANU partnership with Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) subnational project that has collected detailed data on government policy responses to the pandemic.

I have a PhD in Psychology from Deakin University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology).  

Prior to working at the ANU I was Executive Manager, Longitudinal Studies at the Australian Institute of Family Studies where I led the design of Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and established and led the development of the first national longitudinal study of refugees - Building a New Life in Australia.

I am an expert in longitudinal studies of child and youth development, linkage of administrative data to surveys and longitudinal studies of disadvantaged groups such as refugees. I am a Scientific Advisor to Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Childrenthe Longitudinal Study of Australian Youth, Ten to Men, and a new longitudinal of children in the Philippines.  Internationally, Ben is an Executive member of the Society of Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS) and established the Refugees across the Lifecourse Group.

Nationally he is a recognised leader in social policy issues on children and youth.  His work has highlighted:

  • the challenges in the implementation of three year old preschool; 
  • the intergenerational impacts of traumatic events on children and youth and 
  • best practice in area based initiatives to address disadvantage.

He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of Social Issues.

Ben routinely advises Federal and State government departments and works with international organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  and the UNFPA. 

Researcher's projects

Natural disasters and child and youth development

Place Based Initiatives and child development

Refugee families and child and youth development

Developmental criminology

Experimental studies of data linkage consent


Available student projects

I am keen to mentor and support the next generation of quantitative social scientists using longitudinal surveys and linked administrative data.

Potential PhD projects:

  • Climate change, natural disasters and children and youth;
  • Early childhood education and care;
  • Evaluation of government programs focussed on disadvantaged children and youth;
  • Youth and educational equity;
  • Longitudinal survey methods.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  18 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers