Growing Up in Australia
Newsletter No. 20, June 2008

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

Release of 2006-2007 Annual Report

The Annual Report 2006-2007 for Growing Up in Australia, the longitudinal study of Australian children was released on 19 June.  This Annual Report includes an overview of the Wave 2 data collection process with highlights from the Wave 2 data, when the children were aged 2-3 years and 6-7 years.  The report also includes feature articles on: breastfeeding; mother's labour force participation; the financial well-being of families; child care and employment; and parental work and time with children, and contains a listing of all publications and presentations using the Growing Up in Australia data during the year.

The Annual Report is available online.  If you would like a hardcopy, please contact us with your postal address information.

Interviewer Training for Wave 3 data collection

During March-April, over 160 interviewers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) were trained in a series of 2-day workshops conducted in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

The workshops were conducted by teams of staff from the Institute and the ABS, and covered training in all the procedures that are particular for this study, including the physical and direct assessments of the children. Interviewers were also given the opportunity to conduct practice interviews with each other.

Many of the attending interviewers had worked on Wave 2 and returned to work on Wave 3, as they enjoyed meeting the families and administering the study.  Interviewers who are new to the study are also reporting finding the study rewarding and a pleasure to work on.

Photos of the interviewers at their training sessions:

(Click to enlarge photos)
Click to enlarge Melbourne 1 photo
Melbourne 1
Click to enlarge Melbourne 2 photo
Melbourne 2
Click to enlarge Perth photo
Click to enlarge Sydney photo
Click to enlarge Sydney photo

The third major wave of data collection started in April and will continue for most of 2008.
Now that interviewers are in the field, they are again reporting that families are happy to be involved in the study.  As at end May 2008, almost 2,500 interviews had been completed.

Wave 4 development

The Consortium Advisory Group, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) team, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the ABS met in May 2008 to discuss the content and data collection modes for Wave 4. Changes in data collection mode being considered include computer assisted self interview for both parent and child, and making use of the Internet and mobile phones.

In Wave 4, the study children will be aged 11-12 years and 6-7 years, and will all be at school.  This presents challenges for finding available times in the week to interview families and children. However, we are looking at ways to maximize the efficiency of our time in the home.

Wave 2.5 data release

A between waves mail survey (Wave 2.5) was undertaken in 2007 and data from this survey was released at the end of May 2008.  The main themes explored in this between waves survey were children's use of technology and media (e.g. TV, computers, internet, electronic games systems etc), welfare payments and work and child support arrangements. Childcare and stressful life events were also covered.

Data from Wave 2.5 is available to researchers approved by FaHCSIA. As for all Growing Up in Australia data, approved researchers are required to abide by strict security and confidentiality protocols. Researchers wanting to access the data will need to read and complete a dataset application form and sign a deed of license. These forms are available via the study website. A user manual accompanies the datasets. The Institute provides further user support services in the form of user training sessions which expand upon the information that provided in the user manual further information on user training can be provided by the Institute upon request.

Data Training Workshop

We are holding another data user training course on Tuesday 8 July, the¬†day before the Australian Institute of Family Studies' conference (AIFS 10th conference). 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. This workshop will be the first to include a ‚Äėdata lab' session.

If you, or anyone you know would be interested in attending, please visit the Data Workshop page. If you are unable to make this workshop and would like to attend one, please contact us.  We are keeping a list of those who are interested and when there is sufficient demand, further data workshops will be held. 

Special LSAC edition of Family Matters

The June 2008 release of the Institute's journal, Family Matters, features a number of articles that focus on the Growing Up in Australia study.  These include:

Contact us

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