The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2021.
This paper presents a consensus from key stakeholders in Great Britain on the research evidence on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how it can be developed to inform policy and practice. Seventy practitioners, policymakers, academics and children's charities took part, achieving consensus on 41 statements regarding the quality of the ACEs evidence and how it might best be used to help vulnerable children. This project follows on from a 2020 report on the state of the evidence on ACEs. It found that while ACEs pose a clear threat to children's wellbeing at all points of their development, many popular claims about ACEs are not supported by the best evidence, and many ACE-related practices have yet to be rigorously evaluated. This new paper highlights the areas where consensus was achieved and how this consensus aligns with the research evidence: more detailed findings are available in the technical annex.
London : Dept. for Work and Pensions, 2021.
Both parental conflict and parental drug or alcohol misuse are known to affect children's outcomes, and now there is emerging evidence to suggest that parental conflict and substance misuse together have an even greater negative impact. This literature review investigates the nature of this interrelationship, as well as how to mitigate any negative impact on children. It examines the effectiveness of current interventions, what characteristics of effective practice can be identified, and gaps in the evidence base.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021.
There are concerns the COVID-19 pandemic has increased children's risk of abuse - the government restrictions have increased families' stresses while also limiting interactions with professionals who could detect and report abuse. This report presents preliminary child protection data from March to September 2020, covering the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in Australia and part of the second wave of restrictions in Victoria. It compares the data to that of 2019, and also looks at risk factors such as parents and children seeking support, unemployment and reliance on income support, financial and housing stress, working and schooling from home, family law parenting disputes, parental mental health and substance use, and domestic violence. The data shows that though risk factors for child abuse and neglect increased during COVID-19 - in particular financial hardship, housing stress and poor mental health - notifications to child protection services fell during the first wave, though they increased once restrictions eased. Public tip-offs about online child sexual exploitation material more than doubled during this period also.
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
The 'Safe & Together' practice model is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative, all-of-family approach to working with domestic and family violence in cases where other issues are present, such as alcohol and other drugs or mental health problems. This report looks at whether the model leads to better outcomes for children and families. It draws on qualitative studies with clients and practitioners and a quantitative analysis of administrative child protection data including rates of domestic and family violence, post-substantiation child protection outcomes, and children's pathways through the child protection system. The study was conducted in three sites in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, with comparisons between sites that did or did not use the model. The results are promising and highlight the benefits of increasing the visibility of children to parents and practitioners in mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and domestic and family violence services. This report expands on the work covered in the ANROWS project 'Invisible practices: Intervention with fathers who use violence'.
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 107 Sep 2020: Article 104518
This article adds to what is known about hospitalisations among children who experiencing abuse or neglect. It links hospital and child protection system data from South Australia, from childhood to early adulthood, for children born from 1986-2017. The study finds that children with some form of child protection involvement experience significantly higher rates of hospitalisation - by 16 years of age, children in out of home care had been hospitalised at almost four times the rate of children without any child protection system involvement. From adolescence through early adulthood, common reasons for hospitalisation among these children included mental health and drug abuse.
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2020.
This paper briefly considers some of the changes that both adult and child-focused services are likely to encounter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the point of view of impacts of children and parenting. For some children, the reality of an inconsistent or unsafe home life has only intensified, as social isolation has denied them the sanctuary of friends, a supportive grandparent, or school and instead has had them spending much more time with a parent who is perpetrating violence, whose mental health is being adversely affected by isolation, or who is drinking at unsafe levels. Non-judgmental or stigmatising practice with parents will be important if practitioners are to engage them about the possible effects of social isolation on their children's mental health.
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2020
This paper summarises key findings from a research report on how children's mental health is affected by their parents' parenting and health behaviours. The report used linked data from Medicare and the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to examine the association between children's social-emotional adjustment from the pre-school years up to early adolescence and parenting behaviours, parental mental health, and parents' smoking and alcohol use. The study found that mothers' mental health and health behaviours had a significant effect on children's social-emotional adjustment. Positive parenting behaviours had a significant positive effect - even during difficult family times - and hostile parenting had a significant negative impact. However, the findings also highlight the value of intervention: children's social-emotional wellbeing could be improved by improvements in parenting behaviours at any stage during childhood
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2020.
Children's social and emotional adjustment is influenced by a range of different factors, including parenting style and parental health. This paper investigates this further, using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). It examines whether children's social-emotional adjustment is associated with their parents' mental health, smoking and alcohol use, or parenting style, from before birth through to early adolescence. The study found that mothers' mental health and health behaviours had a significant effect on children's social-emotional adjustment. Positive parenting behaviours by mothers had a significant positive effect on children, while hostile parenting was associated with the largest differences in children's social-emotional outcomes. Children whose mothers experienced moderate or high levels of psychological distress - even during pregnancy - were more likely to be at an increased risk of social-emotional difficulties. However, the findings also highlight the value of intervention: children's social-emotional wellbeing could be improved by improvements in parenting behaviours at any stage during childhood. Note, the paper focuses largely on mothers due to the availability of data, but some findings for fathers are also included.
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2020.
Research into adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) consistently shows that a set of 10 adverse experiences in childhood are associated with an increased risk of poor health and other problems in later life. This report examines the ACEs evidence base - in terms of its quality and the conclusions which have followed - and considers the strength of evidence underpinning common responses to ACEs, such as routine ACE screening and trauma-informed care. It identifies what is known about adverse childhood experiences, their relationship with negative outcomes in adulthood, and the effectiveness of current interventions. Based on these findings, the report calls for increasing access to interventions with proven evidence of preventing and reducing ACEs. This report serves as a response to the 2018 House of Commons inquiry on evidence-based early intervention, which held that though there was a strong consensus that ACEs are harmful and associated with a range of negative adult outcomes, there was doubt about the strength of this relationship and the extent to which current practice responses are effective or appropriate.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Criminology Research Grants Program, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
This report investigates the overlap of children and young people with child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system, and the factors which contribute to justice system entry and entrenchment. It presents the findings from a two-year case file audit of 300 children and young people appearing before the Victorian Children's Court, combined with consultations with 82 key stakeholders. The audit examined children's exposure to maltreatment and other family adversity - including parental divorce, drug use, mental illness, and death - as well as types of abuse experienced, child protection and out of home care involvement, co-occurring challenges such as learning and behaviour problems, mental health or drug use issues, age at first contact with the justice system, type and severity of offending, recidivism, sentencing outcomes, and regional differences between the courts. The stakeholder were consulted about the characteristics of cross-over children and families, the context and nature of offending among cross-over children, Indigenous children, averting the pathway to the justice system, and responding to offending behaviour. Both data sources emphasised children's dual nature as both victims and offenders, and the systems limitations in acknowledging and responding to children's victimisation. The findings also suggest a need for earlier and more intensive support, as well as the need for a range of strategies for preventing, diverting and responding to these children's criminal justice system involvement.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
"The over-representation of children from child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system is a significant and longstanding concern. While the association between child maltreatment and youth offending is established, the pathway of child protection-involved youth to criminal justice outcomes has received little attention. This paper presents selected findings of a detailed case file audit of 300 crossover children appearing before the Victorian Children's Court in 2016-17. Findings explore children's exposure to maltreatment and other adversity, as well as their child protection involvement, co-occurring challenges, offending and sentencing outcomes. The risk factors for earlier and more serious offending are also examined. Results indicate that crossover children present with more serious offending profiles than other court-involved children. The findings emphasise the need to prevent, divert and respond to crossover children's criminal justice contact."--Publisher abstract.
Laslett, Anne-Marie, ed. Room, Robin, ed. Waleewong, Orratai, ed. Stanesby, Oliver, ed. Callinan, Sarah, ed. Harm to others from drinking : patterns in nine societies. Geneva : World Health Organization, 2019. 9789241515368: 31-43
This book highlights the human costs of alcohol not just for drinkers but for those around them. It presents and compares national surveys on the harms from others' drinking in Thailand, Chile, India, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand. This chapter presents the results for Australia, noting earlier research and analysing data from the Australian Harm to Others Survey and the National Drug and Alcohol Strategy Household Survey. Total alcohol consumption in Australia is slightly above average among high-income countries and abstention rates are low. The survey findings look at the age, gender, and relationship characteristics of harmful drinkers and people who are harmed by the drinking of others, as well as alcohol consumption rates and patterns. Though most harmful drinkers were non-household family members and friends of victims, victims who were in the same household as as harmful drinkers were substantially more likely to report a higher severity of harm.
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2019.
Written for practitioners in child, family, adult, and health services, this paper highlights the likely impacts of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on families and the types of supports they find helpful. It provides information on parents' and carers' experiences of supporting a child living with FASD, their relationships with professionals, and their support needs. Stable caregiving has been identified as a significant protective factor for children living with FASD and practitioners can play a key role in helping to support parents. This paper is the fourth in a series about working with families affected by FASD.
16 October 2019.
This webinar will discuss how practitioners working with parents affected by alcohol and other drug use can enhance their child-focused practice. Research shows that children who have at least one parent affected by alcohol and other drug (AOD) use are more likely to experience a range of poorer outcomes in mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Yet adults who present to adult-focused services may not discuss their parent-child relationship nor their children's wellbeing unless practitioners specifically ask. This webinar will discuss how practitioners who work with parents where AOD use is a presenting concern can engage parents in having child-focused and parent-sensitive conversations. It will examine how these conversations can identify and strengthen protective factors and improve immediate and long-term outcomes for children's social and emotional wellbeing. A consumer will also be present to discuss their experience of working with practitioners who were able to successfully engage with parents on their hopes for their child, and how this became a motivating factor for change.
Sydney, NSW : Mission Australia, 2019.
This report looks at how many young people are affected by their friends' and families's drug use and the impact it has on their aspirations and wellbeing. It analyses findings from the 2018 Youth Survey, which involved 28,286 young people aged 15-19 years old. Nearly three in ten of these young people reported that alcohol and drugs was a problem for their family and peers, and these young people were found to be less likely to want to go on to university or travel after school, less likely to report feeling confident, happy or positive about the future, and more likely to have concerns about mental health and coping with stress. In response, the report presents recommendations for services and policies to better help these at risk young people.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
Every year in Australia, millions of years of healthy life are effectively lost because of injury, illness or premature deaths: the 'burden of disease'. This report provides estimates of the total, non-fatal and fatal burden for the Australian population in 2015, using the disability-adjusted life years (DALY) measure. DALY estimates are presented for more than 200 diseases and conditions - including mental health and injuries - as well as estimates of the burden attributable to more than 30 risk factors, such as tobacco use and physical inactivity. Comparisons are included for males and females, across age groups, and against the 2003 and 2011 report findings. The methodology is also discussed. A particular finding is that 38% of the estimated burden could have been prevented by addressing lifestyle risk factors.
Wellington N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2019.
This report explores the association between adverse experiences in early childhood and later school readiness, using data from the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' longitudinal study. Adverse experiences include exposure to maltreatment and experiencing parental divorce, family abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, or incarceration, while school readiness was measured with a range of cognitive development tests. The study found that adverse childhood experiences were common in this group: by 54 months old, nearly 53% had experienced at least one adverse experience and 2.6% had experienced 4 or more. These adverse experiences were consistently associated with family income, deprivation, mother's education and age, and partner's age. The study also found a clear dose-response association between adverse experiences and school readiness.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth v. 19 2019: Article 110
This article investigates possible factors for why Aboriginal infants have poorer birth outcomes than non-Aboriginal infants in Western Australia. Using linked administrative data for Aboriginal infants born from 1998 to 2010 and their parents, the article examines the three negative birth outcomes of small for gestational age, preterm birth, and perinatal death. Factors such as maternal substance use, long-term health, assault during pregnancy, and infections during pregnancy were studied. The study found that 27% of the infants had at least one of the three negative birth outcomes, and 51% of the infants had been exposed to in utero exposure to maternal smoking, alcohol misuse, drug misuse, and assault against their mother. However, these are modifiable risk factors so great improvement in the health of Aboriginal infants is possible.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence v. 197 Apr 2019: 326-334
Research has found that young people consume alcohol in increasing amounts through the teenage years and early twenties before decreasing in the late twenties and early thirties. One theory is that the transition to parenthood is responsible for this decline. This article tests this theory, comparing alcohol consumption and parenting status using data from three longitudinal studies: the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) from New Zealand, and the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS). The findings show that, for most women in their twenties and thirties, parenting an infant was associated with reduced alcohol consumption. However, this reduction changed after 12 months with drinking levels returning close to pre-parenthood levels after five years. There was little change among men. Overall, the transition to parenthood has no sustained impact on parental alcohol consumption.
England : Fuse Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, 2018.
This review investigates what is known about non-dependent parental substance misuse on children, as opposed to the impacts of parents who are addicts. It presents findings from a rapid evidence assessment on the prevalence of non-dependent substance misuse by parents in the United Kingdom, the impacts on children's health and edcuation, social and psychological impacts on children, substance misuse by children, and the effectiveness of psychological and social interventions. The findings are intended to support practitioners and decision-makers in the United Kingdom in responding to the needs of substance misusing parents and their children.
London : Children's Commissioner for England, 2018.
This report looks at life growing up under the 'toxic trio' of mental health, parental substance misuse, and domestic abuse. It presents findings from interviews with 15 children and young people in England about their experiences of living in households with these three issues, including how it affected their emotional wellbeing, school life and relationships with friends, and the ways in which they attempted to cope. Though the participants revealed the problems of living with high levels of tension and unpredictability at home, and about an evolving sense of shame and growing up quickly, they were also very clear about how much they loved and trusted their parents and the great lengths they went not to tell others for fear of being separated.
Perth, W.A. : WA Mental Health Commission, 2018.
The mental health and wellbeing of the sizeable 'fly in fly out' workforce in Western Australia is of great concern. This study was instigated by a 2015 Parliamentary Inquiry which called for further independent research into this issue. In particular, the study investigates the mental health impacts and benefits of FIFO work arrangements on workers and their families, harmful drinking and drug use by workers and its impact on mental health, and the positive and negative coping strategies employed by workers and their families. For this study, mental health includes issues of psychological distress, 'thwarted belonging', 'perceived burdensomeness', suicidality, burnout and mental exhaustion, and emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Bullying, sleep, and physical pain were also considered. The study involves a review of the literature, a comparison of general population studies against a survey of 3,108 FIFO workers, surveys of 373 partners and 487 former FIFO workers, a longitudinal study of 205 FIFO workers, and qualitative interviews with 24 FIFO workers and 16 family members and friends. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the study. It concludes with actions for organisations and individual FIFO workers and their families to improve mental health.
Santa Monica, CA : RAND Corporation, 2018.
The Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) is the U.S. Department of Defense's flagship survey for understanding the health and well-being of active service members. Originally implemented to assess substance use 30 years ago, it now covers mental and physical health, sexual behaviour, and postdeployment problems, and features factors from all eight 'Total Force Fitness' (TFF) domains. This report presents the findings and methodology of the 2015 survey. Information is included on personnel characteristics, marital and parental status, housing, weight, energy drinks, physical activity, use of alternative medicine, sleep health, alcohol and smoking, illicit and prescription drug abuse, sexual assault, suicidality and self harm, use of mental health services, social and emotional factors associated with mental health, chronic conditions, physical symptoms, sexual risk behaviours, unintended pregnancy, contraception use, sexual orientation and transgender identity, combat experiences, and deployment-related injuries. Trends and policy implications are also considered.
London : Dept. for Work and Pensions, 2018.
In 'Improving lives - helping workless families', the British Government sets out proposals to improve outcomes for children who grow up in workless families. The policy was supported by a strong evidence base, published in an 'analysis and research pack' featuring the latest research and a set of nine indicators to track progress in tackling disadvantage. This new 2018 report updates the indicators with the latest data. The indicators cover the prevalence of parental conflict, entrenched worklessness, poor parental mental health, family breakdown, homelessness, problem debt, drug and alcohol dependency, children's educational attainment, and youth participation in education, employment, or training.
International Journal of Epidemiology v. 47 no. 4 Aug 2018: 1051-1059
Research has found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans increases the risk of PTSD in their children, but are these children at significantly higher risk than the general population, and are they at risk of having other mental health problems? This article investigates the mental health of adult children of Australian Vietnam veterans, drawing on a survey of 133 sons and 182 daughters from a cohort of 179 veteran families. It examines exposure to different types of trauma, prevalence of mental illness, and suicidality, as compared with the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. The study finds that the children of veterans were more likely than the general population to report exposure to traumas such as natural disasters, fire, explosions, or transport accidents, with veteran's sons more likely to report exposure to toxic chemicals and veteran's daughters more likely to report sexual assault. Higher prevalences of alcohol and drug dependence, depression and anxiety, and PTSD were also reported.
World Journal of Psychiatry v. 7 no. 1 2017: 60-76
This article reviews the literature on the association between being bullied in childhood or adolescence and a range of adverse health and psychosocial problems at any age, including depression, anxiety, poor mental health, poor general health, self-injury, suicide, smoking, and illicit drug use. In particular, it assesses the strength of evidence for a causal relationship in this association. The findings show there is strong evidence that bullying victimisation causes mental health problems.
London : Dept. for Work and Pensions, 2017.
In 'Improving lives - helping workless families', the British Government sets out proposals to improve outcomes for children who grow up in workless families. This document presents the strong evidence base that underpins that policy paper. It combines the latest research with new insights from survey and administrative data, and was created by leading academics, analysts, and policy-makers across government as well as local authorities and front-line workers. Part one focuses on children in workless families, setting out the evidence behind some of the issues associated with persistent worklessness, how these disadvantages are often connected with other factors, and how they impact on children's outcomes. Part two presents nine national indicators, with supporting measures, to track progress in tackling the disadvantages that affect families and children's outcomes. These include the prevalence of parental conflict, entrenched worklessness, poor parental mental health, family breakdown, homelessness, problem debt, drug and alcohol dependency, children's educational attainment, and youth participation in education, employment, or training.
London : Dept. for Work and Pensions, 2017.
In this publication, the British Government sets out proposals to improve outcomes for children who grow up in workless families and face multiple disadvantages. It draws on new analysis on the stark difference in outcomes between children in workless families and those in lower-income working families, with workless families considerably more likely to experience problems with their relationships, have poor mental health, and be in problem debt. This Government will help these families by expanding the Troubled Families Programme, launching new local-level interventions to reduce parental conflict, and targeting at risk parents with complex issues or substance dependency through the welfare system. The first section sets out the case for change, based on the evidence on parental worklessness. The next section explains the steps for action, before concluding with a section on how progress will be monitored.
Parkville, Vic. : Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, 2017.
This paper synthesises current Australian and international evidence on the biological, social, global, and environmental influences on child development. It examines the impact of early experiences in the 'first thousand days' on all aspects of development and functioning, including physical health and wellbeing, mental health, social functioning, and cognitive development, as well as the underlying determinants of health. Experts have long been aware that the period from conception to age 2 is an important period of development, but researchers have only recently started to unlock the processes by which genes, experiences, and environments interact to influence development. This paper is part of the 'Strong Foundations: Getting it Right in the First 1000 Days' collaborative project.
London : National Children's Bureau, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
Parental drug use can cause serious harm to children. [This book] supports practitioners in their work with families where parental drug use leads to concerns about children's welfare. The training resource contains: summaries of the key messages for practitioners; tools and tips to support effective practice; training and development activities; practice examples from around the UK. This second edition has an increased focus on alcohol misuse and reflects recent changes to both policy and practice [in the United Kingdom]. The book will be useful for all individuals and agencies involved with families where parents are struggling with substance abuse ..."