About the study

Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health is a national research initiative that wants to understand:

  • why males tend to have poorer health outcomes than females
  • why some males have poorer health than other males.

This is the first study of its kind in Australia. The findings from it will be used to improve programs and policies for all Australian males.

The name Ten to Men refers to the age range of the boys and men in the study – from 10 years old up to adult men. It also points to the fact that the study will be following participants over time, as the 10-year-old cohort grow into men.

Infographic silhouette of a young boy, a teenager and an adult

Background

Australian males have poorer health than Australian females, shorter life expectancies and experience more health problems. They also have higher rates of alcohol use and smoking and are less likely to visit health professionals. An even greater health gap exists for males in regional and remote communities, as well as for males in Indigenous communities.

In 2010, the Australian Government released the National Male Health Policy to address the special health needs of Australian males. As part of that policy, Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health was started. The study’s aim is to generate findings to inform government policy and program development in male health.

Ten to Men is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. In 2013–14 (Wave 1 of the study) Ten to Men collected health and lifestyle information from over 15,000 men and boys across the country via surveys and interviews. Study participants were randomly chosen to ensure a broad range of backgrounds and life experiences, and representing all Australian states and territories.

Wave 2 data were collected in 2015–16. The first two waves of the study were conducted by the University of Melbourne.

Wave 3 will be conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Preparation for Wave 3 is underway, and fieldwork will commence in early 2020.

Approach

Ten to Men is a longitudinal study, meaning that we return to participants every few years for an update (a ‘wave’) so we can understand how changing life stages and circumstances affect boys’ and men’s health and wellbeing over time.

Some aspects of health and wellbeing we study include:

  • physical and emotional health
  • health service use
  • health behaviours, risk and protective factors
  • personal and family situation
  • life stages and life events
  • social and environmental factors.

We know all these factors – and more – play a part in men’s health. To better understand the roles they play, the survey includes questions on a whole range of social and environmental factors, including:

  • age
  • ethnic background
  • social roles (e.g. fatherhood, work)
  • education and income
  • physical and social environments
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • smoking, alcohol and drug use
  • sexual behaviour
  • life satisfaction
  • relationships
  • health service use.

Questions to participants often differ depending on the participant’s age group.

Related information

Survey participants - men, boys and their families - please see Information for participants.