Financial stress and families

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.

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World family map 2019: mapping family change and child well-being outcomes

Institute for Family Studies (Charlottesville, VA), Wheatley Institution, Social Trends Institute
Charlottesville, VA : Institute for Family Studies, 2019.
The World Family Map report series aims to broaden our understanding about how family characteristics affect children and youth around the world. It will map trends in family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture. Information is presented on: living arrangements, marriage and cohabitation, childbearing and fertility, non-marital childbearing, poverty and child poverty, undernourishment, parental education and employment, public spending on family benefits, family life satisfaction, communication and family meals, public attitudes and traditional family values. This 2019 edition provides data from 49 countries from both developed and developing regions, including Australia as available. It also features a special essay, 'The ties that bind: is faith a global force for good or ill in the family?', which addresses that question by considering the relationship between religion and four key family outcomes: relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence and infidelity. The essay uses data from the World Values Survey and the Global Family and Gender Survey, for Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The influences of social connectedness on behaviour in young children: a longitudinal investigation using GUiNZ data

Jose P, Stuart J, Pryor J and Ja N
Wellington N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2019.
This report investigates the relationship between family/whanau vulnerability and preschool children's behavioural and developmental outcomes, and whether social connectedness might act as a protective factor for vulnerable children. Data is taken from the Growing up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) longitudinal study. It found that higher levels of vulnerability in the antenatal period - including maternal education, maternal depression, household overcrowding, household income, household deprivation, and financial stress - were found to predict higher levels of externalising and internalising behaviour, higher levels of illness and developmental problems, and lower levels of prosocial behaviour in children at 4 and half years of age. Children raised in families that had experienced relationship transitions also reported higher externalising and internalising behaviour, and lower prosocial behaviour. Although neither family connectedness nor community connectedness appeared to reduce the impact of risk factors on externalising or internalising behaviour, family connectedness did enhance prosocial behaviour under conditions of low vulnerability. The report also investigated temporal pathways, comparing vulnerability in pregnancy, 9 months, 2 years, and 4.5 years of age. Over time, family connectedness was shown to predict reduced family stress and increased perceived support, both of which, in turn, predicted better behavioural outcomes. Overall, the findings indicate that social connectedness could be a useful protective factor.

Relative income poverty rates and poverty alleviation via tax/benefit systems in 49 LIS countries, 1967-2016

Caminada K, Wang J, Goudswaard K and Wang C
Luxembourg : LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg, 2019.
Most welfare states design their tax/benefit system to combat income poverty, but some countries are more effective than others. This paper investigates country variations in the effectiveness of social transfers and income taxes in alleviating poverty, and also whether the redistributive power of different social programs have changed over time. Data is taken from the Luxembourg Income Study for 49 countries, with a detailed analysis for 2013 and a trend analysis for the period 1967-2016. It examines household market income poverty and disposable income poverty, the antipoverty effect of social transfers and income taxes, and the underlying social programs that drive the changes. The analysis finds considerable differences in the poverty reducing effect of social transfers and income taxes across countries. In general, as far as specific social programs are concerned, only three programs account for the bulk of total poverty reduction: old-age/disability/survivor scheme (81%), social programs for family and children (14%), and the unemployment scheme (9%).

Gender equality and poverty are intrinsically linked: a contribution to the continued monitoring of selected Sustainable Development Goals

Nieuwenhuis R, Munzi T, Neugschwender J, Omar H and Palmisano F
Luxembourg : LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg, 2019.
"This discussion paper provides an updated analysis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries ... Specifically, the paper addresses two sets of questions: First, how do intrafamily resource allocation and distribution patterns both reflect and shape gender inequalities in power and well-being, and what factors - including policy related ones - can mitigate these inequalities? Second, how do families as gendered institutions contribute to broader socio-economic inequalities, and what can be done to reduce/reverse these inequalities? Using data from the [Luxembourg Income Study], this paper shows considerable differences among 42 countries with respect to how likely women were to have their own income. A key finding is that in countries where many women have an income of their own, relative poverty rates are lower. The comparative analyses, combined with a review of the literature, suggest that welfare state arrangements that support working women not only improve the overall employment rates of women but also help to prevent particularly women in low-income households from living in dependence and instead to have an income of their own - thus reinforcing the potential for poverty reduction. Moreover, institutional contexts that are generally conducive to women's employment tend to be effective across family forms."--Summary.

Characteristics and outcomes of childhood abuse.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Personal safety survey, Australia, 2016. Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019: Spreadsheets
These spreadsheets provide new data from the 2016 Personal Safety Survey, looking into the prevalence of childhood abuse, the characteristics of adults who experienced childhood abuse, and its association with victimisation in later life. Around 21,250 adults from across Australia took part in this survey. Data is provided on different types of abuse, and their association with various later circumstances in adulthood, including relationship history and marital status, education, employment and income, financial stress, socioeconomic status, health, disability, life satisfaction, social support network, and experience of abuse, assault, and intimate partner violence after the age of 15. Multiple incidences of abuse, characteristics of the first incident of abuse, and gender differences are also considered. A key findings is that people who experienced abuse in childhood are at increased risk of experiencing violence as an adult: 71% of people who reported experiencing childhood abuse also experienced violence as an adult, compared with 33% of those who did not experience childhood abuse. This is the first time the Survey has been used to investigate childhood abuse.

Money matters - but so do people : children's views and experiences of living in a 'disadvantaged' community.

Bessell S
Children and Youth Services Review v. 97 Feb 2019: 59-66
This article explores children's views on what makes a strong and supportive community. Surveys were held with 108 children aged 8-12 years old. The findings highlight that though family poverty and inadequate public infrastructure can have a negative impact on children, strong and supportive relationships also play a significant positive role. The findings have implications for community development initiatives.

Life on Newstart Allowance : a new reality for low-income single mothers.

McKenzie H, McHugh C and McKay F
Journal of Family Studies v. 25 no. 1 2019: 18-33
In 2013, welfare support policies for single parents changed in Australia, with many low income mothers moving from a parenting payment to the Newstart Allowance - a payment for jobseekers with stricter conditions and less money. This article explores the financial impact of this policy change, drawing on interviews with 23 women who had been moved to the Newstart scheme.

Material deprivation and capability deprivation in the midst of affluence : the case of young people in Australia.

Redmond G and Skattebol J
Children and Youth Services Review v. 97 Feb 2019: 36-48
This article explores young people's views of material deprivation, focusing on their experience of a lack of adequate food and clothing. It draws on interviews with 193 young people as well as findings from a survey of 5,440 children and young people aged 9-14 years old. The findings highlight how this material deprivation is most apparent among marginalised young people, such as young people with disability, young carers, and Indigenous young people. The findings also highlight Amartya Sen's Capability Approach to deprivation, where the lack of adequate food and clothing denies young people the capability to avoid shame and engage in social participation and education.

The influence of child care on the behavior problems of children of teenage mothers.

Edwards B and Yu M
Children and Youth Services Review v. 94 Nov 2018: 96-104
This article looks at behaviour problems in the young children of adolescent mothers, the role of family stressors, and whether attending centre-based childcare can help. A sample of 317 children aged 1-3 years of age were studied, all born to teenage mothers receiving income support. The article examines prevalence of externalising and internalising behaviour problems and the family stress factors of economic strain, maternal mental health, and harsh parenting. The study found that attending centre-based childcare was associated with a reduction in internalising problems, though not externalising problems.

Gender equality and poverty are intrinsically linked: a contribution to the continued monitoring of selected Sustainable Development Goals

Nieuwenhuis R, Munzi T, Neugschwender J, Omar H and Palmisano F
New York : UN Women, 2018.
"This discussion paper provides an updated analysis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries ... Specifically, the paper addresses two sets of questions: First, how do intrafamily resource allocation and distribution patterns both reflect and shape gender inequalities in power and well-being, and what factors - including policy related ones - can mitigate these inequalities? Second, how do families as gendered institutions contribute to broader socio-economic inequalities, and what can be done to reduce/reverse these inequalities? Using data from the [Luxembourg Income Study], this paper shows considerable differences among 42 countries with respect to how likely women were to have their own income. A key finding is that in countries where many women have an income of their own, relative poverty rates are lower. The comparative analyses, combined with a review of the literature, suggest that welfare state arrangements that support working women not only improve the overall employment rates of women but also help to prevent particularly women in low-income households from living in dependence and instead to have an income of their own - thus reinforcing the potential for poverty reduction. Moreover, institutional contexts that are generally conducive to women's employment tend to be effective across family forms."--Summary.

Welfare-to-work interventions and their effects on the mental and physical health of lone parents and their children (Review)

Gibson M, Thomson H, Banas K, Lutje V, McKee M, Martin S, Fenton C, Bambra C and Bond L
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews no. 2 2018: Article no. CD009820
This systematic review assesses the evidence on the impact of 'Welfare?to?work' interventions on the health of lone parents and their children. Lone parents in wealthy countries experience high levels of poverty and ill health, and opinion is divided on whether welfare to work initiatives would alleviate or exacerbate this situation. The article looks into what is known about the impact of such programs on parent or child physical or mental health, as well as economic outcomes such as employment, income, and welfare receipt. The review identified 12 random controlled trials from overseas. Overall, the review concludes that such interventions are unlikely to improve the health of lone parents and their children, and have only small impacts on economic outcomes.

Rapid evidence review: the impact of poverty on life course outcomes for children, and the likely effect of increasing the adequacy of welfare benefits/ Ministry of Social Development ; prepared for the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

New Zealand. Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand. Welfare Expert Advisory Group
Wellington, N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2018.
This report summarises the evidence on the impact of childhood poverty and whether increasing welfare benefits is likely to improve their outcomes. It briefly reviews the evidence on the causal effects of being exposed to poverty in childhood on outcomes in childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood, then considers the likely effect of increasing the adequacy of cash transfers on these outcomes. It also briefly reviews the evidence on the effects of exposure to poverty in adulthood on adult wellbeing. Though the evidence base on the causal impact of childhood poverty on life course outcomes is still limited, it does indicate that children and adolescents who experience poverty experience a range of worse outcomes and increases in family income from cash transfers can positively affect outcomes for both children and adults. This paper was prepared for the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, which has been established to review how the welfare system in New Zealand can be improved.

Association of material hardship with maternal and child outcomes: technical report of cross-sectional analysis of nine-month data from Growing Up in New Zealand cohort - 2018

Dominick C
Wellington, N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2018.
Although poverty is associated with increased risk of negative outcomes, little is known about the magnitude of this association and the developmental pathways most at risk. Using data from the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' longitudinal study, this report investigates the extent to which material hardship - used here rather than low income - is associated with mother and infant outcomes. The study found that maternal mental health, child socio-emotional development indicators, and the number of child respiratory illnesses are all associated with material hardship. The findings reinforce the need to address poverty to prevent or mitigate its negative influences on children.

Social exclusion in families affected by paternal imprisonment.

Besemer K and Dennison S
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology v. 51 no. 2 Jun 2018: 221-238
This article adds to the research on social exclusion among caregivers of children affected by paternal incarceration, by comparing its prevalence and experience to that of the general population and the mediators involved. It finds that caregivers of children with imprisoned fathers experience significantly high rates of social exclusion, though, compared to a matched sample, this is mostly related to financial hardship.

Experiences of parents and children living in poverty: a review of the qualitative literature

Quint J
New York : MDRC, 2018.
"While the scholarly literature on families experiencing poverty is sizable, relatively little attention has been paid to how children describe what it is like to be poor, their thoughts and feelings about their economic status, and the roles that they see benefit programs playing in their lives ... The purpose of this review is to summarize the qualitative literature as it applies to the key research questions listed in the next section. The review informs fieldwork for the 'Understanding Poverty: Childhood and Family Experiences' study, which will involve in-depth interviews with members of about 30 low-income families, including children ranging in age from 7 to 17 and their parents or other caregivers, across three sites. Primary Research Questions: This review summarizes the qualitative literature as it applies to the following key questions: 1. What are children's experiences and perceptions of poverty and benefit receipt? 2. What are parents' perceptions of poverty and benefit receipt, including interactions with public assistance offices and workers? 3. How do parents and children discuss their families' economic circumstances? ... A systematic approach was taken to review qualitative studies conducted in English speaking countries, mainly the United States and the United Kingdom, and published in scholarly journals or for academic audiences since 1990."--Overview.

How well does Australia's social security system support victims of family and domestic violence?

Cameron S
Surry Hills, NSW : National Social Security Rights Network, 2018.
This study investigates how well the social security system support victims of family and domestic violence, and makes recommendations for improving social security law and Centrelink services. It draws on a case review and member survey of the National Social Security Rights Network, a peak organisation for community legal centres focussed on income support law. Though the social security system's response to family and domestic violence has improved enormously since the early 1970, some significant issues remain - including debt, eligibility, assessment of being a couple, and rate of entitlement - leading to stress, economic abuse, unresolved appeals, and housing insecurity and homelessness. Family and domestic violence can be a factor complicating social security entitlement in relation to over a dozen different payment types, highlighting how this violence affects people in different circumstances in many different ways.

Poverty transitions in nonremote indigenous households: the role of labour market and household dynamics

Venn D and Hunter B
Canberra, ACT : Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, 2018.
This paper presents estimates on Indigenous people's entry into and exit from poverty in Australia. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, it compares changes in poverty among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in nonremote regions, and investigates the role of 'trigger events' such as changes in household size, the number of workers in the household, and labour income, and family life transitions. It finds that Indigenous people generally have higher entry and lower exit rates than non-Indigenous people, largely due to lower average household incomes and being therefore closer to the poverty threshold. Changes in household size also have a significant impact.

In Limbo: exploring income and housing barriers for reunifying Tasmanian families

Fidler L
Hobart, Tas. : Social Action and Research Centre, Anglicare Tasmania, 2018.
Many parents in the child protection system are unable to provide the material basics and stable housing required to reunify with their children. These spiralling circumstances may also have contributed to the abuse as well as parents' ability to engage effectively with practical parenting, therapeutic support, and the child protection system. This report investigates the income and housing challenges faced by families who have had children removed short-term by Child Safety Services in Tasmania, and the impacts those challenges may have on positive family reunification outcomes. Drawing on the research literature, analyses of client data, and interviews with experts, practitioners, policy makers, and families, this report highlights this little-recognised issue, attempts to estimate the scale and nature of the problem, considers positive policy and practice interventions, and provides recommendations for the system in Tasmania. The findings from this research should be considered alongside a partner project, 'Breaking the cycle: supporting Tasmanian parents to prevent recurrent child removals.'

Drought-related stress among farmers : findings from the Australian Rural Mental Health Study.

Austin E, Handley T, Kiem A, Rich J, Lewin T, Askland H, Askarimarnani S, Perkins D and Kelly B
Medical Journal of Australia v. 209 no. 4 20 Aug 2018: 159-165
This article investigates stress among farmers in New South Wales, both in general and related to drought, and the factors that influence this stress. Data is taken from the Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS), for participants identifying as living or working on a farm. It finds that these farmers experience significant stress about the effects of drought on themselves, their families, and their communities, with younger age, financial hardship, and isolation figuring as particular risk factors. The findings also support previous studies that found that drought-related stress may contribute to general psychological distress, but is distinguishable from it.

Engaging with children's voices on poverty: the value of their lived experience

Monks H
Subiaco, WA : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2018
Research on child poverty is been dominated by quantitative approaches investigating prevalence, mechanisms, and impact. However, there is a small but growing body of evidence that explores child poverty from the perspective of children themselves, as it is experienced in the context of their everyday lives. This paper provides an overview of this research, and its value for understanding the nature of poverty. Sections include: economic insecurity; emotional and psychological wellbeing; friendships, leisure and social participation; schooling and aspirations for the future; family functioning; housing, neighbourhood and community; coping strategies and pathways out of poverty; and the implications for policy and practice. A brief snapshot version of this research has also been published.

Rumbling tummies: child hunger in Australia

Foodbank Australia, McCrindle Research (Firm)
North Ryde, N.S.W. : Foodbank Australia, 2018.
This report investigates the scale and impact of food insecurity for children in Australia, drawing on a survey conducted for food relief organisation Foodbank by McCrindle Research. It estimates that more than one in five children in Australia live in a food insecure household: indeed, it is more likely for a child to live in a food insecure household than an adult, with 22% of children experiencing food insecurity in the previous 12 months compared to 15% of adults. The study finds that, at least once a week, 18% of children go to school without eating breakfast, 15% go to school without a packed lunch or lunch money, and 11% go to bed without eating any dinner. Participants were asked about the causes of food insecurity, future concerns, impacts on diet and meals, impacts on children's wellbeing and behaviour, coping and help seeking seeking strategies, and the benefits of food assistance schemes. The study involved an initial panel survey of 1,002 parents - to identify prevalence in the community - supplemented by a further survey of 602 parents living in food insecure households.

Small claims, large battles: achieving economic equality in the family law system

Petrie E
Melbourne, Vic. : Women's Legal Service Victoria, 2018.
Disadvantaged women, separating from their partners, face barriers in resolving family law property disputes - with many women simply walking away from their entitlements. These women have only small amounts of property to divide and many have experienced domestic violence or economic abuse. The 'Small Claims, Large Battles' project was established both to investigate these barriers and to provide legal representation, accompanied by financial counselling and social work support where required. This report presents the findings of the project and recommendations for improving court processes, financial disclosure, superannuation, joint debts, the financial rights of victims of family violence, and the transfer of property. The project was a collaboration between Women's Legal Service Victoria and the legal firms Lander & Rogers and Herbert Smith Freehills, who contributed their time and expertise pro bono. Legal representation was provided to 48 women, and the findings highlight women's financial insecurity following separation.

Understanding the mechanisms through which adverse childhood experiences affect lifetime economic outcomes

Schurer S and Trajkovski K
Indooroopilly, Qld : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2018.
It is well known that children raised in poverty are at risk of a wide range of developmental delays and lifelong poor outcomes, but is it the economic hardship that causes this later life disadvantage, or is it the type of adversities that children experience disproportionately in economically disadvantaged households, such as parental abuse and neglect and instability, often caused by parental mental health or substance abuse problems. This paper adopts adverse childhood experiences (ACE) as a new definition of childhood poverty, and investigates whether ACE alters brain functionality of children, thus causing long-term poor human capital accumulation and economic outcomes. Data is taken from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) in the United Kingdom, which is following a birth cohort of children born in 1958 - with participants now aged 55 years old. An ACE index is constructed based on prospective childhood information, with an estimate earnings penalty of 7.3 percent for each additional ACE, and a 53.1 (34.0) percent higher probability of being welfare dependent (subjectively poor) at age 55, controlling for economic background factors. The associations are driven by parental neglect, as based on teacher assessments, with differences in earnings between neglected and non-neglected children explained by differences in human and health capital accumulated by young adulthood. The findings also highlight the multidimensionality of childhood poverty.

[Social Services Legislation Amendment Act 2017]

Alston P
Geneva, Switzerland : Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2017.
This letter, from the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, highlights concerns over Australia's new Social Services Legislation Amendment Act 2017. It highlights the potential negative impact of this social service reform and related amendments on the human rights of persons living in poverty, particularly single parents and their children. It discusses recent benefit cuts affecting single parent households in Australia, the impact of the Welfare to Work initiative on single parents, the history of recent legislative reforms, drug testing and suspension of payments, cashless debit card trials, and the potential impact of the 2017 Act on waiting periods for youth allowance and parenting payments and family tax benefits. Access to social security is a human right but this letter reiterates concerns of the current and former the Special Rapporteur that the further cutting of social security payments will have significantly negative impacts on the human rights of tens of thousands of Australians, many of whom are currently living in poverty.

Interparental relationships, conflict and the impacts of poverty: an overview

Stock L
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2017.
This paper highlights the importance of addressing inter-parental conflict in families who are in or at risk of poverty. It summarises the findings and policy implications of three research studies by the Early Intervention Foundation: 'Inter-parental conflict and outcomes for children in the context of poverty and disadvantage', 'Exploring parental relationship support: a qualitative study', and 'Interparental relationship support services available in the UK: rapid review of the evidence'. Together, this body of research highlights how poverty and economic stress affect the quality of inter-parental relationships, which in turn impacts on child outcomes. Though there are interventions aimed at families in or at risk of poverty which are effective, the UK evidence needs to develop further.

Interparental conflict and outcomes for children in the contexts of poverty and economic pressure

Acquah D
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2017.
A previous study explored the impact of parents' relationships - regardless of whether they are together or separated - on children's outcomes. This report extends that study by investigating inter-parental conflict in the context of poverty and economic pressure. It summarises the latest research on what is known about the links between poverty, economic pressure, family processes, and child and adolescent development, then examines the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions implemented in the United Kingdom and overseas aimed at improving inter-parental relationships and outcomes for children from families in or at risk of poverty. The findings highlight how poverty and economic stress affect the quality of inter-parental relationships, which in turn impact on child outcomes. The report concludes with some recommendations for research, policy, and practice.

World family map 2017: mapping family change and child well-being outcomes

Social Trends Institute, Institute for Family Studies (Charlottesville, VA)
New York : Social Trends Institute, 2017.
The World Family Map report series aims to broaden our understanding about how family characteristics affect children and youth around the world. It will map trends in family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture. Information is presented on: living arrangements, marriage and cohabitation, childbearing and fertility, non-marital childbearing, poverty and child poverty, undernourishment, parental education and employment, public spending on family benefits, family life satisfaction, communication and family meals, public attitudes and traditional family values. This 2017 edition provides data from 49 countries from both developed and developing regions, including Australia as available. It also features a special essay, 'The cohabitation go-round: cohabitation and family instability across the globe', which compares children's experience of instability and family transitions in cohabitating and married families, drawing on data from the United States and 16 European countries. The essay finds that children born into cohabiting families are more likely to see their parents split by age 12 than children born into married families in almost every country. However, these children do at least experience far fewer family transitions than children born to single women. Previous editions of this series were produced by Child Trends Inc.

Disadvantage, behaviour and cognitive outcomes: longitudinal analysis from age 5 to 16

Chowdry H and McBride T
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2017.
This report presents findings from a British research study on children's social and emotional skills and their interaction with poverty. Using data from the British Cohort Study of children born in 1970, it examines the relationship between economic disadvantage and child behavioural and emotional problems from age 5-16 years old and also the relationship between early behavioural and emotional problems and school cognitive scores. The study identifies a range of channels through which economic disadvantage may negatively impact on children's skills and personalities as they develop through childhood and adolescence, with implications for interventions aimed at improving social mobility.

Pre-migration and post-migration factors associated with mental health in humanitarian migrants in Australia and the moderation effect of post-migration stressors : findings from the first wave data of the BNLA cohort study.

Chen W, Hall B, Ling L and Renzaho A
Lancet Psychiatry v. 4 no. 3 2017: 218-229
Refugees may not only be subject to the traumatic events and stressors that cause them to flee - research has also found that many asylum policies and resettlement issues are affecting refugees' mental health. This article adds to the evidence by assessing whether such post-migration stressors moderate the association between refugees' pre-migration traumatic events and their mental health. Factors include economic stress, loneliness, discrimination, family conflicts, and family concerns. It uses data from the first wave of the 'Building a New Life in Australia' longitudinal survey, for 2,399 humanitarian migrants. The article reports on the prevalence of mental illness and stressors among these people, and compares pre-migration and post-migration factors.

Household food security and child health outcomes in families with children aged 6 months to 4 years residing in Darwin and Palmerston, Northern Territory, Australia

McCarthy L
2017.
This thesis adds to the evidence on food insecurity among Australian families with young children. It explores food security and its risk factors and impacts among Indigenous and non-Indigenous children aged 0.5-4 years residing in the Darwin and Palmerston urban areas of the Northern Territory. Several studies were conducted to identify the factors that influence food security status in families from 17 child care centres, compare the health of children in food secure and food insecure households, explore Indigenous Australian families' experiences of food security, and determine the performance of the US 18-item household food security module within Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian families. The findings highlight the prevalence of food insecurity among young children, the impact on obesity levels, the strategies Indigenous families employ to combat food insecurity, and the parental mental health, socioeconomic, and neighbourhood risk factors involved.
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