Growing Up in Australia
Newsletter No. 13, June 2006
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, ISSN 1448-9147 (Online)
Wave 2 data collection
About 150 interviewers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) attended training in March and April in preparation for Wave 2 of Growing Up In Australia. The main phase of Wave 2 data collection commenced in late April and will continue until November 2006.
Early indications from the first workload period are that response rates are good. ABS interviewers are reporting that most families are finding the second wave of interviews a positive experience. The process also seems to be enjoyable, and in some cases even educational, for the interviewers themselves:
"After having worked half of my first workload I would just like to say how thankful I am for having the opportunity to work on LSAC. This would have to be the most enjoyable interviewing yet. I just love all the cups of tea and happy respondents. Please pick me for all the jobs like this!"
"When interviewing at a B-Cohort household and talking about the diet, a little study boy insisted to sit on my lap to show me the "Food pyramid". He pointed out all the food categories I should eat and also those, I must not eat, or very little of it."
Wave 3 development
Development of Wave 3 content is now well underway and development of new subject matter will continue throughout this year and into 2007. Design teams have been assisting in the development process in the research domains of health, education, child care, family functioning, child functioning and socio-demographics. Each team comprises members of the Consortium Advisory Group, Government departmental representatives and other experts.
A number of changes and additions to the content and process for Wave 3 are currently being considered. Wave 3 will include the introduction of a direct assessment component for the infant cohort and an extension of the child self-report for the child cohort. Potential improvements to the data collection methods are being considered. Options being explored include collecting information from the child's parent living elsewhere using a computer assisted telephone interview (rather than the self-complete form currently used) and having the child's main carer complete modules (which are currently 'paper-based') directly into the computer.
In conjunction with the ABS, a testing strategy for new Wave 3 content will be developed in July 2006. Fieldwork for Wave 3 is due to commence in 2008.
Between waves data release
Wave 1.5 data is scheduled for release in August 2006 in conjunction with the Growing Up in Australia 2005 Annual Report. The report will feature highlights from the mid wave collection and further information on both methodology and the nested study.
Questionnaires included questions about children's behaviour, development and general health issues such as asthma, injuries and sleeping patterns. The areas of education, childcare, stressful life events and parent's mental health were also covered and parents were asked what they liked about their child.
The infant cohort mail out included a nested study by Dr Gillian Whitehouse from the University of Queensland, with additional questions regarding service utilisation, parental employment history, maternity and other leave and employment after birth. Copies of the questionnaires can be accessed on the Growing Up in Australia website.
Data from Wave 1.5 will be available to researchers approved by the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA). As for all Growing Up in Australia data, approved researchers are required to abide by strict security and confidentiality protocols. A user manual will accompany datasets supplied to users and the Institute provides user support services. User training sessions, to expand upon the information provided in the user manual, can be provided by the Institute upon request. Researchers wanting to access the data will need to read and complete a dataset application and sign a deed of license. These forms will be available via the study website.