This year Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children celebrated its ten year anniversary. Thank you for taking the time to share your information with us each time we visit. Your contribution and that of other families over the years has made the study a success. Growing Up in Australia provides valuable data to inform research which helps improve 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.
The benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are well documented by researchers all over the world. The Australian government is currently supporting programs like the Get Set 4 Life - Habits for Healthy Kids and the Swap it, Don't stop it! campaigns to encourage all Australians to participate in some type of physical activity.
Regular activity can improve general health and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes later on in life. Levels of activity are also linked to social and emotional wellbeing. It's important to encourage children to be physically active from an early age and promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
When your child was 12-13 years old we asked you about his/her levels of physical activity.
This graph shows the number of days per week children in the study participated in physical activity when they were 12-13. Over half of the children who participated in an individual sport like swimming or cycling did this once a week. Children who participated in team sports were more likely to participate in these two days a week.
On the days children participated in physical activity, children who participated in team sports were more likely to spend two or more hours engaging in physical activity than those who participated in individual sports.
When your child was 12-13 years old we asked them how much they enjoyed being physically active and 90 per cent of children reported that they enjoyed doing things like sports, active games, walking, running or swimming.
A paper by Killan Mullan and Bridget Maguire, used Growing Up in Australia data from children aged 10 to 11 years old to analyse the relationship between participating in physical activity or exercise and a child's social and emotional wellbeing. The research looked at five indicators of social and emotional wellbeing; positive social behaviour, hyper-activity/inattention, emotional difficulties, peer relationship problems and conduct problems.
The study found a significant link between the amount of outdoor physical activity or exercise and social and emotional wellbeing.
Children who participated in organised sport in the previous 12 months had higher levels of positive social behaviour, and lower levels of hyperactivity/inattention, emotional difficulties, peer relationship problems and conduct problems compared to children who did not take part in organised sport.
It was also noted that children who participated some kind of physical activity with an adult reported similar scores to those who participated in organised sport.
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 children growing up today. Growing Up in Australia is based on the theoretical approach that a child's development is influenced by interactions between the child and their families, school, communities, and broader society over time. It provides data on a broad range of topics like parenting, family, relationships, childhood education, and health.
Growing Up in Australia would like to thank you for your essential contribution. This is your study and without you we could not continue.
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:
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.
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).