Australian Institute of Family Studies

We are the Australian Government's key research body in the area of family wellbeing. We conduct research to increase the understanding of Australian families and the issues that affect them.

Recent publications

Annual Report— Oct 2019

Australian Institute of Family Studies annual reports describe the research and operations of the Institute, along with highlights for the year.

Research summary— Oct 2019

Summary of the findings from studies of post-separation parenting outcomes, including family law case files analyses and surveys of separated parents.

Research Report— Oct 2019

This paper discusses the development of a working definition of abuse of older people to be applied in the Elder Abuse National Research Program.

Corporate document— Aug 2019

The AIFS Corporate Plan outlines our vision to make a profound and positive contribution to the lifetime wellbeing of Australian families.


Judge says delays are one of system’s ‘biggest stresses’

In one of a series of articles on the family law system this November, the Sydney Morning Herald  interviewed Family Court Chief Justice Will Alstergren about what he called ‘unacceptable’ delays in Australia's family law system. In a separate article, the Herald cited AIFS research showing that court-ordered arrangements are less likely to involve no contact between a child and their father than arrangements in the general separated population. Speaking about this finding, Chief Justice Alstergren said the most important thing was ‘to try and make sure it's in the child's best interest, not the parent's best interests, which is a real problem’.

Culture of men’s work trapping fathers

In an August 2019 article, Annabel Crabb asked why Australia’s culture around work and parental leave means that when a family changes, it is women who change and adapt to the new reality. She drew on AIFS researcher Dr Jennifer Baxter’s work on this topic, including this graph: ‘the baldest possible visual demonstration of how differently mother and fathers experience work and family balance’.