Growing Up in Australia
Newsletter No. 26, Summer 2010

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

New look website!

The study's website has had a significant redesign in the lead-up to the 2nd LSAC Research Conference. The new website provides comprehensive information on the study. It features updated information on the study's publications, a timeline that provides an overview of the study, and improved pages for study members and data users.

Release of 2008-2009 Annual Report

The Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children 2008-09 Annual Report was released on 3 December 2009. The Report provides an overview of the results from Wave 3, when the children were aged 4-5 years and 8-9 years. The report also features the following articles:

The report includes a summary of the number of registered data users and the number of visits to the Growing Up in Australia website.

Growing Up in Australia Annual Reports are available online. If you would like a paper copy please contact us with your postal address.

2009 LSAC Research Conference

The 2nd LSAC Research Conference was held on 3-4 December 2009 in Melbourne. The aim of the Conference was to provide a forum for the discussion of research based on data from the study and to highlight its potential uses in research and policy making.

The Conference was very well attended, with delegates from diverse backgrounds, including researchers, policy makers and practitioners. The program was positively received and featured keynote presentations from Professor Andrew Leigh (Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University) and Professor Ann Sanson (Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne). The presentations covered a wide range of topics such as children's use of new and old media, school readiness, the impact of family disadvantage and children's dietary habits.

Conference presentations and abstracts are available online in PDF format.

Wave 3 data release

The Wave 3 data are now available to approved researchers and policy makers. Application forms for access to the data and user documentation, including an online data dictionary, user guide, weighting paper and marked-up questionnaires, are available from the data users information page of the website.

Following the success of the LSAC Research Conference, more than 100 data users (excluding those within the Institute and the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) have access to the Wave 3 data set and we expect this number to increase significantly in 2010.

Wave 4

The first stage of Wave 4 fieldwork for Growing Up in Australia was completed in late 2009. Close to 400 families were interviewed between August and October 2009. However, most families will be interviewed for the fourth time during March to November 2010.

We have introduced some changes to the Wave 4 home visit:

For children aged 6-7 years

For children aged 10-11 years

With the parent and child's consent, we will take two new physical measurements:

Questionnaires are also being sent to teachers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is again conducting the fieldwork for Wave 4 and ABS interviewers are already telling us how much they are enjoying talking to all the families and being part of the study.

Wave 3.5

In June 2009, Growing Up in Australia contacted study families with a short mail out questionnaire asking about children's media and technology use, their health, how children travel to and from school, the younger cohort's transition to school experiences; and parental involvement in learning for the older cohort. Just over 60 per cent of families returned their completed questionnaire.

The questionnaire provided a good opportunity to catch up with the study families and to capture new information about children's lives.

Data from Wave 3.5 are expected to be available in April 2010.

Data user training

In 2009, a successful data user training session was conducted in Melbourne in December, in conjunction with the 2nd LSAC Research Conference.

We plan to conduct another training session in Canberra in early February 2010. Please contact us if you are interested.

The focus of the training is to assist users of the data, those considering becoming users and those who are interested in learning more about the data, to gain confidence in understanding and navigating the datasets. The training covers a range of topics designed to give a comprehensive overview of the conduct of the study, its datasets and supporting documentation. Additional training can be held during the year, if there is significant demand. Please contact us to be placed on a 'waiting' list.

Wave 5 and beyond

The development of Wave 5 content is underway and will continue throughout 2010.  At Wave 5 the children will be moving from late childhood into early adolescence. LSAC will continue to collect information about the children, their families and schools.  The information collected at this time will provide a rich and comprehensive snapshot of the children's lives at a new and significant stage in their development.  This information will greatly assist in identifying policy opportunities that will improve the support provided for adolescents and their families.

Recent Publications

For information on recent publications, please visit the publications page of the Growing Up in Australia website.

Join the mailing list

If you would like to be contacted when new information on the study becomes available, please join the Growing Up in Australia mailing list, growingup-refgroup. Find out more about the mailing list and sign up.

Contact us

If you would like further information about the Growing Up in Australia study, please explore our website at www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au.

For our contact details or to send a message see the Contact page.

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