Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Annual Statistical Report 2018

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Annual Statistical Report 2018

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018— December 2019
A multi-ethnic group of high school students are outdoors on a summer day. One girl is taking a selfie with the group.

Contents

1. Introduction

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is Australia’s first nationally representative longitudinal study of child development. LSAC gives researchers and policy makers a better understanding of children’s development within Australia’s social, economic and cultural environment.

The Introduction gives an overview of the study’s purpose and design.

2. Key findings from the Annual Statistical Report 2018

Summarises the key findings from each individual report.

3. The physical health of Australian children

Constantine Gasser, Tracy Evans-Whipp and Sonia Terhaag

Explores aspects of the physical health of Australian children at age 11–12 years, using data collected in the Child Health CheckPoint, an LSAC biomarker module.

4. Are children and adolescents getting enough sleep?

Tracy Evans-Whipp and Constantine Gasser

Investigates children’s and adolescents’ sleep patterns. Includes the amount and quality of sleep, and characteristics of adolescents who do not get enough sleep.

5. Teenagers and sex

Diana Warren and Neha Swami

A snapshot of the sexual experiences and behaviours of teenagers. Covers sexual attraction, relationships, intercourse, contraception, pornography and unwanted sexual behaviours.

6. Risky driving among Australian teens

Suzanne Vassallo

Explores adolescents’ risky driving behaviours. Looks at speeding, driving when fatigued, driving under the influence and driving without a seatbelt/helmet, and also factors associated with risky driving.

7. Gambling activity among teenagers and their parents

Diana Warren and Maggie Yu

Describes levels of gambling involvement and gambling-related problems among teens and their parents, and some of the factors associated with teenage gambling.

8. Shop or save: How teens manage their money

Diana Warren, Mabel Andalón and Constantine Gasser

Examines the different money management styles of three groups of adolescents: ‘savers’, ‘spenders’, and adolescents with a more neutral money management style.

9. Shaping futures: School subject choice and enrolment in STEM

Maggie Yu and Diana Warren

Considers the individual, socio-economic and school characteristics of Year 11 and 12 student students selecting subjects, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) study domain.

10. Adolescents’ resilience

Tracy Evans-Whipp and Constantine Gasser

Looks at some of the factors that can help or hinder adolescents’ resilience (the ability to bounce back from stressful life events).

11. Here to help: How young people contribute to their community

Constantine Gasser and Tracy Evans-Whipp

Describes the volunteering activities of adolescents, including the type of activity, frequency and time spent, and the characteristics of adolescents who volunteer.

12. Tweens and teens: What do they worry about?

Suzanne Vassallo and Neha Swami

Examines what issues concern Australian children and whether these worries change as children age. Comparisons are made between girls and boys, and children of different backgrounds.

13. Technical appendix

Provides details on the LSAC sample, respondents and collection methods, sampling and survey design and details of the weights supplied in the data to correct for non-response and attrition.

Authors and Acknowledgements

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) thanks the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) for funding this report, and the DSS LSAC team for their valuable comments and contribution.

We wish to acknowledge the helpful feedback on earlier versions of specific chapters from AIFS staff reviewers including:

  • Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, Senior Manager, Australian Gambling Research Centre
  • Dr Antonia Quadara, Senior Manager, Sexual Violence Research
  • Kelly Hand, Deputy Director Research.

We also gratefully acknowledge the enormous contribution of the families and teachers who participated in the study.

For more information about the study, see the LSAC website: growingupinaustralia.gov.au

This report has been compiled and written by staff at AIFS. The views expressed in this report are those of the individual authors and should not reflect those of DSS, AIFS or the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Featured image: © GettyImages/FatCamera

Publication details

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2018
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, December 2019.

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