Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
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Study News

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2015


The LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2015 was released in October 2016 and highlights some of the recent research that uses LSAC data. The report features chapters on several areas of childhood development and wellbeing including:
  • Choice of primary school
  • Grandparent care
  • Children’s screen time
  • Immunisation
  • Complex families
  • Puberty
The research coming out of the report has featured prominently in the media and you will find links to some of these stories in the “In the media” section of the newsletter. 
Infographic displaying content from the LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2016 showing that 69% of primary school children are at government schools, 19% are at catholic schools and 12% are at independent schools.
Infographic displaying content from the LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2016 showing that 95% of children up to the age of 13 have face-to-face contact with a grandparent.
Infographic displaying content from the LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2016 showing that by 12 to 13 years old, children spend on average up to 30% of their daily waking time on screens. This on average increases from 3 hours on weekdays to 4 hours on weekends.

Wave 8 design phase


Planning for Wave 8 of the study continues in preparation for the start of phase 1 in mid-2017. Wave 8 will feature new content in a number of areas including mental health, drug use, social support and workplace bullying.
 
For our K cohort, Wave 8 will also feature methodology changes with the parents moving from an in-home interview to a shorter telephone interview. Our K cohort young people will continue to be interviewed in their homes, but will also have the opportunity to complete part of their survey online.

Wave 7 home visits


The second phase of Wave 7 home visits are continuing. We’ve loved catching up with our study families throughout 2016 and thank them, and our interviewers, for their ongoing support of the study and the insights they provide.

Wave 7 home visits


The second phase of Wave 7 home visits are continuing. We’ve loved catching up with our study families throughout 2016 and thank them, and our interviewers, for their ongoing support of the study and the insights they provide.

In the media

Research based on LSAC data continues to feature in the media. Some of the articles that have appeared recently, which report research from the LSAC Annual Statistical Report, are:
 
‘Complex families’ the norm in Australia, new research reveals
Brisbane Times (6 October 2016)
This article reports on research that finds around 43% of children aged less than 13 years of age live in complex families. The research describes complex families as non-traditional households, which includes children living with a single parent, stepsiblings, or grandparents.
 
How to choose a primary school? Not just academic results, say parents
The Age (27 September 2016)
This article reports on research that examines the reasons parents choose their child’s primary school. The research finds that proximity to home, whether other family members attend the school, academic quality and the school’s religious or philosophical outlook were the key factors in choosing a school. The reasons also differed depending on whether a government or private school was chosen.
 
Australian children increasingly glued to screens, study finds
ABC (20 September 2016)
This article reports on research that finds that screen time increases as children grow older. Children aged four to five years were found to spend around 2.2 hours in front of a screen on weekdays, with this increasing to around 3.3 hours by ages 12 to 13. The time spent in front of a screen also increases on weekends.
 
Nest full again as grandparents move in to help out with childcare
The Australian (15 September 2016)
This article reports on research that investigates the caring role that grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives. According to the research findings, 7% of children lived with both their parents and grandparents, and around 17% of four to five year olds have experienced some form of grandparent care for most of their lives.

Publications

Barriers to parent-child book reading in early childhood
This paper examines the risk factors associated with parents not reading to their children at ages 2, 4 and 6 years.
 
For the sake of the children? A longitudinal analysis of residential relocations and academic performance of Australian children
This paper looks into the effects of moving house on the academic performances of children in grades 3, 5 and 7.
 
From the child to the neighbourhood: Longitudinal ecological correlates of young adolescents’ emotional, social, conduct, and academic difficulties
This paper investigates the factors related to changes in emotional, social, conduct, and academic difficulties in children over a two-year timeframe from ages 10 to 12 years old.
 
Bullying victimisation and racial discrimination among Australian children
This paper compares experiences of bullying victimisation and racial discrimination by ethnicity among Australian children.
 
Parental influences on primary school children’s mathematics achievement: Insights from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)
This paper looks into whether parents’ involvement in homework is beneficial to their child’s academic achievement in maths, as reported by their teachers.
 
Urban greenspace, physical activity and wellbeing: The moderating role of perceptions of neighbourhood affability and incivility
This paper examines if there are any wellbeing benefits from living near parks and open space and being physically active, and if these benefits depend on people’s perceptions of their neighbourhood.
 
Sibling health, schooling and longer-term developmental outcomes
This paper examines if starting primary school a year early can help to shield children from the potential harmful effects of having an ill or disabled sibling.
 
Early school-based parent involvement, children’s self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An Australian longitudinal study
This paper investigates the effect of a child’s ability to manage their own learning on the relationship between their parents’ engagement in the school and their academic achievement.

FloSse Research Database


You can find more publications and research using LSAC, and other Australian longitudinal data, on the FloSse research database. The database contains bibliographic details on approximately 1500 articles. Researchers are reminded to submit their work using LSAC data to the database. The database also includes research from:
 
  • HILDA – The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia
  • LSIC – Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children
  • BNLA – Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants
  • Journeys Home – A Longitudinal Study of Factors Affecting Housing Stability

Resources for Data Users

LSAC data users workshops


The LSAC data user workshops are designed to assist users of the data, those considering becoming users, or those who are interested in learning more about LSAC data. The workshops enable attendees to gain confidence in understanding and navigating the dataset.

If you would like to attend a future LSAC data user workshop, please contact the AIFS LSAC team and your name will be placed on a waiting list. We will contact you with details of the next scheduled workshop.

LSAC data users workshops


The LSAC data user workshops are designed to assist users of the data, those considering becoming users, or those who are interested in learning more about LSAC data. The workshops enable attendees to gain confidence in understanding and navigating the dataset.

If you would like to attend a future LSAC data user workshop, please contact the AIFS LSAC team and your name will be placed on a waiting list. We will contact you with details of the next scheduled workshop.

Online resources


The LSAC Wave 6 data set was released in December 2015. For information on how to apply for access to the data, visit the National Centre for Longitudinal Data website. Following the release of the data, we have also uploaded updated versions of documentation onto our website. This documentation is designed to assist data users and includes:
 
Data User Guide: The Data User Guide is designed as a reference tool for users of the LSAC data set. It aims to cover all the things you need to know to use the data.
 
Rationale documents: The Rationale documents are available to assist data users with information on the scales and items included in LSAC.
 
Data Dictionary: The Data Dictionary provides data users with information on all of the variables in the LSAC data set.
 
Our website also has technical papers, discussion papers and issues papers that have all been created to assist our data users. You can also find information on methodology and copies of the questionnaires used.
 
If you have any questions about the LSAC data set, please contact us at:
datamanager@aifs.gov.au
 
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