Data user guide

Data user guide

About this guide

This data user guide is a reference tool for the users of the Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) datasets.

It is intended to provide the necessary information to be able to use the LSAC data. This includes information on the survey methodology, file structure and variable naming conventions. Particular issues are highlighted to ensure data analysts apply the LSAC data appropriately in their research. Development of the data user guide is ongoing and it is updated at each release of LSAC data to reflect new content, instruments and enhancements.

Additional resources available for users of the LSAC data include:

  • questionnaires and interview specifications marked with variable names for Computer Assisted Interviews (CAI), including Computer Assisted Self Interviews (CASI) in the home, Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) and Computer Assisted Web Interviews (CAWI) instruments)1
  • a data dictionary
  • technical papers on weighting, non-response and other issues
  • data issues papers
  • rationale papers.

These resources are all available from the LSAC website.

Data users should read the 'Important issues for data analysis' section carefully. It outlines particular aspects of the sample design that have important implications for interpreting analyses from the study.

If you have any feedback, had difficulty understanding any of the data user guide's content or would like us to include additional content, please email us at: aifs-lsac@aifs.gov.au.

Data user guide updates

When Version Release Suggested citation
October 2020 8.0 Data User Guide for Release 8 Mohal, J., Lansangan, C., Howell, L., Renda, J., Jessup, K., & Daraganova, G. (2020). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - Data User Guide, Release 8.0, November 2020. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. doi:10.26193/VTCZFF
December 2018 7.0 Data User Guide for Release 7 Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2018). Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide - December 2018. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
November 2015 6.0 Data User Guide for Release 6 Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2015). Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide - November 2015. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
November 2013 5.0 Data User Guide for Release 5 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2013) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide - November 2013, Melbourne.
August 2011 4.0 Data User Guide for Release 4 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2011) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide
April 2010 3.5 Data User Guide for Release 3.5 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2010) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide
August 2009 3.0 Data User Guide for Release 3 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2009) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide
May 2008 2.5 Data User Guide for Release 2.5 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2008) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide
May 2008 2.0 Data User Guide for Release 2 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2008) Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Data User Guide
November 2006 1.0 Data User Guide for Release 1 Australian Institute of Family Studies (2006) LSAC Data User Guide - Version 2.1, Melbourne.

1 Feedback from data users suggests that marked questionnaires with interview specifications are often the best way to find sections relevant to proposed research topics, and to illustrate the breadth of information available in the study.

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Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) is conducted in 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 from research institutions and universities throughout Australia.

The Wave 8 data files were prepared by the ABS and AIFS data processing teams and reviewed by DSS. AIFS has updated the current version of the LSAC Data User Guide.

Readers wishing to refer to this document should cite the following:

Mohal, J., Lansangan, C., Howell, L., Renda, J., Jessup, K., & Daraganova, G. (2020). Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children - Data User Guide, Release 8.0, November 2020. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. doi:10.26193/VTCZFF

The authors wish to acknowledge:

  • DSS and ABS for their support in providing feedback.
  • Former AIFS Data Managers and Data Officers (Sebastian Mission, Mark Sipthorp) for their contribution to earlier versions of the data user guide.

Copyright

Some of the material included or referred to in the Data User Guide is subject to copyright. For more information about copyright permissions, email us at: aifs-lsac@aifs.gov.au.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any copyright information provided in the LSAC study materials.

  • AIFS accepts no legal liability in relation to any use of the material included or referred to in the data user guide.
  • Users should ensure that they seek and obtain the appropriate copyright permissions from the owner of any copyright in this material prior to  reproduction or publication of these items. Use of Pearson Test(s), Scoring Program(s) and Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS) Ratings are adapted and reproduced with permission from NCS Pearson, Inc. All rights reserved. Pearson Intellectual Property (IP) is subject to proprietary rights and prevents the reproduction of individual questions in full. 
  • AIFS is not responsible for obtaining or assisting users with copyright permissions.
Data User Guide