Growing Up in Australia
Newsletter No. 16, Autumn 2007

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

Wave 2 data collection is now complete

Data collection for Wave 2 was completed earlier this year and we are delighted to announce that the response from families has been overwhelmingly positive. Ninety per cent of Wave 1 families were interviewed at Wave 2. Of the other families, five per cent were not located and five per cent were located but did not complete an interview for some reason (about half of these decided not to continue with the study).

Our thanks are extended to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (as the study's data collection agency), their dedicated and hardworking interviewers and the Growing Up in Australia families for their contribution to this pleasing result. We would still like to hear from any families who we were not able to contact - please phone freecall 1800 005 508.

It is anticipated that information about final response rates for other aspects of the study (such as the response to the parent self-complete forms and the teacher, carer and parent living elsewhere questionnaires) will be available in the coming months. In-depth analyses of Wave 2 response rates and selected findings from Wave 2 will be included in the 2006/07 Growing Up in Australia Annual Report, which is scheduled for publication later in 2007. The Wave 2 data file will be released at the same time.

Wave 3 development

The development process for Wave 3 began in early 2006, with design teams (comprising members of the Consortium Advisory Group, Government departmental representatives and other experts) identifying potential additions and changes in the research domains of health, education, child care, family functioning, child functioning and socio-demographics.

A number of new content areas were identified in this process and cognitive and focus group testing occurred in late 2006. Subject to one final round of testing in April (with a focus on child self-report measures), the following new content is proposed for Wave 3. Note that the new content applies to both cohorts (B and K) unless otherwise indicated.

Domain New Wave 3 content
Family functioning
  • Perceptions of parent living elsewhere toward co-parenting
  • Children's regular responsibilities (K)
  • Ethnic tolerance
  • Extended caring roles
  • Shared parenting
Child functioning
  • Bullying (K)
  • Self-esteem (K)
  • Friendship (K)
  • Anti-social behaviours (K)
  • Body satisfaction (K)
  • Out of school time activities (K)
  • School discipline (K)
  • Parental perceptions of quality of early childhood education
Child care
  • Outside school hours supervision (K)
  • Parental perceptions of child care affordability (B)
  • Teacher perspective on physical activity levels
  • Social support
  • Work hours and wages (allowing the calculation of wage rates)

With the B cohort aged 4-5 years in Wave 3, a direct assessment component will be introduced (as occurred for the K cohort when aged 4-5 years in Wave 1). The study is also exploring a potential data linkage to the National Literacy and Numeracy Benchmark testing for the K cohort, who will be aged 8-9 years in Wave 3.

The primary data collection method of a face-to-face interview with the child's main parent (Parent 1) will continue and alternative data collection methods are also being considered, including a computer assisted self-interview (CASI) questionnaire for Parent 1 and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) for the child's parent living elsewhere.

Between waves contact - Wave 2.5

With over 70 percent of families responding to Wave 1.5 in late 2005, between waves contact seems to be an important and successful way of keeping in touch with respondents

As reported in the December/January 2007 newsletter, Growing Up in Australia will again be contacting study families between waves with a short mail-out questionnaire in the second half of 2007 (referred to as Wave 2.5). The study is working with the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to develop content on return to work and child support. Another focus for the Wave 2.5 questionnaire will be children's use of media and technology.

Life at 3

Following from the successful screening on ABCTV of Life at 1 in October 2006, Film Australia has begun production of Life at 3. The series, which draws on the experience of Growing Up in Australia, will revisit the 11 children and their families and continue to examine the factors that impact on their lives. More information about the series will be included in future newsletters.

2005/06 Annual Report

Copies of the Growing Up in Australia 2005/06 Annual Report are still available. If you would like multiple copies to distribute to groups of interested people, please contact us or phone free-call 1800 352 275. The Annual Report is also available on the Growing Up in Australia website.

Upcoming Conferences

Research from the study will be presented at a number of conferences throughout 2007, including:

If you are interested in having a presentation to your organisation about Growing Up in Australia, please contact us.

Contact us

If you want further information on the Growing Up in Australia study, please visit our website at or contact us.