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eNewsletter No 28 - Spring 2010

News fromGrowing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, keeping you up-to-date with "what's new".



Annual Report 2008-2009

Growing Up in Australia alert

Welcome to the new look Growing Up in Australia alert, our electronic newsletter, continuing to keep you informed with what's new (including publications).

The alert is now available on our website, and will include an archive of past issues. If you have any problems in viewing the newsletter, let us know.

Wave 4

A number of interviewers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) attended a debriefing session in August to report on the fieldwork progress and provide feedback on Wave 4 of Growing Up In Australia, The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).

Interviewers who worked on the study in a previous wave are enjoying catching up with the families again in Wave 4, and new interviewers are reporting how much they enjoy meeting the families.

The study children have been enthusiastic about using a laptop computer and headphones to answer some of the questions and were also excited to have their blood pressure taken! This interviewer feedback is most helpful for the remainder of Wave 4 and the development of Wave 5.

Following the first phase of data collection in August 2009, the second phase of Wave 4 data collection commenced in late March and will continue until late November 2010.

Wave 5 development

The Consortium Advisory Group, the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the ABS met in July to continue discussion regarding interview content for Wave 5.

One of the aims of this meeting was to ensure developmentally appropriate content is captured from the older group of study children (K cohort) during the critical period of both transition to adolescence and as they become increasingly more relied on to report directly about their lives.

New content and interviewing processes will be tested later this year for further refinement before the first phase of interviews in mid 2011.

Respondent focus groups

In September Growing Up in Australia conducted focus groups in Melbourne and Sydney with some study families as well as families and teachers who are not involved in the study.

The focus groups sought feedback from participants on:

  • the appropriateness of untested content;
  • possible new data collection methods; and
  • engagement strategies.

Families and teachers provided valuable information on a variety of issues including:

  • how best to engage with the study child (from the perspective of the child, parent and teacher);
  • web-based data collection and engagement strategies;
  • time demands on families and adolescents;
  • the study results most interesting to them; and
  • the influence of the media on children.

Participants in the focus groups provided suggestions about new data collection methods and feedback on activities such as time use diaries, physical measures such as accelerometers and direct assessments.

LSAC Annual Statistical Report

LSAC's first Annual Statistical Report will provide an overview of data from Waves 1 to 3 of the study.

The chapters in the report will describe aspects of Australian children's lives and development.

Topics include children's families, education, neighbourhood, socio-emotional development, cognitive development and learning, and early health experiences.

The 11th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference

The 11th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference was held on 7-9 July in Melbourne.

The program included an LSAC symposium and featured many other presentations that used LSAC data.

Some of the presentations using LSAC data included:

  • How do dual-employed couple parents manage without childcare? Can it be explained by father's involvement in childcare?
  • Early child outcomes and parental resources in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.
  • Early childhood health and school readiness.
  • Some findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - the LSAC Annual Statistical Report.
  • LSAC sample management and data collection.
  • Parents' education and children's outcomes: is the gradient getting steeper?
  • The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: Key research questions and policy applications.
  • Involved fatherhood: does it help a mother's work-family stress?
  • Trajectories of family disadvantage in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

Data User Workshop

A well-attended Data User Workshop was held on Tuesday 6 July 2010, the day prior to the 11th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference.

The focus of the training was 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 covered 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 the waiting list.


Most of the parents of the study children have given us permission to access their child's National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results.

We are in the process of obtaining these from the relevant state/territory government agencies. These data, along with some statistical information about the school the child attends, will be available with Wave 4 data in late 2011.

Wave 3.5 data

A reminder that Wave 3.5 data and accompanying user manual was released at the end of April 2010 and is now available to approved data users.

For further information on how to apply for the data set

Life at 5

Growing Up in Australia has been working with Heiress Films this year to produce the third series of the Life at documentary, Life at 5, which follows 11 children and their families by observing their ordinary routines and milestones, looking at factors impacting on their lives such as their parents' relationship, finances, work, health and education.

These documentaries are based on Growing Up in Australia, with data from the study used as part of the evidence base. The Life at families do the same activities and answer the same questions as the families in the study.

The two episodes for Life at 5 will be screened on ABC1 in early 2011.

Life at 5

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.

Contact us

If you would like further information about the LSAC study, please explore our website.

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

  Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), Australian Institute of Family Studies
Level 20 South Tower 485 La Trobe Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia | Phone: +61 3 9214 7888 | Fax: +61 3 9214 7839
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