This year Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children celebrated its ten year anniversary. We would like to thank you for your valuable contribution and for taking the time to share your information with us. Over the last ten years Growing Up in Australia has been influential in improving the lives of Australian children and their families. With your continued support we hope to provide quality information to government and researchers for years to come.
Have you seen the YouTube clip celebrating ten years of Growing Up in Australia?
Growing Up in Australia is developed with advice and guidance from a group of leading researchers called the Consortium Advisory Group (CAG). There are currently 13 members on the CAG, the majority of whom have been involved with the study from the very beginning. Members of the CAG are experts in child and adolescent development and family dynamics. They are drawn from a wide range of fields including psychiatry, psychology, economics, health, education, and sociology. The CAG provides Growing Up in Australia with advice on what topics are developmentally appropriate to ask study participants, the questions we ask and how we ask them. CAG members also write academic papers based on Growing Up in Australia data, and present their research all around the world.
For this round of interviews we will be asking your child to fill in their own Time Use Diary. In this diary we would like your child to record all the activities they do in a day. We really hope that you will encourage your child to fill in their Time Use Diary before the interview. There is increasing international interested in the Growing Up in Australia Time Use Diaries as they provide researchers with a unique and rich source of data on how children are using their time and how this changes as they get older. Time Use Diary data can also be combined with other information collected in the study to understand how children develop based on different patterns of time use.
Time Use Diary data from the older cohort has been used by researchers to explore how children are spending their time. Using Time Use Diary data, it was found that children who reported reading on the day they completed the diary were less likely to have watched TV and played computer games and were more likely to have reported doing homework, compared to children that said they didn't read on the day they completed the diary.
This and other papers are available through the Growing up in Australia website.
by Nicole Hayes, School of Early Childhood, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology
As children's first teachers, parents make an important contribution to children's early learning. Parental involvement in home learning activities provides children with a range of opportunities to learn about the world and develop skills that prepare them for school. Information from Growing Up in Australia has shown that many Australian families are highly active in helping their children learn prior to school. At age 2 and 3 years, 85 per cent of parents reported reading to their child on three or more days in the past week; 73 per cent of parents reported playing music, singing or doing other musical activities with their child on three or more days; and 62 per cent of parents reported doing art and craft activities with their child on three or more days. Parent-child involvement in such activities provides opportunities for children to learn language and increase their vocabulary skills that support literacy and numeracy when children begin school. Children also learn to persist in completing tasks and to work independently through engagement in home activities.
The nature and extent of parental involvement in home activities change when children move into school. In Growing Up in Australia, when children were 6 to 7 years of age, 24 per cent of parents reported doing art and craft activities with their child on three or more days in the past week and 38 per cent of parents reported playing music, singing or doing other musical activities with their child. A high percentage of parents (79 per cent) still reported reading to their child on three or more days. The nature of parental activities with their children may also change once children are at school. Parental involvement may include home discussion about the school day, supervision of school tasks that children are asked to complete at home, or parent participation in activities at the school.
Information from Growing Up in Australia has shown us that parent involvement, both prior to school and when children begin school, is very important in shaping children's early academic skills. From a range of research studies it is known that parent's support for children's learning at home and at school has long lasting effects on children's academic achievement throughout the school years.
Fact - 95 per cent of parents felt that they could make a difference in their child's success at school.
When your child was 8-9 years old we asked you about the homework your child received from school and your level of involvement in helping your child with their homework.
Over 96 per cent of you reported that your child was given homework from school. Just over 60 per cent of children spent 1 or 2 hours a week doing homework. Six per cent of you reported that your child spent 6 hours or more each week on homework when they were 8-9 years old. (Figure 1)
Of the children that received homework, 32 per cent of parents reported that they or another family member helped their child with their homework on a daily basis. Only 8 per cent of parents reported that they or a family member helped their child with homework less than once a week. (Figure 2)
Growing Up in Australia is Australia's largest study that revisits the same children and teenagers to see how they have changed over time. The study examines the impact of Australia's unique social and cultural environment on the next generation. Growing Up in Australia takes the approach that a child's development is influenced by interactions between the child and their family, school, community and broader society over time. It provides data on a broad range of topics like parenting, family, relationships, childhood education, and health.
The Growing Up in Australia team would like to thank you for your continued participation. Your story is unique and by sharing it you help us to obtain the best possible information for the benefit of all Australian children.
The study is conducted as a partnership between the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with advice provided by a consortium of leading researchers.
We will be continuing to access the your child's Medicare records, for which you have previously given consent. To ensure your child's privacy is maintained only de-identified data will be released to researchers and policy makers and only combined results will be published. You can withdraw your consent to the release of your child's Medicare records at any time, however information released prior to your withdrawal will continue to be used and form part of the Growing Up in Australia study.
It is important for us to have your latest contact details. If you have moved, are planning to move, or will be away overseas for a long period of time, please let us know.
If you have any questions about the study, want to find out more, or have any feedback on any aspect of the study:
Your privacy is important to us and only the combined results of the study participants are discussed and published. Researchers using the study information will not be able to identify you or your family. Strict procedures are followed to ensure that only authorised people have access to the information you provide, and all the Interviewers, researchers and others involved must comply with the Privacy Act 1988.
Further information on privacy in relation to the Growing Up in Australia study and the Growing Up in Australia Privacy Statement can be found on the Growing Up in Australia website or by calling Phone: 1800 005 508 freecall (except from mobile phones).