Contexts of disadvantage

Content type
Commissioned report

November 2017


Diana Warren

Commissioning Body

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Download Commissioned report

This report uses data from the first five waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to examine the association between family, neighbourhood and school level disadvantage and children’s cognitive and social outcomes.

The authors found substantial differences in social and emotional problems according to whether children experienced family, neighbourhood or school level disadvantage. At all ages, the influence of family disadvantage on the social and emotional development of the child was much stronger than the influence of neighbourhood or school disadvantage.

Much of the association between disadvantage and child cognitive outcomes could be attributed to the indirect influence of disadvantage on the home environment, particularly on how much time and effort was spent by parents on activities that stimulate children’s cognitive skills.