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Family Matters No. 70 - March 2005

What is life like for young Australians today, and how well are they faring?

Diana Smart and Ann Sanson

Abstract

How are young people coping with the complexity and uncertainty of modern life? Is the sky the limit, or are their lives tough and unrewarding? Are young people happy or miserable? This paper reports on the progress and perspectives of 1157 young people aged 19 - 20 years. It is part of the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), a multi disciplinary collaborative project between the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. To date, this ongoing, longitudinal study, which began in 1983, has followed the progress of a large, representative group of Victorian children from infancy to 19-20 years of age. This article provides a description of the differing facets of young people's lives. The next step in the study is to examine in more depth the inter relationships between positive and problematic aspects.

How are young people coping with the complexity and uncertainty of modern life? Is the sky the limit, or are their lives tough and unrewarding? Are young people happy or miserable? This paper reports on the progress and perspectives of 1157 young people aged 19 - 20 years. It is part of the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), a multi disciplinary collaborative project between the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. To date, this ongoing, longitudinal study, which began in 1983, has followed the progress of a large, representative group of Victorian children from infancy to 19-20 years of age. This article provides a description of the differing facets of young people's lives. The next step in the study is to examine in more depth the inter relationships between positive and problematic aspects.

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