Growing Up in Australia
Newsletter No. 1, February 2003

Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, ISSN 1448-9147 (Online)

Welcome!

This is the first in a series of newsletters designed to update you on progress with Growing Up in Australia (the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children). This study, previously known as LSAC, has added the name Growing Up in Australia after testing in a series of focus groups, which also served to select the above logo from a number of proposed designs.

New timelines

The first main wave of data collection is now scheduled for the first half of 2004. This allows us to use all of 2003 to test and refine the survey instruments and methodology, with pre-testing in March and then a comprehensive Dress Rehearsal scheduled to commence in August.

Survey instruments

All the questionnaires intended for the resident and non-resident parents and for formal and informal child carers were first tested in September 2002 and are currently being refined for further testing in March. Testing of the procedures for direct physical measures for the children (height, weight etc) and a cognitive assessment of school readiness ('Who am I?') was also undertaken late last year, and we intend to include a shortened version of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test during future testing.

Draft instruments will shortly be available on the Growing Up in Australia Web pages. You are welcome to send us comments on these instruments, but we may not be able to respond to all queries.

Further details on the survey instruments will also be given at a symposium on Growing Up in Australia being presented at the 8th AIFS Research Conference on 12-14 February at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Sample design

Through the facilitation of the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS), the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) has agreed that the study sample can be drawn from the Medicare enrolment database. The Medicare database is the best administrative source of contact information for the Australian population.

HIC will select the sample, to specifications provided by the Growing Up in Australia team, and send an 'invitation to participate' letter to the selected families. Selected families may opt-out of the study by reply-paid mail-back or by phoning an 1800 number.

The sample will be stratified by state and by capital city statistical division/ rest of state, and a random sample of postcodes selected from each stratum. Further details of the sample design will be presented at the AIFS conference and as the second Discussion paper to be released in mid 2003.

Fieldwork agency

A tender process was conducted during the latter part of 2002 to recruit an agency for the study's fieldwork. A preferred tenderer was selected in January and contract negotiations are currently underway with this agency. As well as conducting the dress rehearsal and main study fieldwork, the agency will also be involved with the refinement of the survey instruments and methodology.

Staffing

Two staff members have joined the Growing Up in Australia Project Operations Team (POT) in the past 4 months. They are:

Both Emma and Jen have considerable experience with social surveys and data and are warmly welcomed into the POT! The other POT members are:

Contact us

If you want further information on the Growing Up in Australia study, please visit our Web site at www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/ or contact us.

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