Social connectedness and health

Project Details

Social connectedness has been associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in a range of studies over recent decades, and differences in access to social resources among communities have been associated with health inequalities. Following an earlier pilot study, the Modelling and Simulation group is involved in collecting quantitative data on social encounter networks in populations with a range of demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics.

Project summary

In collaboration with VicHealth, the Department of Health, and researchers from sociology, psychology and urban planning, we are exploring how social networks mediate between neighbourhood attributes and individual health outcomes.  Funding from the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network has provided us with a forum to deliver the methods and insights developed through this research to a wider research and policy audience.  Funding from Carlton Connect has enabled us to engage a wider set of collaborators from academia, government and community organisations to consider opportunities and challenges associated with ethics of collecting such data and its translation into policy outcomes. Current funding is enabling us to extend our understanding of these social networks to consider how they facilitate the spread of beliefs and behaviours about health.


Professor Jodie McVernon

Professor James McCaw

Dr Nic Geard

Associate Professor Deb Warr

Dr Rebecca Bentley

Dr Claire Mouat

Professor Pip Pattison (Melbourne School of Pscyhological Sciences, The University of Melbourne)

Professor Garry Robins (Melbourne School of Pscyhological Sciences, The University of Melbourne)

Dr David Rolls (Melbourne School of Pscyhological Sciences, The University of Melbourne)

Dr Alex Stivaala (Melbourne School of Pscyhological Sciences, The University of Melbourne)

Dr Martin Tomko (AURIN)


ARC Linkage Project, ARC DECRA, University of Melbourne, AURIN, Carlton Connect

Research Group

Modelling and Simulation

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

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