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.
Perth, WA : 100 Families WA, 2021.
100 Families WA is a three-year research project that aims to identify what works to address entrenched disadvantage in families in Western Australia. This paper presents insights from focus groups conducted with some of the participants in 2020. It highlights the high levels of mental distress and adverse life experiences among these people and how it impacts their journey through entrenched disadvantage. The participants also discussed how they understood wellbeing and quality of life, and the important role of social relationships.
Brisbane : QUT Centre for Justice, 2020.
This report presents findings from the Australian Youth Safety Survey, a survey of 3,147 young people aged 14 to 25 on identity, diversity, and safety. Participants were asked about their experiences of victimisation, including assault, hate speech, hate violence, cyberbulling, and parental violence and maltreatment, their own offending and contact with police, alcohol and drug use, gangs, wellbeing, sense of safety, trust of police, and attitudes towards immigrants. The survey found that only 3 out of 5 participants (had mostly been happy in the last 6 months, nearly 1 in 4 could not easily get emotional support and care from their parents, more than 1 in 4 had been the victim of crime in the last year, and 2 in 5 had been the victim of hate speech, violence, or bullying. Many young people, particularly young women and those from marginalised identities, said that they don't feel safe in the community.
LGBT Health v. 7 no. 3 Apr 2020: 146-154
This article adds to the research into the significantly worse health of sexual minority youth. It examines whether social support from parents and friends and school belonging play a mediating role, using data for 14-15 year olds in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. The study found that sexual minority adolescents experienced poorer health-related quality of life, socio-emotional functioning, and life satisfaction - as well as higher rates of depression - than their heterosexual peers, as well as significantly lower levels of social support and school belonging. It was estimated that social support and school belonging were responsible for 49%-70% of the association between sexual minority status and health, with school belonging playing the strongest mediating role.
Children Australia 27 Nov 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores the high prevalence of pregnancy among care leavers. It discusses the literature on the association between the transition from care and early parenting, with reference to Boss's 2010 Ambiguous Loss theory, which contends that young people with experiences of child protection involvement and placement in out-of-home care may experience enduring feelings of loss associated with removal from their family, as well as from any placement instability. Sections in the article include: Prevalence of care leaver early parenting; Care leavers, removal from family and Ambiguous Loss theory; Reconnecting with family: choice or necessity?; Disenfranchised loss and grief; Relationships with family and social and community connections; The social exclusion of bureaucratic care; Pathways to care leavers' early parenting; The 'emotional void': wanted pregnancies and school as a preventative factor; Protective interventions: surveillance bias or support?; Poverty and protective interventions; Child removal and repeat pregnancies; Parenting support and 'turning lives around'; Extended care; Blaming the victim: exploitation and coercion; and Sex education and pregnancy prevention.
Melbourne : Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2020.
COVID-19 has affected existing inequalities in housing and exacerbated vulnerabilities. This report investigates the complex interrelated impacts that COVID-19 is having on households with a range of vulnerabilities. The study took advantage of existing research work, by conducting follow-up interviews with participants from two earlier projects in Victoria. The study investigated the impact of COVID-19 on employment and income loss, housing finances and coping strategies, working or learning from home, changes in eating patterns or grocery shopping, managing energy bills and comfort, family and social relationships, maintaining privacy and achieving intimacy, digital spaces and interactions, healthcare and exercise, social support, and emotional wellbeing and coping with emotional stressors. The findings highlight how COVID-19 has exacerbated vulnerabilities such as poor housing quality and location, housing affordability, energy poverty, and a range of social, mental and physical health conditions. Social isolation was exacerbated in particular, especially for people with weak pre-existing ties and limited digital capability. Digital literacy, inclusion and confidence - together with concerns about online security - reveal uneven capabilities and access to support to achieve social connectedness online.
Melbourne : Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, 2020.
This report presents the findings of the third national survey of the health and wellbeing of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Australians. The survey was conducted with 6,835 adults, regarding their demographic characteristics, households and relationships, housing and homelessness, discrimination and harassment and feelings of acceptance, general health and wellbeing, mental health and wellbeing, experience of health services, alcohol and other drug use, intimate partner and family violence, community connection, disability or long-term health condition, multicultural background, and geographic location. The findings highlight that while not all LGBTIQ people experience challenges in their lives, many do, including disproportionate experiences of mental ill-health, suicidal thoughts and attempts, harassment and abuse, homelessness, alcohol and drug use, and intimate partner and family violence. The report concludes with recommendations to help address these through policy and program development, service development and improvements to data collection.
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2020.
This report looks at the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth. It presents the findings and recommendations of an inquiry by the Productivity Commission, and sets out a plan for a person-centred mental health system, with actions to address the gaps and barriers in the current mental health system. It discusses the prevalence and costs of mental ill-health in Australia, early intervention and the social and emotional wellbeing of children, mentally healthy workplaces, social inclusion and stigma reduction, suicide prevention, person-centred gateways to mental healthcare, supported online treatment, crisis and emergency services, physical and substance use comorbidities, integrated care, workforce planning and development, psychosocial support, supports for families and carers, income and employment support, housing and homelessness, interactions with the justice system, governance arrangements, funding and commissioning, and monitoring and evaluation.
Melbourne : Anne Deveson Research Centre, SANE Australia, 2020.
This report looks into the experience of stigma and discrimination among people living with complex mental health issues, including its impact on different areas of life and withdrawal from and expectations from life opportunities. It presents the findings from the first 'Our Turn to Speak' survey, which was conducted with 1,912 adults between October 2019 and April 2020. Stigma is reviewed overall and in the domains of relationships with friends and family, employment, health and social services, mass media, education and training, financial and insurance services, cultural and religious communities, sports and community groups, legal and justice system, and public space. This report is accompanied by a separate paper that makes recommendations for action as well as an interactive website of the data.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
This website provides new data on the social characteristics, wellbeing and social experiences of people in Australia. It presents statistics from the 2019 General Social Survey, which was conducted with approximately 3,500 households from across Australia. Key topics include: life satisfaction; personal stressors; involvement in social, community support, and civic and political groups; family and community support; cultural tolerance and discrimination; trust; financial stress; and voluntary work. It also looks at populations of interest, including people with a mental health condition, long term health condition, or disability, migrants, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with different sexual orientations. Findings include: just over two-thirds of respondents had face to face contact with family or friends living outside their household at least once a week; nearly one in five were unable to raise $2,000 within a week for something important; one in six had experienced some form of discrimination in the past year; and just over one in ten had been without a permanent place to live at some time in their lives. Comparisons are also made with findings from previous surveys.
Wellington N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2020.
This report examines family structure and change for Maori children, and the potential impacts for early childhood development and wellbeing. Though there is growing evidence that family structure has an impact on children's health and wellbeing and the intergenerational transmission of inequity, these effects vary by socio-economic context and across ethnic and racial groups. This report uses data from the New Zealand Longitudinal Census and the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study. It finds that though most Maori children live in a stable two-parent family, they are more likely to spend some time in a sole parent household than other children, and diverse family trajectories are linked to poorer cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes. However, they are not the main driver: the most important predictors are mothers' education and age, material hardship, and neighbourhood deprivation. The study also finds that cultural connectedness promotes socio-emotional development: as diverse family trajectories are associated with higher levels of cultural connectedness among Maori children, it serves a protective role.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2020.
This is the fifth in a series of biannual reports measuring and comparing well-being across OECD and partner countries. It examines quality of life and living conditions, using an updated set of over 80 indicators in the areas of: income and wealth, jobs and earnings, housing conditions, health status, work-life balance, education and skills, social connections, civic engagement and governance, environmental quality, personal security, and subjective well-being. Generally, OECD countries that do better on average also feature greater equality between population groups and fewer people living in deprivation. Since 2010, the OECD average improved for household disposable income, the employment rate, the gender wage gap, long working hours, housing overcrowding, longevity, life satisfaction, exposure to air pollution, and sense of safety. However, there has been no progress in reducing income inequality and improving housing affordability when looking at the OECD average.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Carers Australia, 2019.
Providing care to a family member can take a toll on young people's lives, including on their ability to attend, belong and achieve well at school. To assist carers aged 12-25 years to continue or return to study, the Australian Government established a national Young Carers Bursary Program to help with financial support. The program is administered by Carers Australia and has supported over 1,600 young carers since 2015. This study was commissioned to learn more about the characteristics and lived experiences of young people applying for the scheme, including the barriers that restricted their attendance, achievement and participation, and differences between young people with lower and higher levels of school engagement. The findings highlight how caring responsibilities can affect young people's ability to attend, concentrate and socialise at school, and that these young people have few supports at home or at school and can face additional hardships such as financial stress and social isolation.
Journal of Consumer Policy v. 42 o. 2 2019: 189-221
This article explores people's experiences of financial hardship. It presents findings from a survey of 1,101 adults on the causes of their hardship, the impact on their lives, the coping strategies they employed to get by financially, and use of services. It also considers differences among those who were single or in relationships, those with mental health issues, and by sources of income. The findings highlight how financial hardship can happen to almost anyone, and how it can impact negatively upon a wide range of aspects including health, relationships, and social inclusion, as well as the ability to afford necessities. The findings are discussed with reference to the broader international literature on financial hardship.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Commissioner for Children and Young People, 2019.
This report aims provides insight into how children and young people in South Australia understand poverty and makes recommendations to help address its ill effects. It discusses findings from several engagement projects with children and young people undertaken over the last 2 years, regarding the causes, impacts and responses to poverty, the impact of poverty on children and young people and what can be done to eradicate poverty, as well as focus groups with young people with personal experiences of poverty.
Ainslie, ACT : Anglicare Australia, 2019.
This nineteenth State of the Family report explores the work of 'Our Better Selves', an Anglicare Australia project about how their work can help Australia become a society where everyone is seen as unique and valuable and where mutual care and compassion are central to identity. Furthermore, the project asked how can human services within the Anglicare Network express the values and practices of such a society by putting the interests and the experiences of the most marginalised and silenced at its heart and use this to change communities. Five separate teams from across the Anglicare Australia Network were partners in the project: a mental health community centre in Brisbane; a post-release drug and alcohol service in Newcastle; a youth homelessness to housing scheme in Adelaide; a housing support service in Alice Springs; and a child and parent centre in Mandurah. They conducted inquiries into their services, exploring what works best for the people they serve, drawing further on the strengths of everyone involved, and building on the connections their work creates.
Parkville, Vic. : Youth Research Centre, University of Melbourne, 2019.
The report presents information on the social wellbeing of primary school students in Victoria, including the impact of a social and emotional learning program - the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program - on their wellbeing and peer relationships. 877 students from grades 4-6 completed a survey on their social wellbeing and peer relations, and focus groups were held with program participants - 179 students in 2017 and 84 students in 2018. Topics include: psychological wellbeing, sense of belonging at school, connectedness to peers, loneliness, bullying, inclusion, body image, sexism and gender relations, and the impact of the program on capacity to manage emotions and to resolve conflicts, positive relationships between genders, and peer support and help-seeking skills. Overall, the students reported relatively high levels of wellbeing, and most students were engaged with their learning and felt connected to their schools, teachers and peers. Boys were more likely than girls to experience and perpetrate violence, and girls were more likely to report being lonely and experience exclusion and complexity in resolving friendship problems. This project is part of a larger 3-year study with 40 primary and secondary schools.
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2019.
The Productivity Commission is now undertaking an inquiry into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth. This draft report has been prepared for further public consultation and input. It presents the draft findings and recommendations of the inquiry to date, drawing upon the many submissions received so far. It finds that mental ill-health is widespread, with costs to the Australian economy of at least $43 to $51 billion per year, plus another $130 billion associated with diminished health and reduced life expectancy. The treatment of mental illness has been tacked on to a health system that has been largely designed around the characteristics of physical illness, but also many people who do seek treatment are not receiving the level of care they need. The report presents draft recommendations for reforming prevention and early intervention, addressing critical gaps in healthcare service availability and delivery, and assisting people with mental illness to get into work and enable early treatment of work-related mental illness. Chapters include: Draft recommendations and findings; The case for major reform; What mental ill-health and suicide are costing Australia; Re-orienting health services to consumers; Primary mental healthcare; Supported online treatment; Specialist community mental health services; Emergency and acute inpatient services; Physical and substance use comorbidities; Towards integrated care: linking consumers and services; Mental health workforce; Psychosocial support; Carers and families; Income and employment support; Housing and homelessness; Justice; Interventions in early childhood and school education; Youth economic participation; Mentally healthy workplaces; Social participation and inclusion; Suicide prevention; Federal roles and responsibilities; and Funding arrangements.
Toronto, ON : UNICEF Canada, 2019.
"Canada's wealth has been steadily rising, but our overall level of child and youth well-being hasn't budged in more than a decade. Why? The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being measures levels, inequalities and trends in the state of children and youth. It's a big 'selfie' of Canada, a snapshot that looks at many aspects of childhood to help Canadians understand what growing up is like for kids, focus efforts and accelerate progress where it is most needed. The Index brings together a wide range of data into one framework to encourage a comprehensive and balanced view of how kids in Canada are faring. We are tracking 125 indicators across nine dimensions of the lives of children and youth, from birth to age 18, using the most recent, population-level, statistical data. This report is a profile of children and youth that provides a baseline from which future reports will track progress. It complements the UNICEF Report Cards that look at life for kids in the world's rich countries ... Many of the indicators, about 60 per cent, are based on how children and youth report their own well-being ... About one third of the indicators measure Canada's achievement of the SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] targets for children."
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.
Child Indicators Research 25 Apr 2019: Advance online publication
This article explores the association of child poverty, deprivation and well-being from children's point of view. It introduces a child-centric approach to measuring this relationship, drawing on a survey of 2,672 children and young people aged 11-16 years old in New South Wales. It presents estimates on the incidence and severity of poverty and deprivation among young people and how it relates to a range of measures of wellbeing including life satisfaction, happiness, and connectedness. The findings reveal how children who perceive themselves as poor or deprived have lower levels of well-being than their peers.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2019.
This is the ninth edition of Society at a Glance, the OECD overview of social indicators. It provides quantitative evidence on social wellbeing and trends around the world, from the 36 OECD member nations as well as selected other countries. Topics include: household income, fertility, migration, family, employment, education spending, expected years in retirement, inequalities, poverty, out of work benefits, social spending, affordable housing, health spending, life expectancy, HIV/AIDS, suicide, tobacco and alcohol consumption, life satisfaction, confidence in institutions, violence against women, voting, and online activities. This edition also features two special chapters. The first is on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people: their numbers, how they fare in terms of economic outcomes and well-being, and what policies can improve LGBT inclusivity. The second on people's perceptions of social and economic risks and the extent to which they think governments address those risks.
Children Australia v. 44 no. 1 Mar 2019: 13-22
This article looks into what factors influence young people's wellbeing in rural and remote regions, as compared to the broader population. Data is taken from the adolescent rural cohort of the Hormones, Health, Education, Environment and Relationships (ARCHER) longitudinal study, with 342 young people New South Wales, aged 9-14 years old in, surveyed twice over two years. The young people were asked about self-efficacy and the material, subjective and relationship factors affecting their wellbeing, including local amenity, public transport and barriers to participation, sense of community belonging, safety, participation in sport, and trusted adults outside of the home. The findings identify the role of belonging, safety, and supportive adults in enhancing wellbeing, and highlight the role of the environmental context in which young people are growing. It challenges universal approaches to improving youth wellbeing and urges policy makers to consider the specific role of 'spatial factors'.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2019.
This paper summarises the findings and recommendations from a study into levels of deprivation and wellbeing among children in Australia. The study used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to measure outcomes against five of the six domains of the 'Nest' framework of the dimensions a child needs to live a good life: they are loved and safe, have material basics, are healthy, are learning, and are participating. The findings highlight the pockets of deprivation that exist in Australia, in particular for children with disability, children living in monetary poverty, and children living in jobless families.
Canberra, ACT : Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2019.
This report investigates levels of deprivation and wellbeing among children in Australia. It uses data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to measure outcomes against five of the six domains of the 'Nest' framework of the dimensions a child needs to live a good life: they are loved and safe, have material basics, are healthy, are learning, and are participating. The Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) approach - developed by UNICEF - was used to assess deprivation. The findings highlight the pockets of deprivation that exist in Australia, in particular for children with disability, children living in monetary poverty, and children living in jobless families. Outcomes were also compared across time, from age 6/7 to age 10/11. For all of the children, the highest rate of deprivation at almost all stages was through frequent bullying or social exclusion, with deprivation in health also relatively high and tending to get worse over time. The report concludes with policy recommendations.
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.
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.
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.
Blackburn, Vic. : Salvation Army Australia Social Programme Department, 2018.
This annual survey provides insights into the challenges and deprivation experienced by clients of the Salvation Army's 'Doorways' emergency relief services in Australia. This report presents the findings of the 2018 survey and makes recommendations for action. 1,267 clients took part in surveys and interviews, regarding their income and employment, cost of living, housing, children, and wellbeing - providing information on their household and housing tenure, income support type, difficulties in finding work, food insecurity, accommodation expenses, financial stress, housing stress and adequacy, frequency and reasons for moving house, homelessness, child deprivation, and social connection and disconnectedness. The participants also spoke about the challenges of daily life and what support would make the biggest difference.
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2018.
This project investigates two things: the extent and nature of deprivation among young people in New South Wales, and how it is best measured and calculated. It adopts the 'consensual approach' that aims to address the limitations of income-based approaches and incorporate the views of the study group themselves on what should be measured. Phase one of the project identified a set of 18 items and activities viewed as essential for all young people to lead a 'normal kind of life' - including a mobile phone and the internet at home but also books at home and a meal out with the family at least once a month. The set was developed through focus groups with over 80 young people and previous consensual studies and represents measures of material deprivation and social exclusion. Phase two measured the extent and form of deprivation experienced by young people aged 11 to 17 years old, and its association with wellbeing, social support, and school attitudes. The 'What Young People Need' survey involved over 3,000 young people: over 2,700 public high school students in years 7 to 10 and over 300 disadvantaged young people participating in The Smith Family's Learning for Life program. This project marks the first time that the consensual approach has been used to measure poverty in children, providing new insights and a multidimensional perspective. The findings indicate significant numbers of young people experience severe deprivation: about one in five of the student sample and two in five of The Smith Family sample are deprived of at least three essential items. Furthermore, a new Child Deprivation Index was calculated to reveal that the young people experiencing higher levels of deprivation also had lower levels of wellbeing and connectedness and were less likely to be doing well at school or consider getting good school marks as important.
Blackburn, Vic. : Salvation Army Australia Social Programme Department, 2018.
This annual survey provides insights into the challenges and deprivation experienced by clients of the Salvation Army's 'Doorways' emergency relief services in Australia. This booklet highlights findings from the 2018 survey, which involved 1,267 clients in surveys and interviews. Charts are provided on: the causes of financial hardship and disadvantage, barriers to finding work, income and the costs of living, food insecurity and going without, housing stress, living conditions, homelessness, needing to move house, and social isolation. The participants also noted the services and redress that made the biggest difference in their lives - whether assistance paying bills, accessing healthy food, or securing a safe place to live.