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.
Carlton, Vic. : Grattan Institute, 2020.
This report argues that governments can help facilitate greater female workforce participation by reducing the barriers to paid work, improving childcare availability and quality, and enabling shared caring. Increasing female workforce participation is one of the biggest economic opportunities for governments, even more so for the post-COVID-19 short-term economic recovery and longer-term rebuild. Though Australia's female workforce participation rate is above the OECD average, Australian women are much more likely to work part-time, and many women report they would prefer to work more and many men feel trapped in the breadwinner role. Chapters include: The economic and social opportunities from higher female workforce participation; Financial barriers discourage women from working more; A lack of suitable childcare can also be a barrier; Unpaid work still falls largely on women; Options to make childcare more affordable; Other policies to support workforce participation; Estimating workforce disincentive rates; Employer policies matter; Costs and benefits of childcare reform options; and Impact of childcare reform options.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1 Jul 2020: Advance online publication
This article looks into impact of different types of intimate partner violence on the health and wellbeing of new, first-time mothers. Data is taken from a study of 1,507 first-time mothers in Melbourne, Victoria. The article examines the association of physical, emotional, physical, and emotional abuse on the women's mental, physical, and sexual health in the first year after childbirth. Emotional abuse was the most commonly reported type of intimate partner violence, reported by 9.5% of the participants. Women reporting emotional abuse alone or in conjunction with physical violence were at increased risk of poor health, s well as poor body image, whereas those reporting both physical and emotional abuse were at higher risk of mental health issues. The findings highlight the diversity of women's experiences of IPV intimate partner violence, as well as its impact on the health of new mothers.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 18 May 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores lesbian, bisexual and queer women's use of fertility clinics. It presents findings from a broader survey from 2016 on reproductive choices, pathways to parenthood, conception method and use of clinical fertility services. These findings reveal that fertility clinics are being commonly used to access donor sperm - just over half of the children of the respondents' had been conceived using clinical fertility services. Most choose this route in order to access to donor sperm: only 41% reported fertility problems.
Canberra, ACT : The Australia Institute, 2020.
This paper argues that the provision of free childcare provides both short and long term economic benefits, and calls for the Australian Government to extend the free child care policy it introduced to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. Free child care provides short-term stimulus by increasing the disposable income of young families and is also a long-term driver of economic growth by freeing up parents to work. This paper compares Australia's workforce participation rates to those of Nordic countries, which have some of the highest participation rates in the world, and et estimates how much additional GDP would be generated if Australia's participation rates were similarly high. The paper shows that there is significant potential to boost Australia's long run growth rates by emulating key design elements of Nordic childcare policy.
Canberra, ACT : ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods, 2020.
This paper investigates whether there have been changes in alcohol consumption in Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions commenced. It draws on a survey of 3,219 adults from May 2020 from across Australia, who were asked about their drinking in the last 12 months and since the start of the pandemic. Data from the 2017/18 National Health Survey is used as a population benchmark. The findings indicate that the frequency of alcohol consumption during COVID-19 is slightly higher for men and substantially higher for women than it was 2-3 years ago. Having a child caring role was a strong predictor of an increase in alcohol consumption for women, whereas job loss or a decline in working hours was a strong predictor for men. Note, the vast majority of Australians have said that their alcohol consumption has either stayed the same or declined, and, for those whose alcohol consumption has increased, the level of increase has been moderate. However, of concern, there have been increases among people who were already relatively frequent consumers of alcohol and people who are experiencing psychological distress.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020.
This report provides a summary of statistics on maternal mortality in Australia, to better inform safety and quality of maternity care. Although maternal deaths are rare in Australia, they are catastrophic events when they do occur and require monitoring and investigation. The report includes information about the women, pregnancy, and cause of death, as well as good practice guidance points for clinicians. In the 2015-2017 period, the maternal mortality rate in Australia was 6.4 deaths per 100,000 women giving birth, which is among the lowest rates in the world. The most common causes of maternal death were suicide and cardiovascular disease, with Indigenous women more than 3 times at risk than non-Indigenous women.
Children Australia v. 45 no. 1 Mar 2020: 48-53
Most research into maternal self-concept focuses on the transition to motherhood - this article adds to the evidence bases with a study on mothers of preschool-aged children. Drawing on interviews with 8 mothers in Melbourne, Victoria, it explores how mothers attain, maintain and support their self-definition during the early years of mothering, including how they made sense of their new role and incorporated their new role into their existing self. The findings highlight several common themes: becoming a mother as a journey of self-discovery, the biological imperatives of becoming a mother, remothering, and the continued challenges of the emerging mother role.
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020.
This report presents a selection of key statistics on births in Australia in 2018, drawn from the National Perinatal Data Collection. Information and infographics are presented for trends since 2006, pregnancy, child birth, and maternal and infant health, including antenatal care, smoking during pregnancy, onset of labour, method of birth, multiple pregnancies, gestational age, birthweight, presentation, Apgar scores, resuscitation, hospital births and length of stay, perinatal deaths, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their babies. This publication is designed to accompany a perinatal dynamic data display available online. In 2018, around 298,600 women gave birth to more than 303,000 babies. Nearly three-quarters of these mothers received antenatal care in the first trimester, up from 63% in 2010. Note, this report is designed to accompany complementary online data visualisations.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 5 May 2020: Advance online publication
This article adds to what is known about the characteristics of victims of family violence, to better inform identification efforts. It compares linked health and police data from Western Australia for mothers with children born 1987-2010, for cases where either the mother hospitalised or the male perpetrator was charged. The findings highlight that the characteristics of mothers differed between these two datasets: in the police data, mothers were more likely to be under 25 years of age and have children present, whereas mothers in the health data were more likely to be Aboriginal - though Indigenous women were over-represented in both sets. The findings underscore the need for multiple sources of data when investigating family and domestic violence.
Melbourne, Vic. : Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, 2020.
This study follows on from a 2018 project with practitioners into service responses for pregnant homeless women in Victoria. This new study looks into the views of women who have had recent experiences of pregnancy and homelessness. Interviews were conducted with 14 women, many of whom had also experienced mental ill-health, problematic alcohol or drug use, and gendered violence. Participants were asked about their children, finding out about the pregnancy, homelessness during pregnancy, experience of hazardous accommodation, seeking long-term accommodation, complex and co-occurring issues, survival sex, impact on health, accessing abortion and contraception, accessing support during pregnancy, child protection, preparing for motherhood, and mothering supports. The findings highlight the difficulty of preparing for motherhood without stable shelter, and gaps in the housing and homelessness service systems. Indeed - many of the women were not 'pregnant enough' to access long-term safe and secure housing, with this only available very late in their pregnancy or until after the birth of their baby. The report concludes with recommendations for research, crisis services, and housing support.
Parkville, Vic. : University of Melbourne,2020
'Caring Dads' is a groupwork program for fathers who have used domestic and family violence. It features group parenting sessions with fathers, systematic outreach with mothers to ensure their safety and freedom from coercion, and ongoing case management of fathers by existing service providers. The program was developed in Canada and has now been implemented in several countries. This report describes a three-year trial of the program in Victoria in three sites: metropolitan North East Melbourne (a partnership between Kids First and UnitingCare ReGen), metropolitan Western Melbourne (a partnership between Anglicare Victoria and IPC Health), and rural Gippsland (by Anglicare Victoria). The evaluation found promising evidence that the fathers' behaviour change is commencing and moving in a positive direction, in particular their ability to reflect on abusive and harmful fathering. Hostility towards the mothers of their children was more difficult to change. Though both fathers and mothers reported improved fathering practices at the completion of the program, only some men showed sustained improvement.
Journal of Social Policy v. 49 no. 1 jan 2020: 19-39
Many countries combine private child maintenance and public social security policy to reduce poverty in lone parent families. However, many of these families are still in poverty - due in part to governments not passing on all of the child maintenance payment as an offset to the social support payment. These include 'pass through' and 'child maintenance disregard' mechanisms. This article investigates whether lone parents on social assistance benefits are any better off after child maintenance is paid, and whether national policies affect these outcomes. It compares data from the 2013 Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) for Australia, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom - four countries with different child maintenance systems. The findings show that lone parents who do receive child maintenance have a lower child poverty rate compared to those who do not receive any, but that these outcomes vary for the poorest children depending on what mechanisms are in play. The findings raise questions about the legitimacy of child maintenance policies that proclaim to tackle child poverty when hidden interaction mechanisms continue to operate as cost recovery tools for the state.
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
This paper highlights the key findings and policy implications from a recent study into how to improve health system responses to domestic violence in the antenatal period. A significant number of women experience domestic violence during pregnancy but this period also presents an opportunity for early intervention due to the frequent ongoing contact with health services. The study investigated how to integrate and sustain screening, risk assessment and first-line responses effectively into the complex health system of antenatal care, the system barriers and facilitators involved, and also for the specific challenges for health systems in regional and rural settings with low resources. Based on the findings, the study proposed a new model for implementing sustainable screening and responses - the REAL Transformation Model. The practitioner guidelines for the model are included as an appendix.
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
This study investigated how to improve health system responses to domestic violence in the antenatal period. A significant number of women experience domestic violence during pregnancy but this period also presents an opportunity for early intervention due to the frequent ongoing contact with health services. The study investigated how to integrate and sustain screening, risk assessment and first-line responses effectively into the complex health system of antenatal care, the system barriers and facilitators involved, and also for the specific challenges for health systems in regional and rural settings with low resources. Case studies were conducted across six hospital antenatal clinics in Victoria and New South Wales, surveys were undertaken with 1,224 clients of the clinics, and focus groups and interviews were held with 91 antenatal staff members. Based on the findings, the study proposes a new model for implementing sustainable screening and responses - the REAL Transformation Model. Recommendations for practitioners and policy makers are also included.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health v. 17 no. 5 2020: Article 1491
A growing number of maternity care providers and health systems are caring for pregnant women affected by female genital mutilation. This article provides insights for service delivery and presents a conceptual model to guide practice, to help inform culturally safe and woman-centred maternity care for these women. It draws on interviews and focus groups with 23 migrants affected by female genital mutilation, now living in Western Sydney, New South Wales. Their views highlight the importance of partnering and involving women in the design and delivery of maternity care.
Indooroopilly, Qld. : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2020.
Young motherhood has been viewed as a risky event, adding complexity and hardship to the life of both the young woman and her child, but it has also been seen as a transformative experience, motivating the young mother to a fresh start. Perhaps outcomes vary for different groups of women depending on the path they were already on before becoming a parent? This paper investigates this further using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. It examines the labour market and educational pathways of young women, from before and after the birth of a child. It looks into the stability and precariousness of these pathways on a week by week basis and compares the pathways with those of young women who did not experience young motherhood. The findings suggest that young motherhood has a negative impact for young women who were initially on a path of some stability, but has little impact - neither for better or worse - on women who were already on precarious paths. The findings raise the question of how to harness the transformative power of young motherhood reported by disadvantaged young mothers in qualitative studies, which was not seen in this quantitative study.
Journal of Family Violence 3 Jan 2020: Advance online publication
There is growing interest in both 'coercive control' and 'systems abuse' as forms of domestic and family violence. This article looks into malicious false reports of child maltreatment to child protective services, or threats to do so, by abusive partners or ex-partners as an example of both 'coercive control' and 'systems abuse'. It draws on interviews with 11 women, taken from a larger study of women who had experienced family violence. The findings highlight the nature and impact of malicious complaints as a form of abuse and the inadequacy of current legal mechanisms to address it. The article concludes with possible options to help prevent and respond to this abuse.
Melbourne, Vic. : Council of Single Mothers and their Children, 2020.
This report provides insights into the lives of single mothers in Australia and makes recommendations to government on how services and policies could be improved. It presents findings from a survey over 1,112 single mothers on issues of income security, employment and education, housing, family law and family violence, and quality of life. The findings highlight the financial stress of single mother households: most are experiencing financial hardship and concern regarding in their long-term financial wellbeing regardless of employment status, with many mothers often going hungry and their children missing education and recreational opportunities. More than half were also grappling with the family law system and 42% reported a history of family violence.
Journal of Family Studies v. 26 no. 1 2020: 67-76
This article considers how negative portrayals of one parent families may discourage women from leaving a violent relationship. It discusses 'deficit constructions' of one parent families, reinforcement of the 'normality' of hetero-nuclear families, and the perception of choice for mothers in violent relationships when considering their options and what a happy life could look like.
Journal of Affective Disorders v. 272 Jul 2020: 521-528
This article adds to what is known about the association between parental mental health and child outcomes, by investigating the factors from before conception. The Australian Temperament Project is now studying a third generation of participants, enabling research into parental mental health histories from adolescence onwards. The article examines the association between depression or anxiety in adolescence and young adulthood and later offspring behaviour problems in infancy. Other factors such as current mental state and earlier experience of parental separation, antisocial behaviour, early school leaving, and substance use are also considered. The study found that mothers with a history of persistent mental health problems in adolescence and young adulthood had a higher likelihood of reporting behaviour problems in their infant offspring, just as much as mothers with current mental health concerns. There was no association with father mental health.
Probation Journal v. 66 no. 4 2019: 434-450
As the number of female offenders increases, so too does the number of children witnessing their mother's arrest. This article explores this issue, with a survey of 36 mothers arrested in Victoria. The women were asked about the circumstances and location of their arrest, its perceived impact on their children, and police responses to their children during the arrest process. In this sample, about half of the mothers had their children present during the arrest, and the women felt that the police largely responded poorly, with discussion about suitable care for the children occurring in less than two-thirds of cases.
Reproductive Biomedicine & Society Online v. 9 Dec 2019: 28-36
Though donor conception was previously largely private and anonymous, a growing number of jurisdictions have now introduced laws to help donor-conceived people and donors to apply for information about each other. This article looks into the information and contact goals of people applying for information in Victoria. It draws on a survey of 42 donor-conceived people, donors, and recipient parents who made applications between 2015 and 2017 - which was a period when retrospective applications became possible but still while donor consent was required. The type of information sought was grouped into five themes: personal information; medical history; requests for photographs; family characteristics; and physical characteristics or traits. The study found that all of the applicants wanted personal information about the other party and most expressed a desire for contact. Nearly all donor-conceived people sought medical information, either over their own concerns or on behalf of their own children.
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2019.
"Australia's economy and labour market have escaped a dramatic downturn following the global financial economic crisis. Yet, a substantial share of working-age Australians either were not working or worked only to a limited extent as the global recovery gathered pace between 2013 and 2014. 18% were without employment during an entire year; a further 6% had weak labour-market attachment, e.g. working only a fraction of the year. This paper extends a method proposed by Fernandez et al. (2016) to measure and visualise employment barriers of individuals with weak labour-market attachment using household micro-data. It first develops indicators to quantify employment obstacles under three headings: (i) work-related capabilities, (ii) incentives, and (iii) employment opportunities. A novelty in this paper is a statistical procedure for calibrating the definition of barriers in a way that maximises their explanatory power in predicting employment outcomes. A statistical clustering algorithm then identify groups with similar combinations of barriers. The resulting typology provides insights on the most pressing policy priorities in supporting different groups into employment in Australia. We identify seven distinct groups, each calling for a specific flavour of activation and employment-support policies. The most common employment obstacles are limited work experience, low skills and poor health. Financial disincentives, care responsibilities and scarce job opportunities are less widespread overall but were important barriers for some groups. Almost one third of jobless or low-intensity workers face three or more simultaneous barriers, highlighting the limits of policy approaches that focus on subsets of these employment obstacles in isolation."--Publisher abstract.
London : NSPCC, 2019.
Minding the Baby is a preventative home-visiting parenting programme for first-time mothers between the ages of 14 and 25. Following on from promising findings in the United States, this report evaluates the programme in the United Kingdom. A randomised controlled trial was undertaken with 148 young mothers from Glasgow, Sheffield and York, with participants assessed from pregnancy to two years after birth. The programme aims to promote parental reflective functioning and combines practice elements from models of nurse home-visiting and mother-child psychotherapy. A pair of social workers and nurse practitioners work together with each young mother to promote sensitive caregiving and secure mother-child attachment, as well as maternal and child health and wellbeing. The study found that the programme did not improve maternal sensitivity, though some evidence was found for positive impacts on other outcomes.
Washington, DC : Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Administration for Children and Families, 2019.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was launched in America in 2010 to expand evidence-based home visiting programs for families living in at-risk communities. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) is investigating the impact of the program on families, focusing on the four evidence-based models that the majority of states chose to implement in 2010/2011. These models are: Early Head Start: Home-based option, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers. Under MIHOPE, about 4,200 families were assigned to receive either one of these models or information on community services. This report presents the early effects on family and child outcomes, from 2012 through 2017, and considers differences by family type, features of local programs, or dosage received. The evaluation found some positive but small impacts, but it may be too early to assess impacts on child development.
Washington, DC : Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, US Administration for Children and Families, 2019.
The U.S. Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start) was launched in 2012 to test whether evidence-based home visiting during pregnancy improves birth outcomes, prenatal health, and health care use in infancy. Participants included 2,900 families from across 17 states in the United States. This report presents final implementation and impact results from the study. In particular, it investigates what services were received, the impacts on outcomes, and whether the impacts varied by family type, the features of local programs or implementation, or dosage received. The study found only small, non-statistically significant impacts on outcomes, for both higher-risk and lower-risk families. Possible reasons are discussed. A wider range of family outcomes are studied in a separately published report.
Thomastown, Vic. : Kids First, 2019.
'Children and Mothers in Mind' (CMiM) is a play-based group program designed for mothers and children under four years who have experienced trauma such as family violence, childhood abuse or sexual assault. It provides mothers with trauma-informed parenting information, peer support, and counselling to strengthen their parenting self-efficacy, self-care, self-compassion and stress management skills in relation to parenting. The program has been piloted in several metropolitan and regional sites across Victoria from 2017 to mid 2019, with 490 women and children commencing the program. This report evaluates the impact of the program on mothers' understanding about the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting and its effectiveness in improving mother-child relationships. Staff training, program implementation, and referral into and from the program are also considered. The evaluation involved interviews with program facilitators, managers and child workers, as well as mothers after program completion and again after 6 months. The evaluation found that the program is highly valued by participants and staff and has a positive impact on mothers and their parenting.
Sydney NSW : ANROWS, 2017.
This sheet highlights the impact of inter-parental conflict on parenting and children's health and development. It presents statistics on the rate of inter-parental conflict experienced by mothers and its association with poorer mental health and parenting as well as poorer physical health and development in their children. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, as part of a research study into the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting capacity and parent-child relationships.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019.
This website presents detailed statistics on live births and fertility trends in Australia. Information is provided for 2018 on the total fertility rate, registered births, maternal age, multiple births, Indigenous parents, births in each state and territory, and births mapped against capital city areas. Information is taken from registered births and projections based on 2016 Census data. In 2018, there were 315,147 registered births with a total fertility rate of 1.74 births per woman. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, total fertility rate was 2.37 births per woman. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women also tend to give birth at young ages: almost three-quarters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander births registered were to women under 30 years of age, as compared to 40.1% of births of the general population.
Washington, D.C. : Pew Research Center, 2019.
This paper explores trends in children living with unmarried parents in the United States, including parents who are cohabiting and single parent families. Data is chiefly taken from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, for 1968-2017. Today, one-in-four parents living with a child are unmarried, as compared to fewer than one-in-ten parents fifty years ago. In 1968, 88% of unmarried parents were solo mothers - in 2017, this declined to 53%. The proportion of single father households has remained steady, but 35% of unmarried parent families are now cohabiters. The paper also looks into trends in marriage and nonmarital births and demographic characteristics of parents, as well as public attitudes to unmarried parents.