About Growing Up in Australia
What is Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children?
Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children is conducted in partnership between the Department of Social Services, the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The study aims to examine the impact of Australia's unique social and cultural environment on children born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The study has a broad, multi-disciplinary base, and examines policy-relevant questions about children's and adolescents' development and wellbeing. It addresses a range of research questions about parenting, family relationships, childhood education, non-parental child care and health. By tracking children over time, the study will be able to determine the individual, family, and broader social and environmental factors that are associated with consistency and change in developmental trajectories. The study will further understanding of child and adolescent development, inform social policy debate, and will be used to identify opportunities for early intervention and prevention strategies in policy areas concerning children and families.
Growing Up in Australia involves a representative sample of children from urban and rural areas of all states and territories of Australia. Data are collected from two cohorts every two years. The first cohort of 5000 children was aged 0-1 years in 2003-2004, and the second cohort of 5000 children was aged 4-5 years in 2003-2004. Study informants include the child (when of an appropriate age) and parents (both resident and non-resident), carers and teachers.
In addition, the study will link to administrative databases, thereby adding valuable information to supplement the data collected during fieldwork. Parental consent has been obtained, as required.
- the Medicare Australia database will be accessed to obtain information about the child's medical history;
- the National Childcare Accreditation Council data will provide information on the child care centres attended by children;
- the ABS Census of Population and Housing data will provide socio-demographic profiles of the neighbourhoods and communities in which children live; and
- the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy scores will provide detailed assessments of children's literacy and numeracy progress.
The study is ongoing and will continue to follow these children into adulthood to enable investigation of the trajectories of development and long term impacts of childhood experiences and conditions.
For a more detailed account of the rationale, research questions and design of the study see Introducing the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and Key research questions.